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Calendars were first used in the Bronze Age to track time based on solar and lunar events. Many different calendar systems were devised depending on the location and religion of the culture. Calendars from northern climates emphasized the change in seasons, while calendars from warmer regions tended to rely on the phases of the moon and regular weather events.

Our modern day calendar has its roots in the Roman calendar, also called the Julian calendar. This calendar, mandated by Julius Caesar, did not rely on lunar events but on the solar year of 365 days and 6 hours. Every fourth year was made 366 days to cover the 6 hours. By 1582, the Julian calendar had fallen about a week behind the solar year, so it was revised in 1582 under the order of Pope Gregory the XIII. The Gregorian calendar is the calendar standard that we use today.

The most collectible vintage calendars available today sport colorful advertising, with popular brand names like Coca-Cola or Winchester. Calendars with beautiful illustrations or photos of celebrities also tend to be desired by collectors. Mechanical desktop calendars and perpetual calendars are also sought by collectors.

Quick Facts

  • The first "calendar girl" appeared on a 1904 calendar published by Brown & Bigelow of Minneapolis. The art on the calendar was titled "Colette" and was painted by artist Angelo Asti
  • In general, our modern Gregorian calendar repeats itself every 28 years. For the year 2016, a vintage calendar collector could display a calendar from 1988, 1960, or 1932
  • The exclusive Pirelli calendar, produced by the UK subsidiary of Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli, first appeared in 1964. It was published until 1974 and then disappeared for nine years due to the world oil crisis and recession. The calendar reappeared in 1984 and continues to feature the world’s top models and photographers

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