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"Bancroft's Agricultural Almanack...1826"
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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An almanac was a calendar, a diary, a weather station, and a magazine all rolled into one. Produced annually, almanacs were the most commonly owned books in the colonial period except for the Bible. Benjamin Franklin noted that his own Pennsylvania Almanac was enormously popular among "the common people, who bought scarcely any other books". Almanacs remained among the most common publications in the 19th century. The woodcuts and accompanying verses from this 1826 edition of Bancroft's Agricultural Almanack focused on the changing seasons and the agricultural tasks that accompanied them. Like many other almanacs, Bancroft's Almanack entertained readers with agricultural hints, pithy economic advice and amusing anecdotes. It listed when courts were in session, major roads and tolls, and stagecoach schedules. It also included a table for calculating interest on money loaned out at six per cent interest, as well as a chart for converting foreign currency into United States dollars and cents.
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