Sunday, November 30, 2008
Jersey City billhead
It is easy to see why vintage billheads are so collectible: many feature beautiful engravings of actual streets that were idealized as the heart of industry, when factories, forges and mills were bustling and manufacturing was king. You could build a history lesson around this billhead.
As you can see, forging was the specialty of Theo. Smith & Sons. No date, but listing blacksmiths on top tells you horses were still critical for commerce. Fertilizer dryers and tallow rendering evokes farm life; New Jersey was no doubt still largely countryside at this time, although Newark was already a thriving urban center. Clam shell dredges and orange peel buckets? Hmmm. Perhaps the Hudson River was still fishable. But I'm stumped on the significance of the peel buckets.