Mother’s little helper

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I’ve previously lamented the loss of the word “apothecary.” Here’s another one, S.T. & A.M. Smith Apothecaries, which sold both drugs and medicines. They had all the finest patent medicines of the day, not least of which were Dr. F.G. Johnson’s French Female Pills (I’m guess non-French females used them as well). Aromatic coated pills and adhesive salve, all in one place. Their principal depot was at 49 Washington Avenue. Auxiliary depots are not mentioned.

Hair Jewelry

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I would love to have seen some of the creations of Theodore Yauman, artist in hair jewelry. In 1858 he was at 580 Broadway, opposite the Delavan House, one of the leading hotels of the day.

Jack of all trades

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In 1858, John Rodgers continued to manufacture with increased facility, at his old establishment, steam and fire engines, pumps, boilers, heaters, and machinery in general. And tobacco cutting engines, presses, and stem rollers. And he did iron turning and planing.

Lumber Street is now Livingston Avenue, replaced by the railroad line that crosses the river at the Livingston Avenue Bridge.

Practice your scales

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J. Maxwell, Jr. sold scales of every description from his store at 136 South Pearl Street in Albany, comprising in part, counter scales, druggists’ scales, confectioners’ scales, grain measurers’ scales, butchers’ scales, platform scales, jewelers’ scales, post-office scales, and bank scales. Bank scales? Guess they were weighing gold. 1858.

Foreign Fruits

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Albany, 1858: George Wait was a wholesale dealer in groceries, teas, foreign fruits, sugars, oils, &c. One of the benefits of being at the head of shipping for the Erie Canal and just an overnight steamboat ride from the Port of New York was that foreign produce made its way to our humble trading post.
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Cork, Letters, Boxes

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1905. What could you get in Albany that you can’t get today? Well, cork, for one thing. Cork of every description. Cork is something that, like burlap, has pretty much disappeared in my lifetime. If there’s any cork in your house other than a wine cork, it’s probably a bulletin board. That’s it. As you can see, the average house was once lousy with cork.

Letter cutters are kinda gone, too. I’m not even sure if there are any specialty rubber stamp houses left. Need a brass stamp or a wax seal? Good luck.

Packing boxes! Yes, it is still possible to buy packing  boxes. They’re not made here anymore, but you can still buy them. But can you get hold of Valentine’s felt weather strips? How about shooks? Didn’t think so. And does the owner of Staples offer you his home phone number, just in case you have a cardboard box emergency? Again, didn’t think so.