The idea of selling a quack remedy based on a Native American cure was the brainchild of William Henry Hartley, the original ‘Sequah’. Hartley, who claimed to have come upon the cure in his travels in frontierland, marketed it as a healing tonic prepared...
Clear glass pills bottle for the ‘Tabloid’ range, embossed with a monogram superimposing the letters B W Co, and the registration number, Rd 12029, dating the registration of the patent to 1884/5. External screw-thread with ground glass on top.
Aqua glass flat bottle with long neck and burst-off lip. The remains of the label say ‘Cold Drawn Castor Oil’, then below, ‘…two tablespoonfuls’, and on the next line also ‘…two tablespoonfuls’. Then, at the bottom,...
Bone items: a knife handle and two toothbrushes. One bears the name of the local maker G. Bristow, Yarmouth. The other is an import, impressed with the words ‘Extra Fine, Paris’ (this referring to the bristles).
Branded medicine: light-blue glass bottle with wide neck, embossed ‘Bishop’s Granular Citrate of Lithia, For Gout [twice, down two corner panels]’. Bishop’s purveyed various cures, including Granular Citrate of Caffeine (for headaches),...
A bottle for Boot’s Emulsion. The shape of the bottle and lettering are based on those of a popular brand of the time, ‘Scott’s Emulsion’, with which this own-brand product was competing. Boot’s had opened their first store in this...
Wavy-grip left-handed bone toothbrush (no markings) and a lid for a pot of Wood’s Areca Nut toothpaste, price 6d. This is the most commonly found brand of toothpaste in rubbish dumps of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Small green lavender water bottle.
Clear glass bottle with crown-shaped moulded stopper, embossed ‘The Crown Perfumery Company, London’, with traces of red label on each side, bearing details of the same.
Eau de Cologne bottle, from the firm of Johann Maria Farina, who founded a perfume works in the 18th century opposite Julich’s platz in Cologne. This bottle is for his No. 4. Clear glass.
Two bone toothbrushes. One is incised ‘Extra Fine Paris’ (referring to the quality of the bristles). The other is incised G. Bristow, Yarmouth. Kelly’s Directory for Norfolk, 1900, lists George Bristow, ‘hair dresser and sub-post office, 154...
Two unembossed medicine bottles, the one on the right retaining its hand-written label and remnants of brown contents.
American toilet water bottle, embossed ‘Agua de Florida/ Paris Londres/ New-York’. Remnants of label around the neck.
Bluish smaller size for ‘Owbridge’s/ Lung Tonic/ Hull’ (embossed in panels). For coughs, colds, chest complaints etc.
Aqua glass bottle embossed in panels ‘Kay Brothers Ltd/ Linseed Compound (Trade Mark)/ Stockport’. This was marketed as a remedy for coughs, colds, chest complaints, bronchitis, asthma, consumption, influenza etc. Like Elliman’s Embrocation, it was...
Wide-mouthed cobalt blue glass bottle, possibly for granular citrate of magnesia, for curing stomach upsets.
Small, bluish glass, Table spoons bottle, for medicine.
Clear glass, wide medicine phial, unembossed.
Medicine bottle embossed ‘Elliman’s/ Universal/ Embrocation’ (Slough). The bottle would have had a glass stopper wedged in a cork ring.
Aqua medicine bottle embossed ‘Steward and Son/ Yarmouth’, with gradations for two tablespoons.
Green glass tapering bottle for lavender water, which was used as a toilet water/ perfume.
Small clear-glass jar with external screw-thread and ground top. It contained remnants of a yellowish greasy substance like Vaseline or a chest rub. External screw-thread jars were rare at this date, only just coming in. They would have been expensive to make....
Aqua glass medicine bottle, embossed ‘St Jacob’s Oil/ The Charles A Vogeler Company/ London England’. This product was a liniment for treating rheumatism. It was also advertised as treating gout and other aches and pains.
Aqua glass bottle for Beetham’s Glycerine and Cucumber, face cream (for purifying and whitening the skin).
Tiny clear-glass bottle embossed to front with tessellated diamond design. Probably for scent. Found by Ben Ross.
Ground/ moulded cobalt-blue-glass bottle stopper, from a medicine or chemist’s bottle.
Rectangular pot lid with under-glaze transfer-printing in black: ‘Tooth Powder/ Henry Francis Partridge/ L.D.S. R.C.S. F.S.S./ Surgeon Dentist/ South Kensington’. Henry Francis Partridge is listed from at least 1879. In 1888 he was involved in a court case...
