There are ten or more customer address books in the remaining Tirocchi records, and these have been very valuable to the curators and scholars working on the project as they worked to identify the clientele of the shop and track it over the course of the shop’s history. As with many of the shop’s other records, however, the books are confusing in many aspects. Not all of the books are dated. A couple are large journals, but most are small books. One of the smaller ones seems to have been for traveling, for inscribed in the front is "Property of Madame Anna Tirocchi" with her address.

The entries are quite messy in some cases. These really do appear to have been working books. Names are crossed out or marked with an "X." This could possibly have been done when the information was transferred to a newer book. The markings do not seem to indicate that a client had departed. The names are listed alphabetically for the most part. One book (from 1930) also has several pages devoted to Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable listed by month for several months. In typical fashion, shop vendors and household expenses were recorded alongside each other [vendors Monte Sano, Brigante, and Altman, along with bills for gas, electricity, and telephone]. With regard to the latter, however, an argument can be made that part of these expenses were expenses of the shop. How Anna sorted them out–or wrote off the business portion–is unclear.

There remain, also, loose typewritten pages–on the back of the shop’s Di Renaissance letterhead--with over 200 customers listed (with some duplications.) To this list were added handwritten names–Rev. Father Tirocchi, Natick, RI; Rev. Father Dunn, St. Mary’s church, Broadway, Providence, RI; Judge & Mrs. Capotosto, Shawomet Beach, RI; Rev. Father Parente, Holy Ghost Church, Providence, RI. We have wondered if perhaps this was a Christmas card list. On the back of one sheet was a list of workers.

The customer address books not only verify the names of clientele listed in the customer ledgers and day books, they locate them as well. This has been important in understanding the social set to which these women belonged. Many of them, it turns out, were neighbors. Often the address books carry the addresses for the clients’ additional residences–summer homes or winter retreats. Even though not all the books are dated, there are clues in some which have allowed an analysis of how the clientele grew and shrank over the years.

The shop’s bookkeeper was careful to keep old address books, even though working from newer ones. The curators are grateful to her now for her wisdom in saving these little books.

[ printable version ]


   Sources and Methods
   The People
   The Business
      Address Books
      Shop Announcements
      Bills   |   Day Books
      Employee Address Book
      Inventory   |   Ledgers
      Letters   |   Payroll
      Time Books
      Travel Records
      Vendor Account Books
      Vendor Invoices
      Vendor Letters
      Vendor Promotions
   Custom Dressmaking



The People Database includes a list of some of the Tirocchi customers, and links to purchases correspondence and other informaton.