Clarke & White Mineral Water Bottle

The excavation of the SS Republic produced two quart size Saratoga-style bottles embossed with the Clarke & White company name. Having once contained the mineral water of New York's Saratoga Springs, Clarke & White's dark green bottle is one of the most common of the Saratoga's found. While these bottles were produced in many different color variants, dark glass was especially functional in reducing exposure to heat and light to better preserve the bottled contents. The bottle is also characterized by especially thick glass which reduced breakage and increased safety during shipping.

Renowned for its therapeutic mineral waters, Saratoga Springs was home to 122 natural springs, and was a major source of bottled water during the 19th century. Bottling mineral waters in fact, became a well established American industry that not only provided water for table use, but also for medicinal purposes, its combination of gases and dissolved salts believed to have curative value. The mineral springs of Saratoga had long been revered by local Native American tribes. The Iroquois called one such site, the High Rock Spring, the "medicine Spring of the Great Spirit."

Arriving in Saratoga Springs in 1822, New York City soda-fountain owner John Clarke saw the commercial potential of the area's pure waters. He purchased land and established a venture bottling mineral water. With partner Thomas Lynch, Clarke successfully marketed his bottled water across the country and Europe. Not long after, he married the widow Eliza White who had purchased the High Rock Spring. Together the couple formed a successful company, Clarke & White, to bottle their Saratoga mineral waters. After Clarke's death in 1846, their children managed the family business for some years.

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