Tuesday, March 25, 2008
"Tea Hints for Retailers" circa 1903
Lately, my leisure reading has included some novels with heavy-duty moral themes and dilemmas, and I wanted a break from that. So I turned to a book from 1903, "Tea Hints for Retailers" by John H. Blake, who at the time of writing had some 20-plus years in the wholesale tea business. "Although tea is one of the most important items in the retail grocer's stock," he says, "and one of the few articles remaining to him upon which a really good profit may be made, it is, nevertheless, unfortunately true that few grocers can claim to have a comprehensive knowledge of the flavory leaf ..."
Blake aims to remedy that, and so far I'm learning a lot about tea as it was being promoted 105 years ago. The quaint writing style entertains as it informs, and I loved going through all the line drawings in the book, like this one.
There are two dozen illustrations in the book, including this one of an original Ping-Suey Tea Package. The photo credit reads, "Photo From Life by Mr. Alfred Adelsdorfer." Fun reading for a tea lover!