Saturday, October 10, 2009

Living Life by a Vintage Calendar

I didn't know until a few years ago when I was printing a calendar page for a letterpress bundle, but there are only 14 different calendar grids. There is a great website called the Virtual Perpetual Calendar where you can look up which years are the same (click on the "Year Correlations" link).

In addition to going back as far as 1901, the year correlations are also posted for the next hundred years in the future, so if you want to make your own calendars it would also be a super resource.

Since then, I make a point to find an old calendar each year to use. I hang it in my laundry room, and it is kind of a whisper of perspective to the days: "the more things change, the more they stay the same".

This year's calendar is from 1959, and has an article about organizing the kitchen to make it easier to get brown bag lunches in the mornings. Some of the holidays are the same, but those determined by astronomical events such as phases of the moon are not, as the lunar calendar is not the same as the solar one. Some vintage calendars, like this one, also contain a lot of historical dates that aren't usually on today's calendars.

For next year, I've already bought the one I want to use. It is a 1937 advertising calendar hand-painted on a bamboo mat, made in Japan before WWII. The little calendar pad was intended to have each month torn away as it passed. To avoid that, I will find a bobby pin to clip
it up with.

Here are the calendars that correspond with 2010:
1999, 1993, 1982, 1971, 1965, 1954, 1943, 1937, 1926, 1915, 1909

While some vintage calendars can be expensive, there are so many different kinds that can still be had for a couple of dollars, especially the almanac type that drug stores still give out each year.

And that's another option, too: a current calendar put out by your pharmacy. I think the Cardui/Black Drought is still used by a lot of them.

The hunt is half the fun, so pick your favorite era and see what you find!

Update 12/31/09 for those who may be visiting from a link to the post found on Leslie's blog:
here's the latest about vintage calendars: Happy (Old) New Year! And thanks for stopping by, and I hope you'll come back again.

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