Erich L. reports from the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair at the Hynes today:
Arguably the most MA thing to ever show up at the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair, this may be the only surviving copy of the first official lottery results in the colonies. No word on which colonial Cumbies the tickets were bought at.
Background on the 1745 lottery (H/t Romulus/Keith).
The "f" is just how they wrote "s" back in the day.
Univerfal Hub had poftingf from FwirlyGrrl and John Coftello.
I would argue that the most Massachusetts thing possible to show up at a rare book event would be a pamphlet decrying the horrible horse-and-carriage traffic in the streets of Bofton Towne. This will have to do until that turns up.
I know I read somewhere that the then Town of Boston was having trouble enforcing speed limits in the mid-1700's with carriages racing down Orange Street.
i.e. People were driving their horses through what is now Downtown Crossing, then a mixed-use village street, too fast.
People raced sleighs through areas of Boston and in/through several towns in reckless ways, and bet on the results. With alcohol involved, of course!
The Neck has, for a few years past, been turned into a perfect race-course during sleighing time; and in the after part of the day is, of a winter's time, a scene of the gayest excitement. Splendid turnouts, 2.40 horses by the score, racers passing every minute, a smash-up now and then by way of variety, and, in short, we know of nothing like it elsewhere in this country. Boston has a vast number of fast boys, fast horses, and beautiful sleighs, and here they all congregate and practise their favorite sport.
Also part of the origin story of Jingle Bells.
What's up with the Dingbat looking characters at the bottom? Was it some sort of code to prove the card was authentic?
Why put the year printed at the bottom?
If I saw that picture out of context, I'd think it was someone playing with photoshop.
Could be to fill space to prevent other things being printed into there after the fact.
The year is probably there because it was required to be there by some sort of rule of public notices in the colony. Bureaucrats and formalism are as old as civilization.
No word on which colonial Cumbies the tickets were bought at.
Outside of it living up to Cumby's full name "Cumberland Farms" and being an actual farm. Imagine a 18th century Cumbies....
Definitely no gas (but they might sell lamp oils or crude oil/grease)
Maybe instead of pumps, stalls of hay and water troughs for the horses
Fresh baked and made foods, nothing prepackaged
Farm fresh produce or meats
And of course, fresh brewed coffee like they do now except you need to bring a cup.
The odd "s" doesn't have the line through it that makes the "f" in the word five.
Once Faneuil Hall is renamed? Will "Faneuil" be blurred out?
Weirdly enough, those are s's. Take a look at the lowercase f and you'll see the difference. One thing I've never understand about Colonial-era typography is that they used both the weird-looking s's and standard s's — take a look at the s at the end of "Pounds."
I believe the long "s" in mid-word is purely a style thing, they literally just liked the way it looked.
The f stands in for the germanic ß, called an 'eszett', It's essentially a double s and is still used in German. Words with single s's don't have them.
Dunno when eszett usage died out in British and American English, but it's fun to pronounce them as f's!
The f-like “s” is called a “long s,” while the “s” we are used to is the “short s.” (They have other names as well.) My understanding is that the short “s” was always used if “s” was the final letter in the word.
As a first-order approximation, the long S (which looks like an "f") makes the sound "ess". The normal S often makes the sound "zzz". The two different sounds used to be denoted using different characters, but the distinction was lost in written English around the beginning of the 19th century.
For example the English word "hiss" is pronounced using a long S ("ess"). It would have been spelled using the long S two centuries ago. The English word "his" is pronounced "hiz", and would have been written using our usual s character.
Although the distinction between long S and normal S has been lost in English typography, it still exists in German (in Germany), which retains the character "eszett", which looks like the Greek letter beta.
A great youtube on the subject of lost letters including the "Long S"
Thanks for this video! Now I finally know the origin of "Ye Olde"!!
We hardly knew þe.
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