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Lord Ward's Worcestershire Sauce Bottle

The excavation of the SS Republic produced over 8,000 glass and stoneware bottles including more than 1,500 examples which represented food bottles, the third largest category recovered from the wreck site (18.0% of the total). Included are a variety of pickled goods, preserved fruit, and sauces, some with their original contents still intact yet now contaminated with sea water and ocean deposits.

Of the many British food products competing with American goods in the mid-19th century, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce is perhaps best known. Launched commercially in 1838, within a few years it was imported into the United States by John Duncan's Sons, New York. This popular condiment soon found a receptive market in restaurants, hotel dining rooms and in the dining salons of passenger ships.

The success of Lea & Perrins produced many imitators, often sporting pretentious names such as "British Lion" or "Empress of India." One such knock-off, believed to be of British origin, was Lord Ward's Worcestershire Sauce. While today little is known of its maker, the product apparently had some customers in the United States in 1865, when the SS Republic set sail down the East Coast. Yet, only one such bottle embossed with the name Lord Ward's Worcestershire Sauce was found at the wreck site, a paltry number in contrast to the huge shipment of Lea & Perrins more esteemed condiment.

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