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Calendar for April 24th, 2014

Robert B. Thomas' Birthday

founder of The Old Farmer's Almanac. Born in Grafton, Massachusetts, nine years before the start of the American Revolution, Thomas was brought up on a farm in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. He was fascinated by science and at age 16 read Ferguson's Astronomy, which he came across in his father's library. He later wrote that "it was from the pleasing study of this work I first imbibed the idea of calculating an almanack." With this dream in mind, he became a bookseller, taught school, built a store and bindery near the family farm, and studied astronomy in his spare time. In early 1792, he went to Boston to study mathematics under the tutelage of another almanac maker, Osgood Carlton, and that fall delivered the copy for the first edition of what he called The Farmer's Almanac to printers Joseph Belknap and Thomas Hall. With its format and contents established, it was ready for the longest publishing tenure in American history. Although Thomas died more than 150 years ago and 12 Almanac editors have followed him, no other name but his has ever appeared on the cover of The Old Farmer's Almanac. See more about the history of The Old Farmer's Almanac.