Monday, February 25, 2013

Emporia receipt for dealer in "fruits, groceries, fresh and salt meats"

Will the receipts of today be regarded as works of art 100 years from now?

Certainly, they will contain a lot of data — the exact date and time of a transaction, down to the minute; the name (or number) of the waitress or cashier; a detailed list of products or services; and precise information about taxes, forms of payment and how much the consumer "saved."

But it's hard to say that they're aesthetically pleasing. This blank sales slip, on the other hand, has a certain style and beauty to it — to my eye, anyway.

It's for Pearl Harris, a long-ago dealer in "fruits, groceries, fresh and salt meats" in Emporia, Kansas. The business was located at 418 Commercial Street and was managed by O.P. Hill. The unused receipt is pre-dated for 190_.

I found a couple of online references that relate to this business. First, this blurb in the Emporia Weekly Gazette of April 05, 1906:
Sire of the two best mules exhibited last year in the United States. Mules owned by M. Pyle and took first prize at the American Royal in Kansas City, October, 1905. Black Prince will make the breeding season of 1906 at my farm, 6 1/2 miles north of Emporia. I also have the O.P. Hill jack and two Norman draft horses.

And this passing reference appeared earlier, in the November 21, 1901, edition of the Emporia Weekly Gazette:

"Mrs. Alice Short has a job as book keeper and cashier at O. P. Hill's meat market."

It's neat to think that Alice probably used slips just like the one pictured above in her work more than 110 years ago!

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