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American Hebrew Almanac, The.


[Judaica]. The American Hebrew Almanac. For 5654 A. M. From September 11, 1893, to October 1, 1894. H.M. Davis & Co, Proprietors. Cincinnati: Earhart & Richardson, 1893.
8vo.; pages evenly browned, stapled; tan wrappers, loose at spine, chipping to all edges, especially spine and top rear tip.
First edition of what is, ostensibly, an advertising vehicle; the plates for the calendars were "furnished by the Bloch Publishing and Printing Co., the oldest Jewish printing house in the United States." The calendar is in both Hebrew and English, but much of the balance of the almanac is distinctively American rather than distinctively Jewish. The recipes section gives instructions for "cold slaw," "green pepper catsup," and "pickled watermelon rind" among other native delicacies. A few of the articles are directed towards a Jewish readership, but the humorous selections and reprints from newspapers are aimed at a broader audience. The editors took great pleasure in reprinting such dubiously witty puns as: "The bearded fugitive from justice often manages to escape by a close shave."
The true purpose of this almanac is, of course, as a vehicle for advertisements: for medical tonics, railroad lines, cutlery, beer, and all the other necessities of life. The introductory note "To Our Patrons" is obviously meant for potential advertisers: "The American Hebrew Almanac has a circulation many times greater than any similar publication, and its subscribers and readers are the best educated and most refined." A charming, turn-of-the-century example of the integration of Jewish concerns and flavors into general American life.

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