Mercantile (50 collections) SCUA

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Parker, Alfred A.

Alfred A. Parker Daybooks, 1877-1889.

4 vols. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 235

Stove and tinware dealer from Orange, Massachusetts, who also did business in the nearby towns of New Salem and Erving.

Alfred A. Parker’s account books include customers (local residents and Orange businesses such as the Gold Medal Sewing Machine Co., the Orange Manufacturing Co., and the Rodney Hunt Machine Co.), charges for labor (especially soldering), the cost of stoves, pipe, kettles of various sorts, roofing material, and information about shipping costs.

Subjects

  • Freight and freightage--Rates--Massachusetts--History--19th century
  • Gold Medal Sewing Machine Company
  • Kettles--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--History--19th century
  • New Salem (Mass.)--History
  • Orange (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Orange Manufacturing Company (Orange, Mass.)
  • Pipe--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--History--19th century
  • Rodney Hunt Machine Company
  • Roofing--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--History--19th century
  • Solder and soldering--Costs--History--19th century
  • Stove industry and trade--Massachusetts--Orange--History--19th century
  • Stoves--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--History--19th century
  • Tinsmithing--Massachusetts--Orange--History--19th century
  • Tinsmiths--Massachusetts--Orange--Economic conditions--19th century

Contributors

  • Parker, Alfred A., b. 1822

Types of material

  • Account books
  • Daybooks

Parker, Amos, b. 1792

Amos Parker Account Book, 1827-1863.

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 211

Owner of a general store in Groveland, Massachusetts. Accounts include goods for sale (such as lumber and hardware) and the methods and form of payment (principally cash but also in exchange for labor or commodities like butter or eggs). Also documents Parker’s role in the burgeoning shoe industry exchanging and receiving shipments of shoes, and supplying local shoemakers with tools.

Subjects

  • Aaron P. Emerson Co. (Orland, Me.)
  • Barter--Massachusetts--Essex County--History--19th century
  • General stores--Massachusetts--Groveland
  • Hardware--Massachusetts--Essex County--History--19th century
  • Lumber trade--Massachusetts--Essex County--History--19th century
  • Merchants--Massachusetts--Essex County--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Shoe industry--Massachusetts--Essex County--History--19th century

Contributors

  • Parker, Amos, b. 1792

Types of material

  • Account books

Port of Dennis (Mass.)

Port of Dennis Enrollment Bonds Collection, 1889-1894.

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 290 bd

Bonds entered in application for a Certificate of Enrollment for commerce vessels at the port of Dennis in Barnstable, Massachusetts. Volume contains 200 bonds (80 of which are completed), that provide names of the managing owner(s), the name and weight of the vessel, the sum of the bond, and the master of the vessel, and document the commercial activities of some residents in the towns of Dennis, Yarmouth, and Harwich.

Subjects

  • Barnstable County (Mass.)--Commerce--History--19th century
  • Barnstable County (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Dennis (Mass. : Town)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Dennis (Mass.)--Commerce--History--19th century
  • Enrollments
  • Harwich (Mass.)--Commerce--History--19th century
  • Harwich (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Ship registers--Massachusetts--Barnstable County--History
  • Shipping--Massachusetts--Barnstable County--History--19th century
  • Yarmouth (Mass.)--Commerce--History--19th century
  • Yarmouth (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century

Putnam, William

William Putnam Papers, 1840-1886.

1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 014

For several decades in the mid-nineteenth century, William Putnam (1792-1877) and his family operated a general store in Wendell Depot, Massachusetts, situated strategically between the canal and the highway leading to Warwick. Serving an area that remains rural to the present day, Putnam dealt in a range of essential merchandise, trading in lumber and shingles, palm leaf, molasses and sugar, tea, tobacco, quills, dishes, cloth and ribbon, dried fish, crackers, and candy. At various times, he was authorized by the town Selectmen to sell “intoxicating liquors” (brandy, whiskey, and rum) for “Medicinal, chemical and mechanical purposes only,” and for a period, he served as postmaster for Wendell Depot.

The daybooks and correspondence of William Putnam record the daily transactions of an antebellum storekeeper in rural Wendell, Massachusetts. Offering a dense record of transactions from 1840-1847, the daybooks provide a chronological accounting of all sales and credits in the store, including barter with local residents of the community and with contractors for the new Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad. The last in the series of daybooks lists a surprisingly high percentage of Wendell’s residents (by name, in alphabetical order) who owed him money as of October 1846. The correspondence associated with the collection continues into the 1880s and provides relatively slender documentation of Putnam’s litigiousness, his financial difficulties after the Civil War, and the efforts of his son John William to continue the business.

Subjects

  • Barter--Massachusetts--Wendell
  • Consumer goods--Massachusetts--Wendell
  • Consumers--Massachusetts--Wendell
  • General stores--Massachusetts--Wendell
  • Liquor stores--Massachusetts--Wendell
  • Panama hat industry--Massachusetts--Wendell
  • Schools--Massachusetts--Wendell
  • Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad
  • Wendell (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Wendell (Mass.)--History--19th century

Contributors

  • Putnam, William

Types of material

  • Daybooks

Rankin, Joseph

Joseph Rankin Papers, 1842-1866.

