I'm interested in how long it took to carry out major transactions in the nineteenth century compared to today. On the one hand, I expect there was less formality; on the other hand, less information technology to assist with such formality; which factor wins?
Perhaps the most common/important major transaction is buying a house. According to https://www.reallymoving.com/first-time-buyers/guides/timeline-for-buying-a-house it takes (leaving out the time spent selecting the house – I'm just interested in the commercial part of the transaction) 45-90 days today. Was it faster or slower than that in the nineteenth century?
So for a specific question:
How long did it take to buy a house (excluding search/selection time) in New York in 1870?