Strangest Book of the Week #10

Welcome. Welcome! to our 10th strangest book of the week. This week’s book is more of a notebook. A ledger, in fact! And it’s strange because it’s survived this long, as ancient as it is. The content is pretty boring, unless you’re really interested to know what certain goods sold for in the 1870s.

Ledger/Journal from 1876

I can’t find a name that would suggest the owner or business name. There is a listing for Janett (?) & Co. Sioux City, so maybe the business was in Iowa. The first few pages are given over to an alphabetical listing of all the regular customers, and which page their order history is kept. The handwriting is exquisite. It must have been a general store, because there are such things listed as sugar, castor oil, tobacco (probably the most common), rope, seeds, paper & pens, wagon grease, lye, woollen yarn, overalls, nails, tea, postage… Everything is neatly written out with the customer’s name at the top and what they buy on what day. Charley Smith was regularly in need of pain killers. Peter Lund liked his tobacco.

It’s one of the items that I just. can’t. quite. put in the recycle pile, if for nothing else but the exquisite handwriting. Take a gander:


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