Weather predictions and your questions answered from the 1937 Dr. Morse's Alamanac and Weather Forecaster.

Almanacs are annual publications distributed free of charge to customers by drugstores and other retailers. Published by drug companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and other businesses, these small booklets, included reference information about weather forecasts, planting dates for farmers, health advice, and horoscopes. The pamphlets also usually featured entertainment in the form of stories, cartoons, and images.

Almanacs’ primary purpose, however, was to promote the sale of drugs and medicines—especially proprietary remedies or patent medicines. Almanacs typically contained plentiful advertisements touting the curative powers of various products and numerous exaggerated testimonials from satisfied customers. The back cover typically provided space for advertisements from the local drugstore, pharmacy, or business that distributed the alamacs to its customers.

Almanacs also typically included calendars and other helpful reference information.

The manufacturers of many patent medicines and proprietary medicines relied on almanacs to spread the word about their products. Since many of these companies commonly used Native/Indigenous imagery and iconography to emphasize the natural healing powers of the medicinal plants in their products, almanacs commonly included stylized and stereotypical images of Native Americans on their covers, back covers, and throughout the publications. 

The almanacs on this page—published between the 1890s and 1960s—demonstrate the persistent popularity of Native American imagery for advertising consumer drugs products.

Explore more almanac covers by clicking on the images in the carousel below