Aqua glass medicine bottle, embossed ‘R. F. Young/ New Barnet’, with gradations that seem to be for quantities of two tablespoons. Made by the York Glass Company (logo embossed on base).
Medium-sized Clarke’ Miraculous Salve ointment pot, priced at 2/9 per pot. Prepared by The Lincoln and Midland Counties Drug Co, Lincoln. Only the base section was found.
Blue-glass, North American bottle, embossed ‘Bromo-Seltzer/ Emerson Drug Co/ Baltimore, MD (i.e. Maryland). Imported from the USA, discarded in Norfolk.
Virol jar, with lettering in black print. This was a nourishing food. The text says ‘Virol, a preparation of Bone-Marrow, an ideal fat food for children and invalids’.
Brown-glass bottle, embossed ‘Society of Homeopathic Chemists Limited/ London’.
Stoppered amber/ brown glass bottle for toiletries, perfume or possible photographic developing chemicals.
Army and Navy Cold Cream pot lids and bases, with a (Victorian) Burgess’s Anchovy pot lid and base bottom left.
Transfer-printed pot lid, showing a single angry bear: ‘Genuine Russian Bear’s Grease – For Beautifying and Nourishing the Hair’ Exact provenance uncertain – north of England, 1880s site
Pot lid with printed design of bears against a mountainous backdrop: ‘Genuine Russian Bears’ Grease – for Increasing the Growth of Hair’. From an 1880s tip in Yorkshire.
‘Extractum Carnis “Liebig” – One Pound of this Extract contains thirty Pounds of Beef without fat Bone or tendon. To add to boiling water. C. Van Abbot, original importer, Cavendish Square, London, 2 ounces’. A small white ceramic pot...
Pot for ‘Nature’s Herbal Ointment’, dug from an ash dump of the 1870s near Leicester. This is the smaller size. At least one example of the larger size was excavated from the same dump.
Large (4 shillings) size pot lid for James Atkinson’s Bear’s Grease – a pomade for the hair. Dug from a dump of c. 1885 in Rugby, Warwickshire. Genuine bear’s grease was imported from Russia.
Pot Lid for Woods ‘Dandruff Pomade, to be rubbed into roots of hair’. Price 1 shilling. Transfer-printed black and white design with text in multiple fonts. Found in an ash dump of the 1870s in Leicestershire.
Two small medicinal phials, one brown, one aqua. The aqua one, when found, contained a small carved wooden stick of some sort, which may have been to do with its contents. Found in a ditch filled in 1883.
Lid for Wood’s Areca Nut Toothpaste, from 1900s ash and domestic waste.
Bottom section of a pot lid for Woods’ Areca Nut Toothpaste. W. Woods advertised himself as M.P.S. between the 1870s and 1890s. More commonly these letters do not appear after his name on his lids.
Bottom part of a pot lid for Wood’s Areca Nut Toothpaste. Found amid ash and household refuse of the 1890s.
Pictorial pot lid for Benbow & Sons’ Cherry Toothpaste, showing cherries.
Printed pot lid for Sydney Count’s Otto of Rose Cold Cream (‘Chemist, Lynn’). Count took over William Wigg’s HIgh Street chemist shop in Lynn c. 1880 and commissioned his own lids for this product, although he is not known to have purchased...
Pot lid for cold cream with a generic Gothic design. These lids were cheaper for the vendor to order than lids with a name, address and brand printed on them.
Pot lid for S. Maw, Son and Thompson’s White Cherry Toothpaste. Found in a ditch that was filled in 1883.
Polychrome pot lid for John Gosnell’s Cherry Toothpaste (actually areca-nut flavoured toothpaste which was dyed pink). Found amid ash and domestic refuse of the 1890s.
Pot lid for Cracroft’s toothpaste, sold by John Pepper. He is listed at the Tottenham Court Road address up to 1880. Found with domestic refuse in a ditch that was filled in 1883.
Fragment of a pot lid for cold cream with a generic design. It was cheaper for vendors to order generic lids of this type than to pay to have their own names and brands printed on the pot lid.
Black and white pot lid for John Gosnell’s Cherry Toothpaste, ‘Extra Moist’. Most of these lids were polychrome. The ‘Extra Moist’ ones are less common. Found amid ash and domestic refuse of the 1890s.
