Albany was always a river city. In 1844, the city itself still didn’t stray too far west of the river, and the movement of people and goods up and down the Hudson, not to mention the vital connection to the Erie Canal, was what made Albany one of the most important cities in the country. In this ad from the Albany City Guide, we have Savage & Benedict, flour and produce merchants, operating from one of the many piers then on the waterfront; the Albany and New York line of steam tow-boats, which could move canal packets and barges down to New York ; and William C. Hall, a ship chandler.
“Chandler” originally meant “candler,” as in one who makes or supplies candles. The general working of fat and grease from that business also applied itself well to nautical endeavors — treated rope, oakum, caulking — and so “chandler” also became the word for a ship’s supplier.