Balsley & Lutton – 128 Federal Street, Allegheny, PA – Est. 1874

Aug 23, 2019 | | Say something

Balsley & Lutton advertisement, business trade card from around 1876. The store sold toys & fancy goods. Located at 128 Federal Street, Allegheny City. card features African-American child.

We recently rediscovered a collection of Allegheny City & Pittsburgh advertisement trading cards from 1840-1899.  Some include suburban areas like Sharpsburg, Etna & McKeesport.  They were donated to the ACHG by former Northsider, Bob Blackham.  We have a YouTube video featuring Bob and his collection.

The Allegheny City Historic Gallery decided to release this immaculate collection on-line to give you a chance to travel back in time and get a glimpse of what life was like locally during the Victorian era.  We will try to profile most of businesses in this card collection.

The first business being profiled is Balsley & Lutton formerly located at 128 Federal Street in Allegheny City.  That block of Federal Street no longer exists.  It was torn down around 1965 to make way for Allegheny Center Mall.

Former location of 128 Federal Street. This section was closed off around 1965 to make way for Allegheny Center. Photo by Kim Gandy.

Business Profile from 1876…

BALSLEY & LUTTON – Motions, Druggist, Sundries, Field & Parlor Games and Children’s Carriages located at No 128 Federal St Allegheny.   Perhaps no firm in either city is more entitled to notice in the particular line of their business than the House of Messrs Balsley & Lutton. With an extensive stock embracing all the varieties of Notions and Druggist Sundries Field and Parlor Games. Children’s Carriages besides many other articles in the way of Toys Wooden and Wicker ware and all those countless articles included under the name of Fancy Goods this firm as jobbers can well offer to the trade such facilities in selection and advantages in prices as can not be duplicated by any house in the city.

The premises occupied by the firm at No 128 Federal St are most eligibly located and of sufficient dimensions to accommodate a stock ranging from $15,000 to $20,000 and afford scope for a rapidly increasing trade that already extends over a large part of three States.  The building is a substantial three story brick 20×110 feet supplied with all the requisite appointments for conducting the business. 10 assistants being engaged in the various branches of the wholesale and retail details.  Of the individual members of the firm Mr Chas C Balsley is the senior partner, he was born in Pittsburgh in 1836 and has not only been closely identified with the industrial interests of the city but has acquired an experience of the most comprehensive character the benefits of which he is ever ready to place at the disposal of those with whom he has relations.  Mr Albert Lutton is also a native of this city and though 13 years younger than Mr Balsley has obtained a thorough knowledge of the business having been engaged in the same during the past five years. The firm was established in 1874 and has achieved an unexpected measure of success leading to many improvements and the general extension of its resources and added capacities for the transaction of a flourishing trade. Widely known and respected it is not too much to assert that the house of Balsley & Lutton is not only able to compete in its line with any contemporaneous concern in the West but has a repute for enterprise and probity that makes it a most desirable one with which to establish pleasant and permanent relations.

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