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Old Almanac was an interesting find

I enjoy reading old newspapers, magazines and books. I like to see how things have changed since those publications were originally printed. I have several of them including a copy of the March 1938 issue of the Reader’s Digest. That magazine is of interest to me since it is the year and month of my birth. As I’ve said a number of times in this column, I find old car advertisements to be very interesting. But in this column I will not write about cars. From what some folks tell me, they like me to include discussions of old cars, but others tell me they are not that interested in old car ads.
The nays prevail at this time. Instead of old automobile ads, I want to concentrate on some ads from an old Blum’s Farmer’s and Planter’s Almanac for the year 1937 that I found while looking through my books and magazines recently.
The almanac was priced 10 cents and you could get one sent to you by mail for 15 cents. Ten cents had a lot more value then than now, and I believe the almanac was a bargain, considering that it had a lot of interesting reading including many jokes, stories and antidotes. Of course, many rural folks enjoyed perusing the almanac as it gave insight to better methods of raising crops and livestock. The Signs of the Zodiac were included and were thought by many then and some today to be ideal times to plant, sow etc. There were also many helpful hints in the almanac.
But the advertising is what interested me most as I looked at the almanac. A full-page ad featured a music course. “Over 700,000 People have studied music this easy way,” says the ad in large type. Another full page says, “Man and Wife-Wanted at Once To Run Local Coffee Agency.” The ad goes on to say, “It’s a splendid chance to earn $60 in a week.” A half page ad promises “Pain Relief — Used For Over 56 Years For Muscular Aches and Pains, Sprains and Bruises.” One page ad deals with selling garden seeds to collect prizes. Prizes varied from wristwatches to guitars to violins to full size leather basketballs. Selling various amounts of packets of seed was required to win the prizes. I remember when Green Stamps were saved for prizes. As I recall there were other stamps that were saved for prizes as well
The ads in the almanac are interesting, but so are a number of jokes and helpful hints that are sprinkled through the pages of the publication.
One helpful hint says when two glasses become wedged together, place coldwater in the upper one and set the lower one in warm water. They will separate with little effort. Another one advises to glue a paper plate to the bottom of the paint can when doing touch-up work that keeps paint from spilling on the floor and also is a place to lay the brush.
I’ll share a joke from the almanac to end this column. It seems a customer complained: “I ordered chicken soup and there’s not a bit of chicken in it. The waiter explained. Sir, we are just being consistent. We also have cottage cheese on the menu, but there are no cottages in it.