May 7

What was advertised in a colonial newspaper 250 years ago this week?

May 7 - 5:5:1766 New-York Gazette
New-York Gazette (May 5, 1766).

“He upholds and warrants their Performance for one Year.”

Isaac Heron made, sold, and repaired watches. He was proud of his work and stood behind, as the assurances in this advertisements demonstrate. This was not only a point of pride in a job well done, however, but also a strategy for encouraging potential clients to visit his shop.

Heron offered several guarantees in his advertisement. If he repaired a watch, he pledged that it would work correctly for at least a year (though he excluded accidents and “Mismanagement” on the part of the owner). For watches that he made and sold, he guaranteed that they would work correctly for several years. The greater the value of the watch, the longer the period before this warranty expired.

To prove that these were not hollow promises, Heron called on former customers from the past year to bring in their watches if his work had failed. Just as he expected “to receive his Money when earn’d,” he acknowledged his obligation to “Rectify” any of his work that did not live up to the promises he had made.

From start to finish, Heron stressed that his customers “may depend on their [watches] being carefully repair’d, justly charg’d for, and return’d” in a (ahem) timely manner.

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