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Lediard's Morning Call Bitters Bottle

Many of the glass inkstands from the Republic take the form of square "schoolhouse" or "cottage-style" bottles, including a number bearing the name "Guyot", an ink-making enterprise with its roots in 17th-century France.

The modern ink industry is said to have begun in 1625 when the French government offered a chemist named Guyot a contract to manufacture a large amount of “gall” ink. Prepared from nut-shaped galls of oaks or other trees, gall ink is an Asiatic invention believed to have entered Europe through Arabia at the end of the 11th or early 12th century. Guyot has been called “the father of the modern ink industry.”

In 1865, when the Republic sank, more than two centuries after that first contract was issued in France, the Guyot company still flourished as makers of fine ink. More than a dozen square ink bottles were retrieved from the Republic wreck site, each embossed with the Guyot family name. While any paper labels have long since washed away, many of these bottles still hold their original cork stopper, and at least one bears the stain of the original writing fluid.

Guyot Inkstand

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