Almanacs were extremely popular books in the farming community, largely because of their weather predictions. Farmers would use these predictions to help plan the planting season.
Families expected their children to receive a practical education in school during the mid-nineteenth century. School lessons focused on what students would need to know to successfully practice a trade or run a farm.
This arithmetic book teaches students basic math, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It also includes lessons on how to count money, make change, and barter, as well as how to keep account books and ledgers.
During school, pupils practiced reading from books called readers. Readers often contained short stories to read and recite. Spelling and vocabulary words, as well as questions to answer about the story, often followed a reading.
Many of the stories in readers reflected the lives that students led. One of the lessons in Cobb’s New Juvenile Reader No. III is about a farmer’s son and the son of a widow. The story also reflects the fact that families had to pay to send their children to school. If a family could not afford school, a child did not attend.
Music has always been an important part of the Methodist church service. During the mid-nineteenth century, people brought their own hymnals to church with them. Hymnals were often small enough to fit inside a pocket but were very expensive books. Because of their expense and important place in the church service, people often gave and received hymnals as gifts. The modern Methodist Church service still includes the singing of hymns. Most people now use hymnals provided by the church rather than bringing their own.
The Pharmacopoeia of the United States of America, was first published in 1820, in both Latin and English. The Pharmacopoeia listed chemicals, metals, plants, and other ingredients for medicinal use. It provided recipes for mixing medicines and became the national standard in pharmaceuticals. The Pharmacopoeia underwent many revisions throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Today, the United States Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary contain standards for strength, purity, packaging, and labeling of medicines in the United States.
A Practical Treatise on Breeding, Rearing, and Fattening All Kinds of Domestic Poultry, by Bonington Moubray, esq. (John Lawrence). 8th Edition. London: Printed for Sherwood, Gilbert, and Piper, 1842.
Throughout the nineteenth century, many different guides were published for farmers about new methods of raising animals and crops. This one, printed in 1842, focuses on chickens and other types of poultry.