from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Chiefly British A dealer in chemical products and dyes.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
To be brief, Providence blessed my efforts and increased my means; I became a wholesale dealer in every thing, from barrels of gunpowder down to pickled herrings; in the civic acceptation of the word I was a merchant, amongst the vulgar I am called a dry-salter.
Her father may be a lexicographer or a dry-salter, a designer of dirigible balloons or a manufacturer of air-pumps; he may even be a person of independent means, who lives in a big, new, stuccoed villa in the suburbs of Vienna, and devotes his leisure to the propagation of orchids: yet all the while a miller.
Whether by industry or luck -- except that industry is luck, and luck is only another word for industry -- he had gradually risen to be a large city merchant, a dry-salter I conclude it would be called, with a handsome house, carriage, etc.
The inflamed Ned and the blazing dry-salter met in mortal conflict, and the result was tremendous!
They were astonished that the robbers should dare to molest a man of his importance on 'change; he being an eminent dry-salter of Throgmorton street, and a magistrate to boot.
I expect some anecdotes from you of the coronation at Oxford; I hear my Lord Westmoreland's own retinue was all be-James'd with true-blue ribands; and that because Sir William Calvert, who was a fellow of a college, and happened to be Lord Mayor, attended the Duke of Newcastle at his inthronization, they dragged down the present Lord Mayor to Oxford, who is only a dry-salter.
For example -- A.B. was bred a dry-salter, and he goes in partner with with C.D., a scarlet-dyer, called a bow-dyer, at Wandsworth.