As we reorganize our collection of almanacs with the help of our student volunteer, Angela, I thought I share with you one of these gems. Today I present to you The Lady's Almanac. This almanac series was first published in 1854. From the preface of the 1854 edition, "The first number of the Lady's Almanac is presented to the notice of its patrons, in the hope that it will win their approval, and thereby commence a career of long continued usefulness." It was published in Boston by John P. Jewett and in Cleveland by Jewett, Proctor and Worthington and its writers and contributors were William S. Damrell, Francis C. Moore, and George Coolidge. It continued to be published for 25 years.
The following is a description of the 1854 edition. This is a small book of 12 cm. embossed in gold on both the cloth cover and spine and has gilt edges. The endpapers are blue with gold printing. It is the perfect size for a lady to carry in her pocket or reticule. The endpapers are advertisements for cutlery, hardware, booksellers, children's clothing, paper hanging, and ornamental needlework. Each month of 1854 begins with an engraving of flowers. Those on the January page are Christmas Rose, Japan Quince, Chrysanthemum, Cape Aster, Sweet Violet and Chinese Primrose. A Memorandum page is provided for each month. Brief biographies of prominent women are included in this edition. Listed are Mrs. Anna Cora Mowatt, Frances Sargent Osgood, Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, and others. An engraving of each woman precedes her biography.
A feature article titled "Employment for Women: Schools of Design" is included together with poetry, medical advice, advice on manners, and receipts. One receipt is for "Any Day Pudding: Butter slices of bread, place a layer of apple in the bottom of the dish; alternate bread and apple, and spice; bake fifteen minutes. Serve with syrup." Another receipt is not for food: "Red ants may be destroyed by wetting with corrosive sublimate with a feather the cracks from which they issue, or placing sprigs of green sage where they come." The final pages of this book list poisons, their symptoms, and their antidotes. As the preface said, this was a very useful book.