Brookline Hawker

Sale of Lithograph? Very Doubtful

Freeman Richardson, Canvassing Book, 1864 (504924).

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This canvassing book records artist Freeman Richardson’s efforts at selling his lithograph, Environs of Boston, From Cory’s Hill, Brookline, Mass. (1864) in the Brookline and Longwood areas of Boston.  In the volume he writes the names and addresses of the businesses and residences visited.  He records the outcome of the visit, indicating “Will not – Very doubtful,” “May when done,” “May conclude” or “See again See not to see.”  He also includes a column for notes, such as “May by and by,” “Can’t afford,” “Gone to war,” and “Dead.”  It appears Richardson had some luck selling his lithograph, with less than half the entries listed as “Will not – Very doubtful.”  Like the many salesman sample books in AAS’s collections, this canvassing book is an excellent example of the way printed material was advertised, sold and bought in the 19th century.

Adopted by Elizabeth Watts Pope

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