Recently a number of invoices, for various goods from various shops in Hemel Hempstead, were sold on ebay. Such items can throw and interesting light on both the buyer, the seller, and prices at the time. If you are lucky enough for such documents to survive in your family they can say a lot about everyday life a hundred or more years ago.
Because of the high prices they fetched I was only able to acquire one invoice to use as an example. Mr Briggs, who lived at 16 Horsecroft Road, Hemel Hempstead, had a monthly account with W. J. Cartwright - who had a grocer's shop in Hemel Hempstead High Street which was run by Frank Foster, as manager (the receipted invoice provides his signature). Along with other groceries it would seem that Benjamin Briggs brought Guinness (a bottle cost four pennies), Stout and Brandy, and also purchased Cocoatina - a cocoa based drink. [Full Details]