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    Product 11 of 45
    This product was added to our catalog on Saturday 16 January, 2010.

    Private and Transient Boarding House Card

    Price:  $1.10

    The Letter White cardstock, printed one side. We have a hard time remembering it because this modus vivendi hardly exists in our day, but a very large percentage of the urban lower middleclass lived in boarding houses throughout the 19th Century. While I have no particular knowledge concerning Mr. Mathewson’s establishment it should be borne in mind that many such operations rented rooms to their “transient” customers for periods of time…considerably shorter than a day. Fall River, in Southeastern Massachusetts, is a deep-water port; the ability to ship Southern cotton directly to the mill made it a major textile manufacturing city, actually surpassing Lowell by the end of the Civil War. It was also the terminus of the Fall River Line of coastal steamers, the preferred method of travel between Boston and New-York. There are, therefore, a number of ways this card might have found its way into your wallet or trowsers watch pocket. Use as scrap of paper to write a short note on, or fold one up and use it as a shim to keep a drawer closed or level something on your desk. Items such as this provide a silent witness to the larger world outside the reenactment camp or restored house; powerful out of all proportion to their size, they can be tinder and fuel for first-person interpretation of issues otherwise impossible to recreate in our impressions.


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