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Reading Gazette, public sales, baskets, alcohol, oysters, smoke house
A set of handwritten notes copied from the Reading Gazette, transcribed by Alfred L. Shoemaker, originally dated from March 23 to April 6, 1878. Within, excerpts from accounts of public sales detail a basket maker's wares, food and drink, and the cries of hucksters selling their products.
March 23, 1878 Gouglersville - public sale of Adam Lutz
After the stock of A. Lutz was sold, the attention of crier Levi Stetler was called to a shed to sell a load of baskets for Frederic Blumline, basket maker, where baskets of all kinds were sold holding from a pint to a bushel, from ladies’ sewing baskets to the large wash basket, varying in price from 8 to 60 cents.
March 23 Oley Valentine Hartman Sale
Women at sale: “There might have been one hundred of them scattered all over the premises, and towards the close of the sale they might be seen, accompanied by some young man, with a bundle in hand about the size of a peck measure, filled with peanuts, oranges, and pretzels."
As is usual, the so-called “fress gang” was on hand, and dinner lasted about four hours —one exhibited a patent burglar alarm lock for smoke houses.
March 30, 1878 Caernarvon
Sale. “The occasion was prefaced with a puppet show by a party from Reading, and concluded with a laughable farce entitled, “The Cider Party”, the former somewhat amusing, the latter very disgusting to the sober minded people of Chester.”
March 30, 1878 Marion Township-
“Eight huckster's stands were on the ground, and all kinds of drinks were to be had, from whiskey, beer and porter down to elderberry wine, and some were very drunk from it. One of the drunken men was dragged by two others about twenty yards into the work-house, where he lay like a dead man.”
April 6, 1878 Berkly
… Some of the hucksters offered twenty-five oysters for ten cents, while another would shout out, “do har for en halb bushel oyster soup for ten cents.”
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Shoemaker, Alfred L., "Notes on Public Sales From the Reading Gazette, 1878" (1950). Alfred L. Shoemaker Folk Cultural Documents. 144.
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