Two medicine bottles. Left, light blue-green ‘Palmer’s Bronchial Linctus’. Palmer was a chemist in King’s Lynn. Right, light blue glass, ‘Beetham’s Glycerine and Cucumber’ (for the complexion). Found amid domestic ash and...
Lids for John Gosnell’s Cherry Toothpaste, picturing the young Queen Victoria. Cherry toothpaste was flavoured with areca nut and dyed pink. Discarded from Kirton Rectory. 1900s.
Glass jar with ceramic ‘button’ lid, for dental powder or similar. Found amid domestic waste. 1890s.
Part of a pot lid for John Gosnell’s cherry toothpaste, found with ash and domestic refuse of the 1890s.
Medicine phials found amid ash and domestic refuse of the 1890s. Left, Powell of Blackfriars. This clear-glass bottle has been affected by its burial in the ground, which has given it a black coating. Right, an unembossed mould-blown medicine phial.
Pots for Holloway’s ointment, from black scavenged domestic ash at the ash yard. 1890s.
Four pot lids for Wood’s Areca Nut Toothpaste, at 6d per pot. This is the commonest lid to turn up in old rubbish dumps. Found in black ash amid scavenged household waste of the 1890s.
Baby’s bottle, embossed on one side ‘Savar’s Registered Feeding Bottle’, with the Savar’s trademark on the other. Found amid ash and domestic refuse of the 1890s, although it may have been old when discarded. (Item inverted to show...
Baby’s bottle, embossed on one side ‘Savar’s Registered Feeding Bottle’, with the Savar’s trademark on the other. Found amid ash and domestic refuse of the 1890s, although it may have been old when discarded.
Red/pink printed pot lid for Dr Wright’s Pearl Ointment, from the original recipe as purchased from A. Hawkes Esq, Dudley, by Zaccheus Hunter. The price is given as 2s 9d, and the address as 44 Webber Row. Discovered in a ditch that was filled in 1883.
Light blue glass Barrow Evans Hair Restorer bottle, from a ditch that was filled in 1883.
Holloway’s ointment pot, found in black ash which had been scavenged at the Kings Lynn ash yard. 1890s.
Two small jars for cosmetics or toiletries. The one on the left is made of milk glass. The one on the right is embossed ‘Boots Cash Chemists’ and contained a greasy orange residue. It retained its rusted metal screw-on lid. Of 100 bottle necks sampled in...
Aqua glass vet’s bottle embossed ‘The only/ Genuine/ Day, Son and Hewitts/ Gaseous Fluid/ London’. This was a favourite remedy for horses, cattle and sheep. Two of these bottles were found; the other one was broken. Discarded in 1908 after the death...
Two bottles for Congreve’s Balsamic Elixir, discarded with other medicines after the death of Mary Everett in 1908. Both clear glass. The bottle on the right is an earlier design, embossed on all four panels: ‘Congreve’s / Celebrated Balsamic/...
Clear glass bottles, both retaining their corks and some of their contents (prior to cleaning). Judging by the contents, they held medicine of some sort. The one on the left is 7.7 cm tall. The thin one, right, is 6.3 cm tall. Dumped in 1908 after the death of Mary...
Clear glass Parisian perfume bottle, which contained Cologne. Embossed ‘Rue de la Cloche/ No. 4777A, Cologne’. Two were discovered among the rubbish discarded after the death of Mary Everett in 1908 (including a number of perfume and medicine bottles)....
Ice-blue flask shaped bottle, 8.5 cm tall, embossed ‘Varalettes’. Varalettes were effervescing lithia tablets for gout (as loosely defined), which were manufactured by the London chemist Alfred Bishop. Discarded after the death of Mary Everett in 1908...
Clear glass perfume bottles with ground interiors to the necks for taking glass stoppers. Left, a round bottle, 9 cm high, tapering slightly outwards from base up to the shoulder, with T & S/ L embossed on the base. Right, oblong bottle, 10.5 cm high, with...
Clear glass medicine bottle retaining cork and part of contents. Embossed on the base is a flat-cut diamond profile (a hexagon), containing the letters Y/G/ Co, for the glassworks. 12 cm tall and 4.7 cm wide at the shoulder. The same glassworks made three of the...
