I am putting together a historical presentation about a late-19th / early 20th-century U. S. ruralite who was involved in many things including operating a general store. I have seen the abbreviation "Dr." on an invoice after the name of a business which sold Kodak film to him April 3, 1945. Then I see "Dr." after the fellow's name on invoices that were to be issued by the fellow himself. In these cases, what is the meaning of "Dr."?

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    It's best if you can include the link, or photo, or a transcript of the documents you're referring to.
    – Semaphore
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 8:38
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    Dr in this context means debit; there will be a corresponding entry labeled CR, which means credit. The merchant was using a double entry bookkeeping system, which was very common. Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 12:28
  • VTC: off topic.
    – John Dee
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 15:50

1 Answer 1


I think it was the abbreviation for drayer and meant the commercial provider of goods or services in the second half of the 19th century .

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    Hi and welcome to History SE. Can you back this up with a source? Commented Nov 4, 2020 at 10:56
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    Potentially good answer, but would be much stronger if supported by a source. Can you find an example? I wonder if google ngram could confirm or deny (I don't have a lot of experience with ngram)
    – MCW
    Commented Nov 4, 2020 at 11:25
  • This seems unlikely, given that drayer does not appear in either the 1928 OED or its supplements while all of dray, drayage, drayhorse and drayman do. The usage that would presumably attach to drayer was already attached to drayman, with as abbreviation an additional sense of dray listed in the OED Supplement. Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 15:56

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