The year is around 1861. The author is working on the Great Western Railway and meets the son of the couple who apparently owned Cock’s Sauce (made in Reading, and very popular in Victorian times.)
The man’s parents
“were butler and housekeeper to an old lady, who left them the receipt [recipe] when she died. The first sauce they made in a stew pan, but the most amusing part was how his father advertised it. There were no trains in those days, so he went up by road waggon to London and took some sauce with him. He used to call at the roadside inns, where the waggoners had their dinners, and give them all a drop, and then give what was left to the landlady. Catch a man doing that now. He puts a thundering great advertisement up with a painting of a sick lion in a net, or a likeness of the Queen to catch the eye, and then rides about first class, and does it all by correspondence.”
The waggon has become the internet and couriers, but the technique is surely not so different.