Old printer's invoices, if you can find them, can provide a fascinating glimpse into how business was conducted "back in the day."
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Printers often diversify their operations to attract new business. However this 1924 invoice from Buxton and Skinner shows a diversification that is a bit extreme. I wonder what "radiation," "meter rental," and "condensation" actually refer to?
In 1916 you could get 1,000 envelopes for $2.50 (and apparently pay no tax).
This Amsterdam New York invoice from 1944 includes an interesting note to the effect that income tax was withheld on wages. I wonder why they noted this on the invoice?
Perhaps this invoice from 1897 inspired a famous Vulcan with it's motto: "Print and Prosper."
A 1944 job estimate from G. Claridge & Co. of Bombay (Mumbai) appears to be a form letter with the text in red being preprinted while the text in black being customized for each project.
The total of this 1918 invoice for presswork came to $18.25. Translated into 2011 dollars that $18.25 is equivalent to $291.97.
Advertising rates in The Journal published by John W Eedy in 1897 were very reasonable and its presswork "Neatly executed. [with] Prices Moderate."
Selma Printers in 1870 also prided themselves on "Printing Neatly Executed."
M.J. Sullivan differentiated himself from his competition by being a "Practical Printer" (I assume that he considered other printers as impractical). However, it appears that the order for 100 name cards placed August 24, 1922, was a bit slow in being fulfilled since the invoice shows a billing date of December 1, 1923 - over one year later.
Companies are always trying to reduce their printing spend. Here, Rand McNally has saved a bit of money by using an invoice from 1890 and with a simple crossing out of the "8" and adding a "0" has transformed it into a 1900 invoice. Another interesting thing about this invoice is the purchaser's title: a certain George M. Beadle, Mining Expert, "etc." I suppose that Mr. Beadle had other expertise that the accountant at Rand McNally just couldn't remember.