Poor Richard's Almanack

Poor Richard's AlmanackPoor Richard's Almanack

Almanacs generally contain a calendar of the days, weeks and months of the year, astronomical and climatological information, as well as suggestions for farmers throughout the seasons. Rising and setting times for the sun and the moon, moon phases, planetary information, tide schedules, holidays, and even medicinial remedies are typically included in an almanac as well. Perhaps you are familiar with The Old Farmer’s Almanac? It is still published every year!

Under his pseudonym “Poor Richard” or “Richard Saunders”, Ben Franklin published Poor Richard’s Almanack annually from 1732 until 1757. Since almanacs were very popular in colonial times, Ben Franklin felt it was his duty to educate the public. In fact, it was common for the almanac to often be the only publication a person ever purchased. Poor Richard’s Almanack sold as many as 10,000 issues per year. Most notably, Poor Richard’s Almanack is memorable for Ben Franklin’s aphorisms and proverbs emphasizing frugality, good sense and hard work. You can view some scanned pages from original Poor Richard’s Alamanacs here.

“Take counsel in wine, but resolve afterwards in water.”
“Beware of little expenses: a small leak will sink a great ship.”
“Be always ashamed to catch thyself idle.”
-Benjamin Franklin


I wonder how these were printed (silk screen, offset?) and what type of paper was used.

I always wondered why he used the pseudonym Richard Saunders...

And now I wonder if the bit in Winne the Pooh about Pooh Bear living "under the name of Saunders" is a reference...