Born at Ancram, N.Y., the merchant Benjamin Hoag (1865-1932) lived most of his life in Stephentown, N.Y., near the Massachusetts border. In 1900, he was listed as a dealer in bicycles, but by 1910, he was operating a broader retail trade in dry goods and grains. At the same time, he conducted a thriving trade in ornithological and oological supplies, announcing in journals such as The Oologist that he sold “books, periodicals, tools, supplies, eggs” as well as “fine line fish tackle and rods.” He also appears to have run a magazine subscription agency, offering everything from the Saturday Evening Post and Good Housekeeping to professional journals such as the Condor Magazine.
The Hoag collection consists of 1,345 letters, mostly incoming, and over 800 pieces receipts, ephemeral items, and other documents, relating to both Hoag’s oological and magazine businesses. Concentrated between 1901 and 1914, the collection offers a rich documentation of the oological trade in the years shortly before it was outlawed in 1918.
- Egg trade--New York (State)