Robert B. Thomas was born in what has become West Boylston, MA in 1766. His father had come from Wales and possessed a substantial library. Influenced by his father he first became a school teacher before moving to Boston and entering the book selling business. In 1790 he took a course in Mathematics from from the Almanac Editor, Carlton Osgood who lived in Nottingham, NH. He later convinced Osgood to do the calculations for his almanac.
Thomas was the Editor of the Old Farmer's Almanac for 56 years. During that time he put his stamp of influence forever upon that publication. An influence which later editors Robb Sagendorph, Judson Hale, and John B. Pierce have tried hard to maintain.