1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 147

A craftsman and store-owner in Erving, Massachusetts during the mid-1800s, Joseph Rankin was unusually well-connected. He ordered salt from Boston, groceries from Hartford, and sold chairs in New York City and Chicago. Rankin’s store supplied the essentials: produce, hardware, news, and gossip. This collection contains receipts and correspondence. Receipts relate the character of business in small towns, while personal correspondence relays the affairs and activities of the individuals who make up these towns.

Subjects

  • Erving (Mass.)--History
  • Merchants--Massachusetts--Erving

Shearer, James

James Shearer Daybook, 1836-1838.

1 vol. (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 418 bd

During the late 1830s, James Shearer operated a general store near Palmer, Massachusetts, trading in the gamut of dry goods and commodities that made up the country trade in Massachusetts, from dried fish, butter, rum, and brandy, to soap, nails, chalk, cloth, sugar, molasses, spices, coffee, and tea. Although some customers paid their accounts in cash, most appear bartered goods (e.g, with butter) or services (carting).

The Shearer daybook contains detailed records the transactions of a general store located in or near Palmer, Mass., during the years surrounding the financial panic of 1837. The volume is attributed to Shearer based on a single signature on the last page of the volume, closing out a lengthy account with J. Sedgwick. Although Shearer cannot be identified with certainty, it appears likely that he was a member of the prolific Shearer family of Palmer in Hampden County.

Subjects

  • General stores--Massachusetts--Palmer
  • Palmer (Mass.)--History

Contributors

  • Shearer, James

Types of material

  • Daybooks

Shreve and Earl

Shreve and Earl Account Book, 1807-1809.

1 vol. (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 625 bd

In the first decade of the nineteenth century, the firm of Shreve and Earl operated in Burlington County, New Jersey, trading in a range of sundries from molasses, sugar, and butter to fabrics and spices. They also sold large quantities of liquor, suggesting that they may have operated as wholesalers of whiskey and spirits.

Kept in standard double column format, the Shreve and Earl account book documents two years of a fairly extensive retail operation, probably located in Burlington County, N.J. The principals in the business are possibly Alexander Shreve (1769-1854), husband of Mary H. Earl, and his son Joshua, along with Alexander’s brothers-in-law Thomas and Caleb Earl. Several accounts are notable for the relatively large quantities of alcohol recorded: of 33 entries for Reuben Gauntt, for example, 29 are for either whiskey or spirits and one for molasses and coffee.

Subjects

  • General stores--New Jersey
  • Liquor industry--New Jersey
  • New Hanover (N.J.)--Economic conditions--19th century

Contributors

  • Shreve and Earl
  • Shreve, Alexander, 1769-1854

Types of material

  • Account books

Smith, Lewis

Lewis Smith Account Book, 1784-1828.

3 folders (0.15 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 085 bd

Lewis Smith of South Hadley, Massachusetts kept a sporadic record of his business and personal credits and debits from 1784-1828. Smith ran a cider mill along a river, possibly the Connecticut. In his papers he mentions buying a part ownership in a sawmill in 1790. Smith also sold large amounts of hides, meat, tallow, lard, and soap, and he had a sizeable farm where he grew rye, barley, wheat, hay and raised cattle, pigs, and sheep.

Subjects

  • Farmers--Massachusetts--South Hadley
  • South Hadley (Mass.)--History

Types of material

  • Account books

Snow, Ephraim

Ephraim Snow Daybook, 1822-1878.

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 198 bd

This unique double entry daybook, dated 1822-1878, offers an intimate glimpse into the lively shipbuilding and whaling village of Mattapoisett as these industries peaked and begin to decline. The book chronicles the labor, poetry, drawings, and letters of Ephraim Snow, a true Jack of all trades, who performed multifarious repairs, odd jobs, carpentry, and ship finish work and took boarders in his home. Interspersed throughout the accounts are pen and ink drawings and romantic poetry and letters, often replete with social commentary.

Subjects

  • Mattapoisett (Mass.)--Social conditions

Contributors

  • Snow, Ephraim

Types of material

  • Pen drawing
  • Poems

Stone, John

John Stone Account Book, 1836-1842.

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 247 bd

John Stone appears to have been a storekeeper in North Dennis, Massachusetts in the 1830s and 1840s. He also dealt in lumber, wood products, and building materials.

This volume represents a number of miscellaneous accounts, and because there are no page numbers, the exact nature of the book is difficult to discern and information is difficult to extract. Starting at the front, a more or less complete list of the accounts includes: cost of loads of lumber, 1837-1840; accounts with individuals, 1837-1840; invoice of goods, 1839; bills not paid, 1840-1841.

Subjects

  • Lumber trade--Massachusetts--North Dennis
  • Merchants--Massachusetts--North Dennis
  • North Dennis (Mass.)--History

Types of material

  • Account books
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