Grocer Advertisement from Boston 1732

It can be hard at times to fathom just exactly what and what was not commonly available to folks in the North American colonies during the 18th century, but we do have some written accounts that can help.   Here is a 1732 Boston newspaper advertisement that gives a bit of insight.

John Merrett, grocer. At the Three Sugar Loaves and Cannister near the Town-House sells:  cocoa, chocolate, tea  borea and green, coffee raw and roasted, all sorts of loaf sugar, powder and muscavado sugar, sugar-candy brown and white, candy’d citron, pepper, pimienta or alspice, white pepper, red pepper, cinnamon, clove, mace, nutmegs, ginger race and powder, raisins, currants, almonds sweet and bitter, prunes, figgs, rice, ground rice, pearl barley, sago, starch, hair-powder, powder blue, indigo, annis, corriander and carraway seeds, saltpetre, brimstone, flower of brimstone, all sorts of snuff, allum, rozin, beeswax, tamarines, castile soap, fine florence oyl, vinegar, capers, olives, anchovies, and fine English pickled wallnuts, icing-glass, hartshorn shavings and burnt gums ” …

7 thoughts on “Grocer Advertisement from Boston 1732”

  1. Would the icing-glass listed be the same as its homonym isinglass? As a follow up, would they be using it to clarify beer like we do today, or were there other uses?

    1. Isinglass was used to make jellies (like modern jello) as were hartshorn shavings.

  2. Would “isinglass” be Sodium Silicate, if used to store eggs long-term? What today is commonly referred to as “Water Glass?”

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