McNair | 1880 Census

The McNair Household in 1880

Miles | Age 57 | Profession: Commercial Traveller | Place of Birth New York 

Elizabeth | Age 40 | Profession: Keeping House | Place of Birth Massachusetts

Frances | Age 18 | Place of Birth Wisconsin

Grant | Age 14 | Place of Birth Wisconsin

Grace | Age 3 | Place of Birth Wisconsin

Unpacking Victorian Terms

"Commercial Traveller"

In 1870, Miles' profession was recorded as Speculator.

Through research, I know he had invested in local companies, and was a traveling salesman for "farm implements."

According to "Who Do You Think You Are?" more insights on the Commercial Traveller during victorian times include:

"The rise of the trade of commercial traveller therefore corresponded with a decline in that of the warehouseman: when a commercial traveller sold goods, they were delivered to the shop directly."

"With commercial travellers representing so much money in salary and expenses they were well treated by the hotel trade, who set aside ‘commercial rooms’ where they would write up their order books and dine."

"Charles Dickens noted the 'hotel-room tapestried with greatcoats and railway wrappers' for commercial travellers. These were effectively club rooms with fellow feeling, in addition to rituals of dining that were almost masonic."