Difference Between The Old Farmer's Almanac and Other Almanacs

The Legacy of The Old Farmer's Almanac

August 16, 2016
America's #1 Almanac

You can recognize The Old Farmer’s Almanac by the yellow cover and the large red digits in the center indicating the year of publication. The cover is essentially unchanged since the 1850s.

How Is This Almanac Different from Other Almanacs?

When this Almanac was first published by Robert B. Thomas in Massachusetts in 1792, there were other almanacs—there always have been a few farmer’s almanacs published. Most were regional publications, selling in local areas and reporting on local items (court dates, rates of postage, distance between towns, and the like).

When this Almanac was founded, we had an agrarian society; that is, everyone grew their own food (there were no groceries as well stocked as we have today). People needed and looked for advice on maintaining farms and fields, planting, tending, and harvesting as well as, weather. Astronomy was long an interest of people of that day (they had no TVs or radio to amuse themselves in the evenings); they wanted to know the time of the sun rise and set, the Moon phases, when high tide would be, and the like. They wanted recipes for their garden produce, as were general interest news and amusing stories—all of which were found in our Almanac.

Other almanacs provided similar information—and still do. But ours provided information that was “new, useful, and entertaining” and so survived to become the oldest continuously published periodical in North America. In the 1848, it officially became the OLD Farmer’s Almanac.

Why Has the Almanac Survived Since 1792?

We estimate that our Almanac has survived and thrived all these years because we have maintained Robert B. Thomas’s mission: “to be useful with a pleasant degree of humor.” That, plus a high degree of accuracy in all of the content (from the weather to astronomy to the historical features to the astrology and more) plus a little bit of luck has no doubt made this the most popular Almanac for years.

By the way, there is a full set of this Almanac in the Smithsonian Institution. No other farmer’s almanac can claim that honor.

Learn more about the history of The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Watch The Old Farmer’s Almanac Documentary.

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Weather for January

This has been the coldest snowiest year that I can remember for many, many years- it is the consistency of the freezing cold for weeks on end with no breaks - I do hope your mild spell predicted for southern Ontario in January comes thru. The worst part is you can not go for walks and your body stiffens up. Be kind to us soon. Your northern cousins wishing you a happy new year.

The Farmers' Almanac

I really don't see that much difference between the two except when they were published. I really don't rely on them at all because the weather has changed alot since the time that they were published.
I usually rely on the "The Weather Channel".

Almanac for city folk?

There is a city folk version. What's the difference?

The Old Farmer's Almanac

The Editors's picture

Hi Danica, Thanks for asking! There have been many different kinds of almanacs over the years—writers’ almanacs, regional farming almanacs, and newfangled almanacs.  We can only speak to this almanac. The Old Farmer’s Almanac is the oldest still published almanac and the best-selling almanac across North America.  It’s got a yellow cover and this year it’s 225 years young!  We only publish one almanac though it comes in hardcover, paperback, or digital editions as you can see here: https://store.almanac.com/store/almanacs   
With all good wishes, your OFA editors

Please create a Facebook

Please create a Facebook page. Your fans are getting confused, because the other "Farmers Almanac" is getting all of the viewings!

I try to tell people which one they should use, but without a FB page with updates, you are losing them!

a Lifelong fan from New England

Hi, Pamela, We appreciate the

The Editors's picture

Hi, Pamela, We appreciate the kind words! We do have a Facebook page for The Old Farmer's Almanac which is here: 
We ramped up this page just a few years ago and there are now over 800,000 fans at the time of this writing! However, as you said, it's easy for people to confused, and many folks who think they're on our Facebook page are actually on another almanac's page. 
If you have any other suggestions of how to spread the news that The Old Farmer's Almanac Facebook page is live and well, your feedback is always welcome. We just have a button at the top of our Web site to our social media pages and in our e-newsletters.
Thank you again for taking the time out of your day to share these supportive words. It takes a community! 

We hope you enjoy the Facebook page! For us, it's great to be able to interact with Almanac readers.
With all good wishes,
Your Almanac editors