H J Merritt gets paid

This is another bill paid by Holloway of West Lavington. As is often the case, the bill provides an insight into life in times past – in this case almost 100 years ago.

1918 bill issued by H J Merritt of Market Lavington

1918 bill issued by H J Merritt of Market Lavington

H J (Henry) Merritt was very much the blacksmith and farrier. It was his brother who was more involved with the cycle business. This receipted bill was for horse shoes. In January and February, Mr Holloway had to pay extra for shoes with ‘frost studs’. We assume this was something to make sure horses did not slip on icy roads. By the end of March ordinary shoes were used.

But in this case what we really like about this bill is the sponsor with the advert at the top. Before electricity came to places then oil for lamps was a much wanted commodity and in the advert we see what appears to be a comfortable and reasonably well to do gentleman reading his paper under an oil lamp which is burning ‘Pure Oil’ – the ‘Finest American Lamp Oil’.

These days we just assume we flick a switch when we want light. There are still people alive locally who remember those pre-electricity days.

 

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