By Jack Swift
Johnson County Historian
I was browsing through my books and magazines recently and one of the publications drew my interest. It was the Blum’s Farmer’s and Planter’s Almanac for the year 1937. That is only a year before I entered the world.
At 10 cents per copy, that was quite a bargain. But I guess when you take into consideration the economy of that time, maybe it wasn’t such a great deal after all. In 1938, around ten cents would buy a loaf of bread or a gallon of gas.
I wasn’t sure of the definition of the word “almanac.” So, I looked it up and found the basic definition of the word is “a publication containing astronomical and meteorological data arranged according to the days, weeks and months of a given year and often including a miscellany of other information.”
Included in the writings and inventions of the almanac are a number of important people, including Ben Franklin who published Poor Richards Almanac that became very popular. That almanac included a number of wise sayings and jokes as well as other items of interest.
Others who were important figures in almanac publishing were Marion Barber Stowell, Timothy Feist, Robert Andrews, Benjamin Bates, Ezra Gleason and John Tobler.