W.A. Currier Daybooks

Overview: Located at 14 and 16 Main Street in Haverhill, Mass., W.A. Currier dealt in kitchen goods, home furnishings, and stoves around the time of the Civil War. His trade seems to have been diverse and dynamic: in the Haverhill city directory for 1865, he is recorded variously as a furniture seller, junk dealer, and carriage maker, while two years later, he is listed at the same address under stoves and tinware.

Covering the immediate post-Civil War years, Currier's daybooks document customers, items purchased, prices paid, and transactions relating to the trade in home goods, stoves, and rags.

See similar SCUA collections:

Massachusetts (East)
Mercantile

Background on W. A. Currier

Located at 14 and 16 Main Street in Haverhill, Mass., W.A. Currier operated a concern selling kitchen and home furnishings and stoves around the time of the Civil War. Although stoves and tinware were at the center of his activity, his trade seems to have been diverse and dynamic: in the Haverhill city directory for 1865, he is listed variously as a furniture seller and as a junk dealer and carriage maker, while two years later, he is listed under stoves and tinware, while listed at the same address.

Contents of Collection

William A. Currier's daybooks document the activities of a mid-19th-century merchant in Haverhill, Mass. At least some of the trade recorded in this volume appears to have consisted of high volume transactions with contractors, based on the volume and frequency of purchases. On September 16, 1865, for instance, Peter Gildea purchased $152 worth of brushes, brooms, lamps, trowels, baskets, and door stoppers, while three days later he charged another $178 worth of paint, trays, brushes, and other goods. Other regular customers included George Adams, Samuel Griffin, W.P. Stacy, and J.W. O'Brine (of Newburyport), all making large purchases. There is also a steady stream of customers making more limited purchases.

One of Currier's specialties was stoves, which he sold and repaired regularly. He routinely purchased old stoves to repair and resell, and he did a fairly substantial trade in old rags. On July 9, 1866, for example, he purchased 1,400 pounds of rags from J.W. O'Brine, just a month after purchasing 2,800 pounds from another customer. Currier also made much smaller purchases of rags from local customers. The rags, in turn, he sold to O. Kimball and W.F. Daniels in large shipments, although it is not known for what purpose.

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English

Bibliography

See: W. A. Currier, Catalog of W. A. Currier's Kitchen, House Furnishing, and Stove Warehouse. Haverhill, Mass. : Eben H. Safford, ca.1861.

Related material

Another account book of Currier's (1865-19866) is located in the Winterthur Library (Folio 111).

Provenance

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987.

Processing Information

Processed by Ken Fones-Wolf, Sept. 1988, and I. Eliot Wentworth, July 2017.

Acknowledgments

Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: William A. Currier Daybooks (MS 213). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Hardware stores--Massachusetts--Haverhill--19th century
  • Haverhill (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Rags--Prices--Massachusetts--Haverhill--19th century
  • Stove industry and trade--Massachusetts--Haverhill--19th century
  • Stoves--Repairing--Massachusetts--Haverhill--19th century
  • Tinsmiths--Massachusetts--Haverhill--19th century

Link to similar SCUA collections

Names

  • Adams, George
  • Currier, William A.
  • Daniels, W. F.
  • Gildea, Peter
  • Griffin, Samuel
  • Kimball, O.
  • O'Brine, J. W.
  • Stacy, W. P.

Genre terms

  • Account books