Bristol County, Massachusetts: Barstow Stove Company, 1867. Unbound.
This partially printed two-year indenture measures 8.5” by 14”. It is dated and signed twice: first on the “sixteenth day of November A.D. eighteen hundred and Sixty-Six” and again in January of 1867. A 25-cent revenue “Insurance” stamp (Scott #46) has been affixed and cancelled with multiple strikes of a circular Bartow Stove Company handstamps. The document is in nice shape with splits starting along its storage folds.
In this document, the stove company agrees to pay Roach “Four Shilling & sixpence” per day for his first year of service and “Five Shillings and sixpence” per day during his second. In return, Roach guarantees that if he leaves his job before two years have expired, he will pay the company “the full and just sum of One Hundred Dollars.”. Very good. Item #009296 A very late and uncommon use of British currency by an American manufacturer to calculate the wages of an Iron Founder.
It seems odd that 74 years after Congress declared the dollar to be the official currency of the United States a company would pay employee wages calculated in shillings and pence. Yet, the Bulletin of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, pages 18-19, No. 604, October 1929 reported that “In the payrolls of [some New England companies] time and piece rates were given in shillings . . . up to 1845, and probably longer [although] the actual money payment in all cases would have been [in] American dollars.”
A very late and uncommon use of British currency by an American manufacturer to calculate the wages of an Iron Founder.