Friday, September 26, 2014

Century-old receipt for H.B. Beard & Co. of York, Pennsylvania


This receipt indicates that A.H. Morris of Fawn Grove, Pennsylvania, bought an "#805 Blanket" from H.B. Beard & Co., manufacturers of harness and horse collars, of York, Pennsylvania, on December 22, 1913. The cost was $5.85, which equates to about $135 today, according to The Inflation Calculator.

That must have been some blanket!

The bill was marked paid on January 12, 1914, with a Beard & Co. stamp, some initials and the word "Thanks."

H.B. Beard & Co. was located in the Spahr Building in York and its business was further described as being "jobbers of saddlery hardware, horse clothing, leather & shoe findings, trunks, bags, gloves and fancy leather goods." I believe the Spahr Building was located on or near York's square.

It wasn't that difficult to find some further information about H.B. Beard & Co. and customer A.H. Morris. Here are some tidbits I discovered online:

H.B. Beard & Co.
  • Beard & Co. officials were at one point members of the Wholesale Saddlery Association of the United States.
  • H.B. Beard is mentioned in 1921's "Autumn Leaves" by Samuel C. Frey, which I wrote about last October.
  • An ALL-CAPS advertisement in the August 6, 1926, edition of the East Berlin News states: "H.B. BEARD & CO. AT 41 E. MARKET ST., OPPOSITE THE COURT HOUSE, YORK, OFFERS THE VERY LATEST STYLES IN TRUNKS, HAND BAGS, HAT BOXES, BRIEF CASES, SUIT CASES, DOG HARNESS AND IN FACT EVERYTHING FROM A SMALL HAND BAG TO AN AUTOMOBILE OR WARDROBE TRUNK — MR. BEARD IS CONSIDERED ONE OF THE BEST JUDGES OF LEATHER IN THIS SECTION OF THE COUNTRY — ONE OF THE FASTEST GROWING ESTABLISHMENTS IN THE STATE — HAVE AN EXCELLENT REPAIR DEPARTMENT."
  • From the June 28, 1940, edition of The (York) Gazette and Daily: "Adjudication of the estate of Alice Elizabeth Beard will be made in the near future by the Orphans court as a result of an agreement reached late yesterday by interested parties. Counsel interested in the settlement of the estate stated that as a result the business of the H. B. Beard and company, 41 East Market street, will be promptly liquidated. ... For years the Beard concern was numbered among the important manufacturers of harness and hone collars in the United States and did a large wholesale business. With the advance of motor vehicles this phase of the business dwindled, but the concern continued in business, augmenting its harness and horse collar enterprises with other lines."

A.H. Morris of Fawn Grove
  • It's possible his first name was Alpheus and that his wife's name was Edith.
  • In 1918, he was involved in the merger and consolidation of the Fawn Grove Light and Power Company and the Fawn Township Light and Power Company.
  • From the May 4, 1933, edition of the Delta Herald Times: "Delta had a pleasant surprise on last Thursday night when the newly organized School Parade and Concert Band gave its first public concert under the direction of A. H. Morris, Fawn Grove's capable band leader. The small but enthusiastic group of embryo musicians performed with great credit to themselves and delight to their parents and friends."
  • From the January 13, 1942, edition of The (York) Gazette and Daily: "At the meeting of the Fawn Grove borough council, Raymond Marsteller was elected chief burgess. No one had filled the office since the death of A. H. Morris."

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