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As consumers in the mid-1800s developed a fondness for alcohol-spiked herbal remedies, thousands of bitters brands inundated the market. Under the guise of medicinal tonics, many of these products made from varied ingredients, were sold with vast claims as to the number of diseases and disorders they cured. The enormous profits to be had attracted many enterprising merchants such as Charles Lediard of New York whose OK Plantation Bitters was found among the SS Republic's assorted consignment of bitters bottles. The four bottles recovered from the wreck site were all empty of their original contents. Listed as a liquor merchant and bitters manufacturer, Lediard sold a variety of bitters brands, including his OK Plantation Bitters uniquely packaged in a tri-cornered bottle. The bottles was produced in varying shades of amber ranging from lighter to golden tones to darker purple-reds. During the 19th-century, as shelf recognition became important for sales, packaging became more distinctive, more colorful and more influential.

This three-sided log cabin example is rarely seen today, suggesting it was not one of Lediard's more successful products. Yet, its scarcity makes the OK Plantation Bitters bottle a prized specimen for modern-day collectors.

OK Plantation Bitters Bottle

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