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Wigle offers glimpse of 19th century business, modern transcription process in 'A First Peek Into The Porter Ledgers'

by jmaloni

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Fri, Dec 27th 2013 03:40 pm
Pictured is one of the Porter ledgers.
Pictured is one of the Porter ledgers.

Before the Erie Canal, early local merchants successfully did business relying upon wagon shipments and handwritten accounts. Find out how goods were shipped from their source to businesses that sold them as Ray Wigle, director of the Erie Canal Discovery Center, offers a glimpse into the vanished business world of early 19th century Niagara County. He will discuss the nearly 200-year-old content and modern-day transcription process of business ledgers of Porter, Barton & Co., Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, at 2 p.m. in the Niagara History Center, 215 Niagara St., Lockport.

Wigle has begun transcribing a freight-forwarding ledger for shipping goods from Fort Schlosser, located at what is now the foot of Porter Road in Niagara Falls, to Black Rock, near Buffalo. The ledger begins in 1815 and has been transcribed partway through the year 1817.

His program, "A First Peek Into The Porter Ledgers," will review types of goods being shipped along the upper Niagara River. It will also highlight challenges and learning experiences encountered by a 21st century transcriptionist trying to read handwritten notes of early 19th century clerks.

The event is free. Donations are accepted. For more information, call the History Center at 716-434-7433.

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