Wednesday, January 9, 2008

selling by sample on the road

Timberlake-Branham House, 1512 Woolen Mills Road

Traveling agents, ranging widely, provided contact with buyers outside the immediate environs of Charlottesville. The mill did not utilize during this period the services of commission houses which possessed both selling and credit facilities, although nationally the industry had adopted that method long before the War. In the eighties, woolen mills "learned the advantages of selling by sample on the road, and by their traveling salesmen solicited the custom of the whole country." The Charlottesville factory, having escaped the fetters of an exclusive selling agreement, was nearly a decade ahead of the industry in that respect. Its sales were made directly to the merchants, to tailors, and to a few military schools.--Harry Poindexter

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