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Pepper sauces were an important staple in the 19th century American diet, enjoyed for their distinctive flavor and for their ability to mask unpleasant tastes. They were commonly used to season meat that had spoiled due to a lack of cold storage. Small cylindrical bottles were often carried by Civil War soldiers of the North and South. The product was especially useful in hot and humid summers when unsavory meats were served on a regular basis.


Massachusetts was home in 1807 to the first known American bottled pepper sauces; the recipes were probably similar to earlier English ones. By 1859, a prominent Louisiana banker and legislator, Colonel Maunsell White, manufactured the first bottled hot sauce. A key ingredient was Tabasco chilies harvested on his own plantation. A friend, Edmund McIlhenny, later marketed the spicy formula in used cologne bottles and by 1870, had obtained a patent on Tabasco hot pepper sauce, the second oldest U.S. food patent.


Many 19th-century American pepper sauces were sold in cathedral-style bottles. More than 150 such bottles were recovered from the wreck of the SS Republic . In varying shades of aquamarine – some with deeper tints of blue, others are more green – they typify the common designs of square and six-sided cathedral patterns. At least a half dozen of the bottles still hold some remnants of their original contents: well-preserved red or green chili peppers, floating in a murky liquid, now contaminated with sea water and ocean deposits.


Whereas every effort has been made to choose the best examples of shipwreck artifacts for our collectors, some blemishes and imperfections will be evident due to the harsh conditions the pieces have been subjected to during their years in the deep ocean.

SS Republic Cathedral Pepper Sauce Bottle

SKU: 310103
  • Bottle approximately 12.5 cm tall



    • Display stand with engraved SS Republic plaque
    • Certificate of Authenticity
    • Bottles from the Deep Book
  • If the product you received does not meet your expectations a return or exchange is permitted within 30 days of purchase. All items being returned or exchanged must be in their original condition and complete with all packaging, certificate of authenticity and promotional gifts as applicable. All authentic shipwreck artifacts will be examined on an individual basis for any tampering or damage. Seascape Artifacts Exhibits, Inc. reserves the right to decline the return or exchange if an artifact has been damaged or altered in any way. Refunds will be issued between 5-10 business days using the original payment method.

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