Taking money from strangersCitation formats

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Taking money from strangers : Traders’ responses to banknotes and the risks of forgery in late Georgian London. / Barker, Hannah.

In: Journal of British Studies, Vol. 60, No. 3, 07.2021, p. 585-608.

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@article{a8c9a8f678fe41c1b1e3c9834506ed99,
title = "Taking money from strangers: Traders{\textquoteright} responses to banknotes and the risks of forgery in late Georgian London",
abstract = "Selling to strangers was a significant occupational hazard for retailers in late Georgian Britain, one that was hard to avoid. The dangers were especially great in larger towns and cities, where shopkeepers were dependent on a steady stream of passing trade composed of a large number of customers that they did not know. Though traders risked financial loss and even possible prosecution by accepting counterfeit banknotes, refusal to accept them meant losing vital custom. In areas of growing urban populations, tradesmen and women thus faced an increasingly tricky dilemma in their day-to-day business as they dealt with more strangers whose trustworthiness and personal credit were extremely hard to gauge, at a time when banknote forgery was on the rise. The decisions that retailers made about both banknotes and the individuals who presented them for payment illustrate some of the ways that town dwellers sought to navigate the rising anonymity of urban society in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This article suggests that traders relied on a series of techniques that in previous experience usually worked: Examining banknotes and those strangers who presented them with care, relying on the expertise of neighbors and members of their household, and dealing by preference with individuals who appeared to be linked to their local community. These behaviors demonstrate that modernity might have affected the lives and outlooks of ordinary Londoners in unexpected and contradictory ways, some strongly linked to older forms of society.",
author = "Hannah Barker",
note = "Publisher Copyright: {\textcopyright} 2021 The North American Conference on British Studies.",
year = "2021",
month = jul,
doi = "10.1017/jbr.2021.55",
language = "English",
volume = "60",
pages = "585--608",
journal = "Journal of British Studies",
issn = "0021-9371",
publisher = "University of Chicago",
number = "3",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Taking money from strangers

T2 - Traders’ responses to banknotes and the risks of forgery in late Georgian London

AU - Barker, Hannah

N1 - Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The North American Conference on British Studies.

PY - 2021/7

Y1 - 2021/7

N2 - Selling to strangers was a significant occupational hazard for retailers in late Georgian Britain, one that was hard to avoid. The dangers were especially great in larger towns and cities, where shopkeepers were dependent on a steady stream of passing trade composed of a large number of customers that they did not know. Though traders risked financial loss and even possible prosecution by accepting counterfeit banknotes, refusal to accept them meant losing vital custom. In areas of growing urban populations, tradesmen and women thus faced an increasingly tricky dilemma in their day-to-day business as they dealt with more strangers whose trustworthiness and personal credit were extremely hard to gauge, at a time when banknote forgery was on the rise. The decisions that retailers made about both banknotes and the individuals who presented them for payment illustrate some of the ways that town dwellers sought to navigate the rising anonymity of urban society in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This article suggests that traders relied on a series of techniques that in previous experience usually worked: Examining banknotes and those strangers who presented them with care, relying on the expertise of neighbors and members of their household, and dealing by preference with individuals who appeared to be linked to their local community. These behaviors demonstrate that modernity might have affected the lives and outlooks of ordinary Londoners in unexpected and contradictory ways, some strongly linked to older forms of society.

AB - Selling to strangers was a significant occupational hazard for retailers in late Georgian Britain, one that was hard to avoid. The dangers were especially great in larger towns and cities, where shopkeepers were dependent on a steady stream of passing trade composed of a large number of customers that they did not know. Though traders risked financial loss and even possible prosecution by accepting counterfeit banknotes, refusal to accept them meant losing vital custom. In areas of growing urban populations, tradesmen and women thus faced an increasingly tricky dilemma in their day-to-day business as they dealt with more strangers whose trustworthiness and personal credit were extremely hard to gauge, at a time when banknote forgery was on the rise. The decisions that retailers made about both banknotes and the individuals who presented them for payment illustrate some of the ways that town dwellers sought to navigate the rising anonymity of urban society in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This article suggests that traders relied on a series of techniques that in previous experience usually worked: Examining banknotes and those strangers who presented them with care, relying on the expertise of neighbors and members of their household, and dealing by preference with individuals who appeared to be linked to their local community. These behaviors demonstrate that modernity might have affected the lives and outlooks of ordinary Londoners in unexpected and contradictory ways, some strongly linked to older forms of society.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85106163556&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1017/jbr.2021.55

DO - 10.1017/jbr.2021.55

M3 - Article

VL - 60

SP - 585

EP - 608

JO - Journal of British Studies

JF - Journal of British Studies

SN - 0021-9371

IS - 3

ER -