Lediard's Morning Call Bitters Bottle
The vast majority of ink bottles recovered from the wreck of the SS Republic (493) comprise eight-paneled umbrella inkstands in varying shades of green and aquamarine as well as a few dark amethyst examples, whose rare color is especially prized among collectors. While none of the glass samples retain their paper labels, a handful still contain remains of their original writing fluid.
Some of the umbrella inkstands are embossed on the base with the letters ‘NY' which may represet a New York ink maker who custom-ordered these inkstands from a glassmaking firm and sold his own company product inside them.
A number of the inkstands bear a distinctive pontil scar on the base of the bottle produced by the use of a pontil rod. A typical pontil rod was a long (4-6 feet) rod which was securely attached to the base of the just blown hot bottle. The rod had to be long enough so that the heat transference from the extremely hot (2000°+ F.) bottle did not reach the hands of the pontil rod holder. A pontil rod held the bottle during the steps in the bottle blowing process where the blowpipe is removed from the bottle and that break-off point is "finished" to form the lip of the bottle.
The Republic’s cargo of umbrella inkstands, also known as pyramid ink bottles, were common throughout New Jersey’s bottle houses and were also produced by the Stoddard glasshouses of New Hampshire, as well as by most other glass manufacturers of the era. They were designed to sit on a writing desk or table without tipping over, ready to receive the writer’s dipped pen. When the inkstand's supply of ink ran low, it was then refilled for continued use. A cork stopper once sealed the bottle's fluid contents to prevent leakage during shipment and use.