Item #7859 [Manuscript account book of Philadelphia shipsmiths Snyder and Myers.]. Joseph Snyder, William Myers.
[Manuscript account book of Philadelphia shipsmiths Snyder and Myers.]
[Manuscript account book of Philadelphia shipsmiths Snyder and Myers.]

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[Manuscript account book of Philadelphia shipsmiths Snyder and Myers.]

Philadelphia, 4 January 1788–6 August 1827. 4to (12.5” x 8”), plain tan wrappers. 24 pp. of manuscript on wove paper. CONDITION: Very good, extremities of several pages lightly chipped or curled, but no losses to the text.

A substantive account book of Joseph Snyder and William Myers compiled during their forty-year long business association with the prominent Philadelphia businessman and shipmaker Anthony Cuthbert, revealing the full scope of their work. 

While the partners are identified in the 1822 Philadelphia city directory as “shipsmiths,” it is clear from the present record that they did a broad variety of ironwork. For four decades, Snyder and Myers conducted business with the prominent Philadelphia businessman, mast maker, and shipbuilder Anthony Cuthbert (1751–1832), one of Philadelphia's early shipbuilders. He served during the Revolutionary War as Captain of the Sixth Company, Artillery Battalion of Philadelphia. Cuthbert saw action at the Battle of Princeton, was promoted for bravery at Amboy, and was with George Washington when he crossed the Delaware. Following the war, he served as a member of the City Council for three decades and superintended the construction of the Market Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River in 1801. 

The manuscript offered here details four decades of metalwork and blacksmithing done for Cuthbert. The work includes items made for his “New Stores” near South Street (1800), his “Wharf up Town” (1802), and his “New House” on Market Street (1809–10). Typically, for the latter, Snyder and Myers built bars for cellar windows, hooks for gate hinges, fireproof iron doors, and window bolts. Other work for Cuthbert includes making handles “cutting letters,” making fire shovels, spikes, bolts, and boat hooks for various sloops, brigs, and ships (like the Carolina and the Abigail). There is frequent work “for the wharf” as well. Interestingly, Snyder and Myers shift from pounds to dollars rather late, in 1810. They note in an entry that year that 836 pounds due from Cuthbert is worth $2230. Accounts are kept in dollars thereafter. 


“Bill against Capt. Thompson Sch[oone]r [possibly James Thompson listed 1791 directory “sea captain”].

“2 Iron doors for fire proof in New Store Near South Street.”

“Piecing 1 hoop for mast.” 

“l Boom Iron for bowsprit.” 

“Schooner Patty bill.” 

“A bill against Sch[oone]r Virginia.”

“96 Wharf bolts.” 

“1 set Rudder Iron.” 

“To Mending frying pan.” 

“l Bar for Cooper’s chimney.”

“300 6d nails.” 

“1 Auger & shank.”

A valuable document of early Philadelphia shipbuilding and blacksmithing.

REFERENCES: “Anthony Cuthbert” at Philadelphia Area Archives Research Portal online.

Item #7859


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