From the archives: the curious humor of 19th century almanacs.

almanac 1818

My adventure in the archives of the Huntington Library continues! I’ve been looking at all kinds of old books this week, but one of the category of sources I’m looking at is almanacs. They contained a lot of rudimentary science knowledge–mixed with superstition, old wives’ tales and just plain odd junk–that illuminates how people thought of the environment in the early 19th century, and it’s pretty interesting. These almanacs, which were wildly popular at the time, also contained a lot of humor, or what passed for it in the 1810s. Interspersed between calendars and charts of the moon’s phases and such, often the printers would include a joke or humorous story. I thought I’d toss a couple of them up on the blog just for grins, or curiosity value.

From the Dedham Pocket Almanac and New England Calendar, from 1812:

“MAXIM. A good book and a good Woman are…

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