Sunday, April 27, 2008

Benjamin Franklin - Poor Richard's Almanac

I passed the local antique markets (held every Sunday) on my way to the supermarket, and today I was on my own. My son hates going into the markets because
1 - it is noisy and dusty and that bothers him,
and 2 - he hates waiting while I look for and at books, hoping to find a bargain.

Today I just had to stop in. I was on my own, and this would be a tragedy if I passed by. Besides, I am addicted, you all know what that's like.

So I found a small booklet (or brochure maybe) of Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richards Almanac. Only a selection mind you, but still - I like Benjamin Franklin. He was the true American Renaissance Man. It cost me $15.

This booklet has a brown cloth cover with a gold stamped title. It was printed by Barse and Hopkins in New York. There is no date BUT there is a small stamp at the back of the book that says "Pat D March 6, 1910 (thanks to a very strong magnifying glass).

I'm trying to work out the size designation.

This booklet has 17 leaves or 34 pages. Pages 11 to 14 are NOT cut, therev is a portrait of franklin with tissue protection. I'm thinking that the correct pages should be 16 leaves & 32 pages. But there is one page that is smaller than the rest. It looks like it may have been inserted at the last minute.

7 inches x 4 1/4 inches (cover)
18cm x 10 3/4 cm
6 3/4 inches x 4 inches (inside)


20 by 25 sixteenmo 4 16 (leaves) 32 (pages) 6¼ by 5

18 by 23 sixteenmo 4 16 (leaves) 32(pages) 5¾ by 4½

So which one is it? If you can leave a comments (or email me)and say what size you think my booklet is, I would appreciate it.

The selections from Poor Richard's Almanac, include the following.

Preface for 1736
Enigmatical Prophecies 1736
The Explanation 1737
Necessary Hints 1737
Preface by Mistress Saunders 1738
Preface for 1747
1756 (on page 12 - unable to read title)
The Way to Wealth 1758 (pages 14 to 26)


Anonymous said...

I discovered a copy of the book you mention years ago. However, I cannot locate the 1910 date. Exactly where was it located? Have you found out more about your book? I have always been curious about the little book but have just recently tried to research its origins and worth.

Anonymous said...

I have the very same book but mine too has no stamp at the back. Page 12 is titled
PLAN FOR SAVING ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS. [1756] The entire book is readable with only a small bit of water stain and roughness to the bottom subjected to the shelf. There is a very small stamp inside the front cover from F. Loeser & Co. Brooklyn Book Store