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.
Mercer. A dealer in small wares, or in merchandise of any sort. In England the term is applied to a dealer in cloths of different sorts, especially silk.