1892 · Union, New York
by Truesdale Dry Goods (Morris Truesdale)
Union, New York, 1892. Softcover. Good. Dates: 1892-1901. Plain brown leather portfolio. 52 printed receipts with manuscript entries and totals, recto only. Receipts: ca. 8.5" x 5.5" -- Portfolio: 32.5" x 8.5" unrolled; 4" x 8.5" rolled. Leather exterior worn and occasionally ink stained; all receipts folded in three, with varying degrees of toning and customer's name written in ink to the exposed panel of the verso; several receipts brittle/fragile at fold lines, some with splits and/or separations. Each receipt is preserved in a mylar sleeve, the entire portfolio housed in a fitted cloth case. ALMOST MEDIEVAL IN CONSTRUCTION AND CONCEPTION, THIS IS A RARE 19TH-CENTURY RELIC, BEING A LEATHER ACCOUNTING AND RECEIPT PORTFOLIO BELONGING TO A KNOWN DRY GOODS STORE ACTIVE IN UPSTATE NEW YORK. The present artifact, the only one of its kind that we've ever handled, or even seen, is a handmade receipt portfolio fashioned from a piece of plain leather, with a thin belt of leather extending down the center of the interior to hold in the receipts. The center belt is sewn at one end and safety pinned at the other, with alphabetical divisions lettered in ink (a slot for "AB," "CD," "EFG," etc.) and demarcated by thin strips of leather sewn perpendicularly across the center belt. Receipts bearing the customers' last names on the versos have been filed in their appropriate slots.
¶ Truesdale & Co. of Union, New York, was a purveyor of boots, shoes, rubbers, hats and caps, and "choice" family groceries. Our research indicates that the shop was owned by Morris Truesdale, a shoemaker who subsequently managed a shoe factory in said town. The receipts in the present portfolio often list a combination of dry goods (sugar, rice, tea, molasses, etc.), boots and/or shoes, clothing (shirts, overalls), fabric, and more. Most of the receipts appear to have been compiled over the course of at least several months. All items listed are carefully priced and tallied. We find no other portfolios of this kind, either on the market or in reference sources available to us (printed and online). Only a single business record, dated 1894, has been located for M. Truesdale.
(Inventory #: 2290)