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Over 400 examples of this distinctive bottle type were recovered from the wreck of the SS Republic. Most are in varying shades of green, yet the excavation also produced some amber samples. Short-necked, tall, square bottles such as this example was a classic shape used for a wide assortment of products ranging from high alcohol medicinal bitters to sarsaparilla and schnapps (brandies distilled from fruit). They were also used by the apothecary and the chemist.

Yet, with their maker’s labels long gone and lacking any embossed text on their sides, the identity of this portion of the bottled cargo is forever uncertain. However, considering the large quantity of embossed bitters bottles found at the site, it is likely that these square bottles too, were filled with some brew of bitters so popular in the middle of the 19th century.

Square Bitters Bottle

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