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Pocketbooks developed in the mid-16th century, a logical evolution of the handbag. In Britain's North American colonies during most of the 17th and early 18th century, most pocketbooks were made of fabric at home. By the later half of the 18th century, manufactured leather pocketbooks were being advertised in major American cities. These leather pocketbooks became more widely available in the early 19th century. Originally, pocketbooks were roughly three or four inches high and around seven inches long.they are the This example, from 1835, could have been made at home, but more likely it was brought to South Deerfield and sold in a dry goods store or by a travelling vendor. The purchaser, Almerin Cooley, came from one of Deerfield's larger families; he was 25 years old when he purchased this billfold.


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creator   Arms Manufacturing Company
date   c. 1835
location   South Deerfield, Massachusetts
length   7.5"
width   3.75"
process/materials   leather
item type   Personal Items/Personal Artifacts
accession #   #1986.12b

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