top of page

Boerhave's Holland Bitters Bottle

The excavation of the SS Republic yielded a paltry two bottles of Boerhave's Holland Bitters. The product was sold by Benjamin Page Jr. & Company of Pittsburgh. The company first offered the product in 1856, promoting it widely with colorful advertising. The North Carolina Standard of July 8th, 1857 declared that Boerhave's Holland Bitters "finds its way directly to the life, thrilling, and quickening every nerve and raising up the drooping spirit."

When Page entered the U.S. Navy in 1862, he apparently sold his interest in the business, leaving no record of subsequent owners. However, it seems that this liquor-laced remedy continued to enjoy some appeal even after the turn of the century. Boerhave's is counted among a laundry list of pharmaceutical products available in 1904.

Perhaps the two samples found at the wreck site, now empty of their contents, were drained by a nervous passenger during the storm-tossed voyage of October 1865.

bottom of page