This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Clerk. [From Latin clericus, clergyman, priest, whence our words clerical, clergy, ecclesiastic, clerk, etc]. In its original sense a learned man; a man of letters; a scholar; formerly a man who could read, an attainment confined chiefly to ecclesiastics. At present by extension, one who is employed in an office, public or private, or in a store or warehouse either to keep accounts or act in the capacity of salesman.