[Boston. ca. 1805]. Letterpress broadside, 11 3/4 x 7 3/4 inches. "Boston" inscribed in ink after "Market," on recto. Manuscript receipt on verso, dated August 10, 1805 and signed by James Foster. Old folds, three-inch closed tear at left edge of center fold (no loss to text), moderate foxing. Very good. Item #WRCAM55532
Well-preserved broadside advertising James Foster's hardware store in two locations. Foster offers just about everything, from spoons, nails, a variety of cast iron goods, and hooks, to "windowblind hinges," "best English glue," "pewter and japanned wares" and even "English, Dutch and American gunpowder." Text at the bottom of the broadside notes that Foster is willing to barter his goods for "hollow ware, cut and wrought nails, scythes, hoes and shovels." The manuscript receipt on the verso, signed by Foster, lists "thumb latches" and "chest locks" among other items, with accounting in both pounds and shillings, and dollars and cents. While undoubtedly abundant at the time, advertising broadsides like these rarely survived unless they were pressed into service as receipts, as in this case. Foster is listed in the 1805 BOSTON DIRECTORY at his "no. 7, N. side market" address and in 1806 at the Ann Street address. We could find no copy listed in OCLC. A significant source of information on the selling - and buying - of goods in early 19th century Boston.