Lediard's Morning Call Bitters Bottle
The SS Republic carried an enormous shipment of ink bottles designed for home, office and school use. The combined quantity of inkstands and larger master ink bottles recovered from the wreck site total nearly 2,500 containers, representing 29% of the total bottle assemblage.
Few of the examples have a manufacturer's embossment, and all are lacking any original paper label which would have identified the ink maker. The bottles had once been sealed with a cork stopper, most of which are no longer intact. Some of the corks have since imploded inside the bottle due to the pressure of sinking 1,700 feet deep.
Counted among the ink products aboard the vessel were two dozen clear glass square inkstands which bear the embossed initials "F.K," letter's likely representing the 19th-century ink maker whose product was stored in this small bottle. The name however, remains anonymous today.
With its boxy and beveled roof-like corners, many collectors call this distinctive shape a "cottage" or "school house" inkstand. Like other contemporary inkstands, it was designed to be sturdy and attractive, but is far less elaborate than some other examples produced in this era which feature well-defined windows, doors and rooftops.
Included in the Republic's cargo were the larger-sized master ink bottles, many with a distinctive pouring lip, which according to glasshouse catalogs of the period was called a "pour-out." These bigger containers typically stored bulk ink to fill smaller inkstands when empty.