Ice-blue medicine bottle with gradations, embossed ‘Tablespoons’. It retains the cork and some of its contents. 15.5 cm tall, 6.1 cm wide at the shoulder. Discarded after the death of Mary Everett in 1908 along with other medicine bottles retaining some of...
Ice-blue medicine bottle, with cork lip, 17 cm tall, no markings. The profile is oval. Discarded after the death of Mary Everett in 1908.
A small, free-blown phial for medicine or pigment that was decades old when discarded. It may have been sitting around in a medicine chest or an artist’s paint box.
Plain white ceramic ointment pot. Originally it would have had a label. Discarded in London and dumped in Essex.
Cobalt blue bottle, embossed ‘The Mexican Hair Renewer’ down the narrow sides. The curved front and back bore the labels. Discarded in London and dumped in Essex.
These little octagonal bottles in cobalt blue or, less commonly, in amber brown are found in rubbish dumps from the 1910s. They may have contained eye-drops. (Information welcome.)
Two thin glass phials, one with a burst-off lip. The other, on the left, contains a gold-coloured residue. Contents unknown.
Aqua glass hinge-moulded medicine bottle, with a pontil scar. 1850s or 1860s. Found on the marshes.
Clear glass bottle made with manganese oxide, embossed ‘3 Ounce/ Sloan’s Liniment/ Kills Pain’. Found in a bucket with other bottles including ‘Anzora’, a Codd bottle, and ‘Ad-le-burg’ mineral water, in a copse behind...
Bone toothbrushes, bristles missing. (These would have decayed in the ground.) Toothbrushes were a luxury. Poorer people would have cleaned their teeth with a stick or marshmallow root or rag and soot.
Ground glass lenses from spectacles.
Otto of Rose Cold Cream pot lid, sold by J. M. Davis & Sons, at The International Pharmacy, with addresses in London. The product ‘will keep good in any climate for years’. The lid has been in a destructor (without excessive damage) and has suffered...
Ceramic disc, black transfer on white, bearing the name of the French perfumier Maison Dorin. This disc formed a hard base on which rouge and powder were compressed. Once the make-up had been used up, it was discarded. Made in Paris and shipped to England, it was sold...
Antiseptic Carnation Tooth Paste, prepared by W. T. Cooper, Chemist etc, 26 Oxford St. Black transfer on white, with decorative border.
‘Holloway’s Ointment’ pot. ‘For the cure of gout and rheumatism, inveterate ulcers, sore breasts, sore heads, bad legs, etc. Manufactured by the proprietor, 335 Oxford St.’ The pots came in five sizes of which this is the smallest at one...
‘Poor Man’s Friend’ ointment pot, small size, priced 1 shilling and 1 and a half pence. Blue transfer on white. Prepared by Beach and Barnicott, successors to Dr Roberts of Bridport. It contained active ingredients effective for the treatment of...
Part of a bowl, with a red transfer showing the logo of the Salvation Army (introduced in 1879), beneath the words ‘Food and Shelter’.
Clear glass hand-finished bottle from the Anzora Perfumery Co., London. For setting the hair. Found in a bucket with bottles including Sloan’s Liniment, Ad-le-Burg mineral water, and a Codd from J. F. Harrington.
Medicine bottle with measurements for tablespoons, embossed ‘A. V. Lester M. P. S./ Chemists/ Canterbury’. Cork top.
Found in a bucket with other bottles including Sloan’s liniment, Anzora (perfumery), Ad-le-burg mineral water and a Codd bottle for J. F. Harrington. Buried in a copse behind cottages.
Aqua glass chemist’s bottle with recessed panels, embossed ‘Carefully prepared by Keybells, Derby’. Cork top.
Most bottle stoppers are clear or aqua glass, like the two pictured bottom right. These are more unusual in being coloured. Top left, two brown stoppers. Top right, two cobalt blue ones. Below, left, a black/purple stopper. These were probably from chemists’...
Aqua phial, embossed ‘Mrs Winslow’s Soothing Syrup/ Curtis and Perkins/ Proprietors’. Several were found in this deposit. Branded ‘The Mother’s Friend’, nicknamed ‘babykiller’, this contained morphine and was used to...
Left: medium-size Owbridge’s bottle, c. 1910, Marshbrook. Right: small Owbridge’s bottle, discarded 1915-20, Tilbury. The firm was based in Hull and sold its products all over the country. The smaller bottle was discarded in London and then dumped in...
