This is an example of the kind of wagon that roamed the rural roads of the old Northwest and Great Plains, selling necessary and luxury goods that would otherwise not be available locally. Often these peddler’s wagons brought products and devices recently invented or developed, and as yet unknown to the customers along the route.
The description states:
AN 1870s PEDDLER’S WAGON
It came by our house in grandfather’s day. One phase in the evolution of merchandising in the days before Hardware Stores. One of 30,000 items in 22 buildings on 2 1/2 city blocks showing man’s progress since 1830. Located 130 miles west of Lincoln, Nebr., on U. S. 6 & 34.
–Dedicated hardware stores were a long time coming, but hardware could usually be easily obtained from the local blacksmith. As mass production began to squeeze out the blacksmith’s role in making hardware components, general stores would often stock quantities of hardware items which would be supplemented by items from such a peddler.
This card likely dates from the 1960s.