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!

8 comments:

parTea lady said...

That book looks interesting. It must be fun to make the comparison with todays tea market and information. The book also looks to be in very good condition for it's age. Where did you find it?

Angela McRae said...

Yes, it is in great condition for the age. Found it on eBay (of course!). I'd gotten outbid on it before (wasn't willing to go $30), but then I found one for $9 or so, which I thought was reasonable, so if you're interested in getting a copy there ... have patience!

Anonymous said...

Wow! You got a great deal - I just did a search on Amazon and they have one used copy for...$325!!! I'll definitely be watching ebay instead! Monica

Angela McRae said...

$325???? Wow! I've yet to see the tea book I'd want THAT badly!

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love the new header!

Linda J. said...

An amazing book! You got a real deal! I love the new look to your blog with the new header.

Bigelow Tea said...

As a fellow tea fan, I am sure I would really enjoy the book as well and will search it out. Where did you get your copy? Julie for Bigelow Tea

Steph said...

What GREAT images. And I love the cover!