When you think of an almanac, I’ll bet tradition comes to mind. In the early days of this country, there were many almanac titles. In the late 1700s the term “farmers” was carried by many almanacs just as there are any number of “Times”, “Gazette”, etc. that go along with newspaper names. From time to time, I get questions regarding the value of an “old almanac”. Here is one:
I happened to run across a old American Farm Home Almanac . On the front of it, it say (The American Farm & Home Almanac for the year of or Lord 1966) My question is could you please point me in the right way to find out how much is it worth? My plans are I would put the money towards my two grandchildren college funds. I also ran across a 1909 Cosmopolitan magazine. If you would know who would be interested in one or the other or both could you please call me or e-mail me? Thank you so much.
Because almanacs were useful reference books for homes, it is not uncommon to come across “old” copies. Many times a family finds a box of almanacs in an attic and wonders about their value. The good news is that old almanacs are fun to read. They capture the humor, interests and needs of the time. The almanacs from the 1800s were printed on a paper with a high rag content and are in better condition then those from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. The bad news is that there were so many almanac titles and so many copies saved, that they are not as valuable as one might expect. Certainly, a Poor Richard’s Almanac (Ben Franklin) might have value but almanacs are not as valuable as one might expect. Again, much like a coin, it depends on the year and condition.
Ray Geiger published the American Farm and Home Almanac (AF&H) from 1966 through 1994. In those years his Farmers’ Almanac was only available through businesses who distributed copies to customers and friends. The AF&H Almanac was referred to as “a second helping of a good thing” by Ray and available only in retail stores. In 1995 we started a retail Farmers’ Almanac to go hand in hand with the promotional edition so many businesses distribute.
So, a 1966 AF& H Almanac is old but not in the sense that it has value. To fully appreciate the value of an almanac, it has to be seen. My advice is to go to a used book store or antique dealer who specializes in publications. Both can be found in the Yellow Pages. Whether it is a 1909 Cosmopolitan Magazine or 1996 American Farm & Home Almanac, they can asses the value, if any. You can also look on eBay and enter “almanac”, that might offer insights into the value of past editions.
Maine is referred to as “Vacationland”. The Farmers’ Almanac (Geiger Bros.) is located at exit 80 of the Maine Turnpike. We have a file with hundreds of old almanacs and publications. If you are visiting our state and would like to stop in for a peak at historical almanacs, call my office at 207-755-2246.