Barker's Illustrated Almanac (1912)
Almanacs are books published annually that can contain a host of useful information including a calendar of holy days, holidays, farmer's planting dates, weather forecasts, astronomical data and various statistics. The times of the sunrise and sunset as well as tide charts can also be included. Almanacs, in various forms, have been in existence for hundreds of years. It has been stated in the Encyclopedia of Ephemera that the first printed almanac was published in Vienna in 1457 and the Almanack Calculated for New England - the first American almanac was published in 1639 in Cambridge Massachusetts. The Old Farmer's Almanac has been published since 1792, making it the oldest continuously published periodical in North America
According to ABC for Book Collectors (an invaluable source for any book lover) an almanac is: "[c]alendar[s], usually in pocket-book (more rarely sheet) form, augmented with Saints’ days, fair-dates and astronomical and meteorological data; a bestseller from the start and protected by jealously guarded patents, the different titles [were especially] hot rivals in the 17th century...."
The most famous early American almanacs were published by none other than the founding father of the United States - Benjamin Franklin under his pen name of Richard Saunders. The publication, known as Poor Richard's Almanack appeared continually from 1732 to 1758. This particular almanac contained various topics including poems, weather predictions, calendars and astrological information.
One of the most common almanacs that is still familiar in current times, is the Farmers' Almanac - an annual North American publication that has been continuously published since 1818. The Farmers' Almanac is famous for its long-range weather predictions and astronomical data. Weather forecasting has always been the main focus of the almanac and the method used to make its predictions are considered top secret. The identity of the weather forcaster is also closely guarded and is referred to by the pseudonym Caleb Weatherbee.