This photograph shows the J. Jones and Son general store in Alton, NH. General stores were very popular in the 19th and early 20th century. Most villages had one, and people from the surrounding countryside would go there to shop. They were called "general" stores because they sold a wide variety of goods, including food, clothing, farm equipment, seeds, medicine, tools, and fuel such as kerosene. Customers usually bartered items they produced on their farms, such as eggs, butter, or vegetables, in exchange for the goods they purchased. They also bought items on credit, which means that they agreed to pay a certain amount later, after they were able to sell their crops. General stores were also often the post office for the area and a place that people could gather to catch up on the news of the day. This building is still a store today, the Alton True Value and Country Supply.