William Booker, Accounts of Business and Household Income and Expenditures. Ledger. Shoe Industry.
William Booker, Accounts of Business and Household Income and Expenditures.
Detailed Record of Business and Living Expenses in Rural Maine Before the Civil War

William Booker, Accounts of Business and Household Income and Expenditures.

Androscoggin County, Maine: 1836-1859. Item #855

Tall folio. 320 x 200 mm., [13 x 8 inches].  85 pp. Contemporary marbled boards, calf spine; head of spine chipped and a bit torn; text block foxed.  With faults, a sound and well-organized ledger, written in a legible hand.


Early shoemaker's account book from Lisbon, Androscoggin County, Maine. William Booker (1812-1881) lived with his second wife Martha and several children in Lisbon, which is located west of Portland. Although Booker's name does not appear on a title page, we derive his name through account settlements in the book.


Income and expenses are shown including cost of tanned leather from sheep and calf of various qualities and sizes, leather making supplies, nails, etc., and income is derived from shoes manufacture and repair.  Intermingled with the costs of doing business Booker records in detail the costs of living in the town of Lisbon.  His ledger is a veritable roadmap to the economy of the town, its residents, and its service businesses that he supplied and which in turn supplied his family. 


Some of the larger customer accounts are Lyman Jordan of Brunswick, Ebenezer Combs of Lisbon, Ammi Merrill, Henry I. Holland, Hale Huskey, Josiah Fransworth, James M. Brickett, Jackson Webber, and Joshua Remington.  The last few pages of the book show an account for "letting of Horse", Hackett & Webber, as well as a total of shoes made from "3rd March 1842"; 1, 025 pairs.


With fertile and easily cultivated soil, farming was an early industry in the small town of Lisbon. Sawmills and gristmills were built using water power from the streams. Larger brick mills followed to manufacture textiles. In 1864, the Worumbo Mill was established to produce woolens, and would remain a principal employer until it burned in 1987. By 1880, Booker had changed his profession to stone mason, perhaps signifying the phasing out of the handmade shoe industry.

Price: $350.00