Poor Richard's Almanack

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Social Studies
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Poor Richard's Almanack

Poor Richard's Almanack

An almanac is an annual publication that includes information such as weather forecasts, farmers' planting dates, tide tables, and tabular information in a particular field or fields often arranged according to the calendar.

Poor Richard's Almanack was a yearly almanac published by Benjamin Franklin, who adopted the pseudonym of "Poor Richard" or "Richard Saunders" for this purpose. The publication appeared continually from 1732 to 1758. It was a best seller for a pamphlet published in the American colonies; print runs reached 10,000 per year.

Franklin achieved success with Poor Richard's Almanack. Almanacks were very popular books in colonial America, with people in the colonies using them for the mixture of seasonal weather forecasts, practical household hints, puzzles, and other amusements they offered. Poor Richard's Almanack was popular for all of these reasons, and also for its extensive use of wordplay, with many examples derived from the work surviving in the contemporary American vernacular.

Franklin began publishing Poor Richard's Almanack on December 28, 1732, and would go on to publish it for 25 years, bringing him much economic success and popularity. The almanack sold as many as 10,000 copies a year. In 1735, upon the death of Franklin's brother, James, Franklin sent 500 copies of Poor Richard's to his widow for free, so that she could make money selling them.


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