This and That
19th Century Advertisements
Medieval Historical Backgrounds
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1833 Classified Ads: Other Sales and Notices
Since horses provided basic transportation it is not surprising that they dominated the "for sale" ads much as automobiles do today. The carriages they often pulled were also frequently mentioned. The October 1, 1833 Times had a whole long column of horses and carriages for sale or at auction, with Mr. Robinson of Little Britain being the auctioneer with the most notices. Most of the ads do not contain prices, but those that do give an idea of how valuable these animals were:
TO be SOLD, a strong BAY COB, nearly 14 hands high, 8 years old, quiet in harness and to ride. Warranted sound. The property of a gentleman having no further use for him. Price 15 guineas. To be seen at Daniel Wheeler's Black Horse livery stables, Bartholomew-close, West Smithfield.
THE PROPERTY OF A PROFESSIONAL GENTLEMAN--To be disposed of, two nearly thorough bred MARES, quiet to ride and in harness, good hacks, quite sound, and 6 years old; price 25 and 35 guineas. Also a Bay Gelding, Tilbury, and Harness (the Tilbury built a few months hence); price 60 guineas. To be seen at the Swan, High-street, Whitechapel. The hostler has the owner's card, and instructions to show them. [There are other notices directing one to the Swan, or White Swan, on High Street, so it appeared to have a little business acting as intermediary in such sales.]
a BEAUTIFUL DARK GRAY STANHOPE or TILBURY HORSE, 15 hands high, sound and well seasoned, 6 years old, very fast and grand in his paces. Price 50 guineas, worth 70. A handsome gray hunting mare, 15 hands high, rising 6 years old, only 35 pounds. An excellent Stanhope, with patent mail axle, new lamps, etc. 30 pounds. A plated harness, almost new, may be had. The above are the property of a gentleman. To be seen until Saturday next, at Wilson's, Leaping-bar stables, over Blackfriars bridge.
There were other items for sale in the Oct. 1 advertisements. Beaver hats could be had at 18 shillings each, reams of paper for 11 to 20 shillings, depending on the quality, ales and ciders and, of course, tea. Also patent medicines with "testimonials" of guaranteed effectiveness, and Brussels carpets from 2s to 4s a yard depending upon quality.
A notice by the General Cemetery on Harrow Road listed the fees for internment, beginning at one and half pounds for single, simple internment, going to 6 pounds for burial in a catacomb, and onwards to 15 pounds for the land to build a private vault or "brick grave." The notice also pointed out that a cemetery with consecrated ground was now also open for the burial of those persons "dissenting from the Church of England."
New inventions were for sale as well. This one, for example:
To all who require COPIES of LETTERS, ETC.---W. SQUIRE (late with Wedgwood) respectfully recommends the MANIFOLD WRITER, which having been before the public for more than 20 years, universally allowed to be the most expeditious and effective method yet made known, combining the important advantages of portability and secrecy. W.S. takes this opportunity to assure his friends that he has effectually removed three impediments to the more general use of this invention, vs, high prices, a smell proceeding from the copying paper, and the smearing of the carbonic paper. The manifold writer, combined with common writing ink apparatus, in neat morocco case, with lock, forms a most useful and portable compendium to the gentleman and man of business; its size and weight does not exceed that of a quarto church prayer book. Price 3 pounds, 15 s each. [note: this sounds like a device that held an early form of carbon paper, which was the common means of making instant copies up until the invention of photocopiers in the 2nd half of the 20th century.]
If you wanted to make big bucks on an invention still in the works, this notice might catch your eye:
TO be SOLD, FOR 1,000 pounds, a FIFTH SHARE of the PROFITS of a PATENT PREMIUM of an ARTICLE which must eventually produce to the purchaser 30 percent per annum upon the money laid out, without the sacrifice of time. For further particulars inquire of xxxxx.
The ads covered most of the front page of the Times, and the paper itself was only 1 page front and back but large in size. The first column of advertisements was reserved for shipping notices. Each notice indicated when the ship would leave, where it would go, and described the accommodations for passengers or cargo. On Oct. 1, ships were preparing to sail for Dublin and Belfast, for India, Australia, the Cape of Good Hope, and Africa. Others only headed for other British ports like Stockton or Plymouth. Packet notices were also placed, such as that for the General Steam Navigation Company, which had packets that plied the route between the Custom house, London and Calais, France, with passage taking 11 hours. 13 such voyages were scheduled in October, with the dates and times itemized in their notice. One need only wait two days at most to "hop a packet" over to France.
There were entertainment ads too, such as these:
COLOSSEUM, Regent's Park--In addition to the various exhibitions at this establishment, the proprietors respectfully inform the public that an AVIARY has just been OPENED, without any additional charge, and which, from its novelty of design and the rare and curious birds with which it is stocked, they trust will command general approbation.
MAGNIFICENT EXHIBITION of HOLLAND AND JOYCE'S IMPROVED OXY-HYDROGEN MICROSCOPE, for transparent and opaque objects, just opened at 106 New Bond-street, Oxford-street. By this unrivalled instrument the most interesting objects (animate and inanimate) are projected on a gigantic disc, containing 254 square feet, and are variously magnified from the lowest power up to 2,500,000 times! By this power the flea is made to appear as large as an elephant! Hours of exhibition from 12 to 5 and from 7 to 9. Admittance 1 shilling. The evening has been added for the convenience of those parties as may be engaged during the earlier part of the day.
One could place personal notices. Here is a suitably cryptic one:
T.H.---G. G. is UNARRANGED. See the Times of the 7th of September. Mr. B. will expect to hear from T.H. as soon as possible.
There were businesses for sale. Along with several girls' schools being sold by ladies who had decided they no longer wanted to run them, one could also find offered this day a chemist shop, a house and stencil painting business, a silk mill, a pawnbroker's shop, and a shop that sold oil, groceries, and Italian imported foods.
Then there were business notices of a more elevated nature. These included announcements of dividends on shares of stock. Or the notice might announce the opposite flow of funds, which were calls for stockholders to pony up more money.
Here is one that I found especially interesting while I was writing The Seducer series:
LONDON AND BIRMINGHAM RAILWAY--Call of Five Pounds per share.--At a MEETING of the DIRECTORS, elected in pursuance of the Act of Incorporation, which was held on the 19th instant, it having been resolved that a CALL should be made on the Proprietors of FIVE POUNDS per SHARE. Proprietors of shares in this undertaking are hereby required to pay, on or before the 21st of October, to any of the undermentioned bankers, the sum of five pounds on each of their respective shares. [The notice then lists individuals at the railway's London offices, and men at banks in Liverpool and Manchester, and Birmingham. Notice that a shareholder did not have a lot of time to find the money to make the payment. Such a call could present financial problems for shareholders and shows the risk that such investments created.]
The Atlas Insurance Company bought a large notice that day, announcing a dividend on whole life policies that would increase the policy value or reduce the premiums, whichever the policy holder preferred. The explanatory table reveals that every 1,000 pound value of a policy was costing 29 pounds a year in premium to someone who had commenced coverage at age 35, and 63 pounds if it commenced at age 60. The company also offered fire insurance that included coverage of lost rents if a building was rendered unusable.
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