Lediard's Morning Call Bitters Bottle
In addition to its remarkable cargo of inkstands, the SS Republic carried several hundred "master inks," larger-sized bottles used to hold bulk ink, sometimes in a concentrated form to be diluted before using. These glass and stoneware containers were typically used to refill smaller inkwells and inkstands.
More than half of the "master inks" recovered from the wreck site are unembossed examples of glass in shades of pale aqua, green and amber. They also vary in size. Most feature a pouring lip or spout, distinctive to this bottle type and useful for the clean and efficient dispensing of liquid ink.
The ink making industry in America flourished in the 19th century with over 300 ink makers. Among the best known are Maynard and Noyes, Davids, and Carter to mention but a few. Yet, without their paper labels, indentifying the ink maker whose product was sold in the of the Republic master ink botttles is virtually impossible.