Title

"North by East" piece about Harriet B. Shaw, of Alfred, who historian and stamp

Authors

Source

Down East

Date

11-1-1995

Pages

45

Abstract

"North by East" piece about Harriet B. Shaw, of Alfred, who historian and stamp collector Sidney Emery, of Springvale, claims beats out Aaron Montgomery as the pioneer of the mail-order business. Shaw, who did business under the name of H. B. Shaw to hide her gender, started advertising and selling her products coast-to-coast shortly after she started her business in the mid-1860s. Mail-order historians generally credit Aaron Montgomery with having pioneered the industry in 1872. Shaw sold patent medicine and other products. Because of her questionable business practices, she came under pressure from the U.S. Post Office and shut down her perations in the mid-1880s. In the 1920s, stamp collector Sterling Dow of Kennebunk heard that Shaw had boxes containing tens of thousands of envelopes she had received while doing business. Dow purchased them all for an unnamed sum. The purchase was considered one of the biggest philatelic finds in the United States. Shaw died in 1933.

Subjects

Entrepreneurs, Mail-order business, Philately, Dow, Sterling, Shaw, Harriet B

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