a Collection of Pages from French and German Popular Almanachs and Calendars
Almanachs and Calendars
Almanachs have long been popular publication, containing not only calendars and agricultural advice, but also practical advise on many matters both scientific and mechanical as well as cultural and historical. By the time of the Great War, when almost universal litteracy was existant in the countries of Western Europe, such cheap and handy little publications were very popular indeed. They might be purchased for a relatively cheap price or even handed out by large establishments or department stores as promotional items. Some were amazingly large, containing prodigious amounts of text and information. By 1914 they were also profusely illustrated, with either old-fashioned etchings, sometimes even in color, or else newer style photographs gracing their many pages.
Here we give examples of 4 war-time almanachs, three French and one German edited for the occupied northern territories of France. Since almanachs generally contain a large amount of pages, printing lead time can be quite long. Most almanachs are also on sale long before the advent of the year for which they are intended, the autumn being the generally accepted time of the year for their appearance. This meant that when war broke out in August of 1914, most almanachs were probably already completed and ready for printing, if not already at the presses. There was little time to type-set new editions, especially with the man-power shortage created by the mobilization of national armies. So by and large, 1915 editions were still relatively un-warlike in their contents.
By 1916 however things had gotten into stride, with French almanachs for instance containing virtually nothing but war-related material. A German edition, in the French language for distribution by the occupation newspaper 'Gazette des Ardennes' shows far less martial sentiments, instead it is replete with traditional and uninspiring rustic scenes of landscapes and village views.
Conversely, publishers being unprepared for war in 1915, they were equally unprepared for peace in 1919. Consequently even in the 1920's, almanachs still contained much war-related material, even if only to extoll the glorious victory of the Allies.
to a Gallery of Pages from 'l'Almanach Hachette 1915'
to a Gallery of Pages from 'l'Almanach Populaire 1916'
to a Gallery of Pages from 'l'Almanach du Courrier du Centre 1920'
to a Gallery of Pages from 'l'Almanach Illustrée 1918'
to a gallery of Pages from 'der Deutsche Kriegskalender 1915'
to a Gallery of pages from 'Illustriertes Jahrbuch - Kalender fur das Jahr 1915'
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