Hall & Speer Company

By Staff
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2337 SR 45 S . Salem, Ohio 44460-9456

The original of the price list at right, from the Hall &
Speer Company, located at 166 Penn St., Pittsburgh, Pa., in the
1850s, was found among some old family papers by my cousin, Peg
Town send, of Lime Kiln Hollow Farm, south of Darlington, Pa.

Peg also found a Hall & Speer invoice billing Elder &
Moore for two plows and 42 points. The Moore of Elder & Moore
was our great-grandfather, Samuel Andrews Moore, who was born in
1820 and died in 1891. He and Mr. Elder ran a small general store
at Rayl’s Crossroads, sometimes known as Rayl town, and now
shown on the Pennsylvania map as Blackhawk, in Beaver County.

The goods were shipped on a steamboat, named the Diurnal, down
the Ohio River from Pittsburgh to Smith’s Ferry, Pa., a
distance of about forty-two miles. There, the agent, I.P.S. Smith,
took delivery and paid the freight rate of ten cents per hundred
pounds. Since the weight of the shipment is listed as 580 pounds,
the freight fee would have been fifty eight cents.

A team and wagon would have been needed to haul the equipment
the seven or so miles from Smith’s Ferry to the store at
Rayl’s Crossroads. It isn’t known if the partners had their
own wagon or paid a drayman for the hauling.

The partners received a ten percent discount, apparently because
they were wholesale dealers, and appear to have been credited for
1680 pounds of scrap metal, at one and one quarter cents per pound.
The freight paid on this scrap was only $2.12, a much lower rate
than for the new merchandise.

This price list and invoice seem to be about the only clues to
the Hall & Speer Plow Manufacturing Company. I called the
Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh, and they have nothing more than
listings in some of the city directories of the day. The man at the
Library’s Pennsylvania Room said I had more information on the
company than they did. On the header of the Hall & Speer price
list, it indicates the firm also had facilities in Kirkwood,
Delaware and Gillespie, South Carolina. I found Kirkwood on the map
but no Gillespie, but didn’t try to explore these leads.

If anyone knows anything more about the Hall & Speer
Company, I’d love to hear from them.

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