Saturday, October 1, 2016

Traveling Salesmen - Nurserymen

I've already mentioned Tinmen who traveled to sell the wears of tin makers in the Northeast through out the country. I'd like to continue with a series of different types of Salesmen during the 19th century. Many of us have heard of those selling snake oil and such. But there were many legitimate salesmen.

Today I'd like to point out a salesman who would travel with a book/portfolio. A Plant Salesman, he would carry with him a book that would have colored plates of the various fruits and vegetables that his seeds would grow into. These colored plates were expensive and a cherished feature for a salesman to have. The use of the fruit plates helped with seed sales and more and more nurseries started using them. It was a Rochester New York Nursery that began making these prints. E. DARROW & BROTHER, ROCHESTER, NY in 1870.

Imagine the process of going west to sell seeds. Imagine the time it took. Imagine the hard work and salesmanship that it took to earn a living off of this.

The picture plates ranged in size from 9"x12" and 6"x9", they could be purchased as individual cars, as bound assortments or as a collection in a portfolio.

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