Poor Richard Improved


Poor Richard Improved: Being an Almanack and Ephemeris … for the Year of Our Lord 1749: … Fitted to the Latitude of Forty Degrees, and a Meridian of Near Five Hours West from London: But May, Without Sensible Error, Serve All the Northern Colonies (Philadelphia: Printed and sold by B. Franklin, and D. Hall, [1748]). Graphic Arts (GAX) Hamilton 27.


“In 1732 I first published my Almanack, under the name of Richard Saunders; it was continu’d by me about 25 Years, commonly call’d Poor Richard’s Almanack. I endeavor’d to make it both entertaining and useful, and it accordingly came to be in such Demand that I reap’d considerable Profit from it, vending annually near ten Thousand… . I consider’d it as a proper Vehicle for conveying Instruction among the common People, who bought scarcely any other Books. I therefore filled all the little Spaces that occur’d between the Remarkable Days in the Calendar, with Proverbial Sentences, chiefly such as inculcated Industry and Frugality, as the Means of procuring Wealth and thereby securing Virtue, it being more difficult for a Man in Want to act always honestly, as (to use here one of those Proverbs) it is hard for an empty Sack to stand upright.”—Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), Autobiography

This issue of Poor Richard Improved is the first to contain woodcuts showing the astrological symbols and occupations of the months.