Artifacts from the 1866 Shipwreck “Baltic”

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Bottles & Other Glassware

Bottles from this era contained not only pickles, but were used to preserve and market other food products, namely cherries, honey, mincemeat, lobsters spiced, mixed vegetables, peppers and plum tomatoes. Some of the bottles recovered from the "Baltic" contained capers, still sealed with cork inserts from France. Products from France, such as capers, brandied cherries and olive oil were frequent imports in the 1800's.

The Apothecary jars were probably blown in full size one piece molds for body shape and then the neck and lip were finished. The bases have a pontil rod scar. The stoppers were pressed in a mold. These were the bottles that lined the back shelves of the drug store. Also, these jars were sold in sets and often had a layer of thin glass glued over a gilded paper label. These jars held numerous substances. An apothecary shop would probably have one hundred or more of these jars in storage.

The round storage jars with the dome shaped cover were known in 19th century glass catalogues as "ring jars". The jar was probably blown in a one piece mold and expanded and tooled, with the rings added on. The lid would have been free-blown then tooled into shape. These jars were intended primarily for apothecary shops and adapted to many uses for either storage or displaying goods. The base may or may not have a pontil rod scar.

A good reference book for further research on bottles is "The Bertrand Bottles". The "Bertrand", a steamer which sank in 1865 contained numerous bottles similar to the ones recovered from the "Baltic shipwreck".

Other glass items recovered from the "Baltic" included Umbrella Eight Sided ink bottles, some still containing ink, clear glass lantern chimney's, covered butter dishes in a pattern called "Hamilton the Leaf" but probably marketed as "Rose Leaf" (this shape was called a nappy and was manufactured by the Cape Cod Glass Company of Sandwich, Massachusetts), candy dishes, unique, one of a kind bar tumblers such as whiskey glasses, small shot glasses, small liquor glasses, glass cider mugs, water glasses; snuff bottles (some still containing snuff), cruet bottles, glass salt and pepper shakers with ornate lids, small and large wine bottles, beer bottles, gin bottles, glass lamp shades with a Greek key design in various sizes, and glass straws.

Cathedral Pickle Bottles

Cathedral or Gothic pickle jars. The Victorian Gothic design became popular on preserve ware starting in the 1840's continuing through the 1880's, though in the later years it seems the designs were less ornate.

The Victorian Gothic influence is known in glasshouses in Stoddard, New Hampshire; Westford and Willington in Connecticut and others in the South Jersey - Philadelphia areas. Some pickle containers have initials embossed on the base.

Some collectors refer to these pickle bottles as "floral pickle jars." The diamond lattice, floral patterns, tulip crowns, stars and crosses are all common designs.

Smaller emerald green floral bottles often held spices or honey along with pickles.

One of the wooden crates recovered intact from the Baltic shipwreck indicates the bottler of some of the bottles as "Stout Dyer & Wicks Pickles, 91 Barclay Street, New York." Another crate indicated "Chow Chow - Kemp Day & Co., Wall Street, New York" and another as Gloucester, Mass., Mackerel 1866, W. Sayward." But the manufacturer of the actual containers was Cohansey Glass Works of Bridgeton, New Jersey.

It is believed the parnership of Stout Dyer and Wicks was established in the late 1850's - early 1860's. They operated a canning house at the corner of Bank Street and Irving Avenue in Bridgeton, New Jersey until the spring of 1865 when John W. Stout gained full control of the company. The use of cathedral bottles by Stout Dyer and Wicks was not common knowledge until the recovery of these items from the Baltic shipwreck.