A Forgotten Sight

Excerpted from The Chronicle, Vol. 39 no. 1, March 1986

by Norton K. Brown

This picture of basket merchant Andrew J. Love was made by H. M. Rand and F.J. Taylor in Cambridgeport, Mass. They billed themselves as Copying and Landscape Photographers. The date of the picture is unknown but it is surely no later than the last quarter of the 19th Century.

Once a familiar sight on the highways and byways of the United States, the pedlar’s wagon is no longer to be seen except in an occasional museum or in photographs like this. Love obviously specialized in baskets but there is at least one broom as well as other articles among his stock. Perhaps some EAIA researcher near Cambridgeport will be able to tell us whether Love was a maker as well as a salesman of baskets.

Note the details in the picture that, like the pedlar himself, are no longer to be seen: the hitching post, the wooden sidewalk and the closed shutters on the house to the right.

The time is apparently the end of winter or the beginning of spring. Perhaps Love is just setting out on his first selling trip of a new year.

1 thought on “A Forgotten Sight”

  1. I have many such pedlar’s wagon photos in my collection of original antique photos, both American and British, as well as horse drawn fire engines (hand pumped, steam and hose wagons), and horse drawn trolleys, most of them from post Civil War to the early 20th century. Another large number of photos are steam tractors, harvesters and threshing machines, American and British. Most are cabinet photos that are one of a kind. Timebinder.net

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