For the love of billheads…

Posted by Lara Michels on Monday March 9 2009

A confession: I love billheads. You know the old receipts companies used to use between, say, the 1860s and the 1930s or 1940s. Some of them are so lovely with their illustrations and engravings. I especially admire illustrations of old company buildings, but illustrations of products can also be quite wonderful. We have a range of billheads up here in the Magnes archives for early Jewish businesses in the Western United States.

Here is one for Cerf & Co.:

J. Cerf & Co. billhead (wjhc-2000-011-002_016)

I particularly like this one for Peixotto and Silverman Dry Goods from 1876. Note the “One Price” statement at the top. This became more common after Weinstock-Lubin (the Sacramento-based firm) decided to do away with coded pricing and haggling and instead adopt a one-price-only policy. This meant that all goods were clearly marked with prices. Hagglers weren’t always pleased but David Lubin himself saw it as an improvement in business ethics:

Peixotto and Silverman dry goods billhead, 1876

Peixotto and Silverman dry goods billhead, 1876 (wjhc-2000-011-002_006)

Here are a few more nice ones:

A. Zellerbach paper goods billhead, 1902 (wjhc-2000-011-002_0221)

A. Zellerbach paper goods billhead, 1902 (wjhc-2000-011-002_0221)

A. Zellerbach paper goods billhead, 1902 (wjhc1969-022-ar1-004_11)

Steinhart Bros. dry goods billhead, 1864 (wjhc1969-022-ar1-004_11)

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • StumbleUpon
  • email
  • PDF

Filed under: Collections andHistory andRandom Musings

1 Comment for 'For the love of billheads…'

    March 9, 2009 | 10:22 pm

    These are great! It brings to mind the project at the Rhode Island School of Design, The A&L Tirocchi Dressmaker’s Project. they have a ton of cross-referenced transaction records and old receipts, linked to the various personages who frequented the shop. So much neat information, and beautiful to boot!

Leave a comment



Information for comment users
Line and paragraph breaks are implemented automatically. Your e-mail address is never displayed. Please consider what you're posting.

Use the buttons below to customise your comment.

RSS feed for comments on this post | TrackBack URI


Additional comments powered by BackType