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Lediard's Morning Call Bitters Bottle

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 Morning Call was found among the SS Republic's assorted consignment of bitters bottles. The 11 green bottles recovered from the SS Republic were all empty of their original contents – advertised in the 19th century as a “tonic and invigorating cordial bitter.”

Listed as a liquor merchant and bitters manufacturer, Lediard sold a variety of bitters brands in addition to his Morning Call. Included in the Republic's shipment was his OK Plantation Bitters, four bottles of which were also recovered from the wreck site. Packaged in a unique tri-cornered bottle design, the examples aboard the ship exhibit varying shades of amber ranging from lighter to golden tones to darker purple-reds. The three-sided log cabin design is quite rare 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.

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