During the 1800s, before there were Sears or J.C. Penny catalogs or Ebay, manufacturers hired traveling salesmen to sell their product. Many salesmen carried pencil drawing catalogs of the product. Some salesmen were fortunate to carry ‘salesman samples’ in an attempt to convince shopkeepers or a cautious housewife.
The Yorktown Historical Museum recently inherited several ‘salesman samples’ of working wood burning stoves, furniture, a washer machine and a sewing machine. Some of the stoves have pots and pans to match. One stove, hidden to the knowledge of the museum, was a waffle maker and a muffin tin.
Yorktown Historical Museum president Beverly Bruns said, “He (the salesman) could actually demonstrate how it worked.”
One model still had ash where wood was burned.
“Some were used perhaps...,"
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