The Colporteur work has been greatly aided by the PHOTO-DRAMA. Indeed had it not been for the DRAMA the output of books would, to all appearances, have been very much less. The regular Colporteur work lost some of its most successful workers soon after the outbreak of the war, when the first pinch of money was felt. We cannot but feel sorry for this, for the country recovered from its panic when the demand for war material began to be felt, and since then there has been plenty of money in circulation, and the people are perishing for need of the Truth. We still think there is plenty of room for good Colporteurs, and it is still true that ground already gone over can again be canvassed to advantage.
Sorry Reslight2 your statement that Russell's Colporteurs didn't ask for money or other restitution for the literature they brought door to door is invalid.
True it could be said that they were volunteers as JWS are deemed today, that doesn't mean that there was nothing asked in exchange for the literature
offered. There is a part of the Colporteur hand book where it goes on to describe what to ask and where they might be able to make the most
probable chance of getting something.
There's even a suggestion to stay clear of any Black/Negro neighborhoods for they most likely wouldn't give out any money.
I searched though everything I posted to see if I did indeed, perhaps inadvertently, actually say that colporteurs didn't ask for money. I could not find any place where I made such a statement; perhaps Finkelstein is confusing what I said concerning the Volunteer work with the Colporteur work. The two are not the same. The Volunteers I spoke of are not Colporteurs. Volunteers generally did not ask for money; the Colporteurs and Sharpshooters, however, did ask for money. In comparison, however, there were very few who participated in the Colporteur work; practically all Bible Students in the days of Russell participated in the Volunteer work. The distribution of literature by Colporteurs was very small in comparison with the free distribution of literature that was accomplished by the Volunteers.
There was, in Russell's day, a booklet entitled "Suggestive Hints to New Colporteurs".
There are other Colporteur Handbooks that were printed by other book publishers:
I am not sure what is being referred to concerning 'staying clear of Black/Negro neighborhoods'. Nevertheless, in Russell's day, very few of the black people could read; indeed, in some neighborhoods, most of the people could either not read at all, or could not read English. My father was white, of Irish descent, but he could not read nor write. He died around 1958.
Colporteurs, however, usually were totally dependent on selling of books to make a living; they could not afford to give books away, and thus were advised to leave such work of giving away free literature to the Volunteers. The Colporteurs, like all salesman, had to use their time wisely in order to make enough money to support themselves. If they were to go into a neighborhood where most people cannot read, they would be wasting their time.
The Six Volumes and some other bound books, however, were not genrally offered for free, although there were some distributions of the first volume in magazine form that were distributed gratis in the Volunteer work. The Six bound volumes were, in effect, offered to Colporteurs at, near, or even below the cost of producing the books.
Those of the public (who responded to literature that they had received from Volunteers or otherwise) who could not afford to buy the the Studies were either loaned copies, or copies were sent to them free. Often local congregations, as well as individuals, would provide books to those who could not afford them, but the WTS itself also often provided such.
Nevertheless, the distribution of literature for sale was very small in comparison to the distribution of free literature.