Vintage Car Purchase Receipts – 100 + year-old Papers


Always Keep Your Receipts

Sometimes when an old house is cleared by relatives for an estate sale or the new owners clean out the attic of a recently purchased old home, boxes of vintage receipts and records are discovered.

1913 Sales Receipt
1913 Pathfinder X111A

In an article subtitled “Always Keep Your Receipts” according to Jonathon Klein, writing for “The Drive”, that is what happened with receipts for the purchase of a 1913 Pathfinder Series X111-A for $2,275.75 on April 15, 1913 in New York City by a doctor, who appears to have traded in that for a new 1915 Franklin Motor Car Co. Touring Series 7 just two years later.

There were piles more receipts for maintenance, parts and even for a custom paint job on one of his cars. The good doctor who owned them appears to have kept the records as part of his work for the U.S. War Department. Perhaps he was required to document his car expenses as he traveled on government business?

The grandson of that doctor told Klein the the receipts were found in his grandfather’s home.

They laid in a dovetailed wooden box, practically untouched since he put them there in the early ’20s. – Tyler T

Jonathon Klein – Always Keep Your Receipts – The Drive, December 2019

How many of us might find similar old receipts from major purchases stored away in boxes and untouched for over 100 years? Your family member’s attic or basement may hold hand-written and typewritten paper receipts like these if the home is old enough. Is it worth checking your relative’s old records as you help clear out their home prior to an estate sale for yellowed receipts with what seem like surprisingly small purchase amounts.

We’d love to have you share your vintage sales receipts with us so we can detail that receipts can help paint a picture about an old business or show surprising inflation rates. The first car mentioned above cost just $2,275 in 1913, but would be the equivalent of $58,000 today. And a receipt showing auto shop labor rates to average between about $0.65 and $0.75 cents an hour in New York in the mid to late 1910’s.

Vintage Receipts will also pop up for sale on occasion in Antique and collectible stores. If you have a particularly prized old receipt, drop us a line.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.