Life in the 1800s necessitated the use of perfume and cologne. Without the conveniences of hot or cold running water, nor washers and dryers to automatically launder one's clothing, personal hygiene was a constant problem intensified by the heat of the summer and made unbearable by the heavy woolen clothing of the winter. The use of cologne was in fact essential, and as common as today's use of deodorants. In early America, the first scents were colognes and scented water. Perfume would undergo a profound change in the 19th century when changing tastes and the development of modern chemistry laid the foundations of perfumery as we know it today. Alchemy gave way to chemistry and new fragrances were created. Under the post-revolutionary government, people once again dared to express a penchant for luxury goods, including perfume. Soon a number of perfumery manufactories were established in the country with fragrant waters and colognes frequently put into decorative glass bottles.
The 19 cologne or perfume bottles pressed in the "Tulip and Sawtooth" pattern may have been attributed to the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company whose collection today comprises a number of similar glassware including a footed tumbler, pomade jar, oil bottle and perfume/cologne bottle. Often the same mold was used to produce a variety of different pieces. The examples recovered from the SS Republic exhibit a ground neck designed for a glass stopper, the remains of which were not found at the wreck site.
Several Midwest glass factories including Pittsburgh's Bryce, Richards & Company, renamed Bryce, Walker & Company in 1865, also produced the popular "Tulip and Sawtooth" pattern. Variations of the pattern were quite common among all of the American glass works and differ only slightly from one another.