Brown glass bottle embossed ‘Rusby’s Ltd/ Hairdressers/ Great Windmill Street W. 1.’ For hair tonic/ restorer. The cork has a metal cap with drizzle tube, so that the contents could be poured in small quantities.
Three plain medicine bottles, two in aqua/blue, the third in clear glass, all made by the same glassworks (stamp embossed on base). The two on the left are for cough syrups or the like. The smaller one on the right is for pills.
Two aqua/blue medicine bottles. The one on the left is embossed ‘Cousins and Thomas, Oxford’. Their shop was in Magdalen Street.
Left: aqua glass, ‘Dr Adolf Hommel’s Haemotogen’, a blood purifier. It cost 4 shillings. Centre: aqua glass, ‘Owbridge’s Lung Tonic, Hull’. This size cost 2 shillings and nine pence. Right: ‘Eno’s Fruit Salts’, a...
Small clear glass bottle with metal cap. Embossed on sides ‘B. W. & Co’ (for Burroughs Wellcome) and ‘TABLOID’. External screw-on cap, embossed ‘Wellcome Chemical Works, over 270 highest awards’ (a total exceeded in 1912). In...
Heavy white ceramic ointment pot, with indent for string for tying on a lid. Pearl ware. Found in the Thames.
Two small green medicine bottles, with tooled lips (centre and left). Contents uncertain.
Small clear glass medicine bottle, for ‘Powell’ of ‘Blackfriars Road’. Found among rubbish from the 1870s. Labourers’ cottages, Kent.
Small aqua medicine bottle, found with rubbish from the 1870s. Labourers’ cottages, Kent.
Small aqua/blue medicine.
Medicine bottle for Barclay & Sons Ltd, Farringdon St, London. From London rubbish dumped in Essex.
Brown glass medicine bottle, made in a three-piece mould. No embossing. Cork top.
Green bottle for medicine or hair tonic.
Stoneware bottle for the South London Mineral Water Co[mpany]. Cork top. 1870s.
Flat-bottomed Hamilton bottle from the Stretton Hills Mineral Water Company, of Church Stretton. Blob top for cork. These bottles superseded the egg-shaped version during the first decade of the twentieth century. They were supposed to be stored on their side, but...
Large blue chemist’s bottle, which would have held a cork or glass stopper. This was found with a smaller blue display bottle and others from the rubbish from a chemist’s shop that was cleared out in the period 1915-20 and dumped on the marshes at...
Cobalt chemist’s bottle made in a three-piece mould. Cork or glass stopper missing. Such bottles held active ingredients and were displayed on chemists’ shelves and in their windows. Found amid refuse cleared out of a chemist’s shop about the end of...
Tall tapering perfume or unguent bottle.
Blue bottle for Allen & Hanbury’s Castor oil, a laxative and general remedy. Found in the same deposit as a bottle for Carlsbad Sprudel Salts, another laxative.
Two-tone stoneware mineral water bottle for Ad-le-burg manufactory, Southend-on-Sea. Crown cap. Stamped ‘Bourne, Denby, 15’. This item was found in a bucket with other bottles, including a small Codd from Harrington’s, a bottle from the Anzora...
Clear glass (Manganese) bottle for Chesebrough’s Vaseline.
The undersides of pot lids. Left: an advert for Sulpholine Soap on the underside of a lid for Cracroft’s Areca Nut toothpaste.
Left: Pot lid for Cracroft’s Areca Nut Toothpaste. An advert on the underside of the lid promotes ‘Sulpholine Soap’ (Bergh Apton). Right: Pot lid for Atkinson’s Rose Cold Cream, price one shilling. Atkinson also made bear’s grease (London...
Kutnow’s Powder – to be dissolved in water, for various complaints, ranging from headache to gout.
Pot lid for ‘Price’s Celebrated Cold Cream, for chapped hands and faces’. Found with rubbish from the 1890s at labourers’ cottages in Castle Rising.
Large aqua bottle for Dinnerford’s Magnesia, for stomach upsets. Tooled lip. White residue inside.
Clear glass bottle, embossed ‘Lait Larola for the Skin’, manufactured by Beethams, Cheltenham, for a shilling a bottle. For beautifying and whitening the skin. Hand-made with tooled lip.
Clear glass bottle, embossed ‘Listerine – Lambert Pharmacal Company’. Disinfectant.
Left: base of a decoratively moulded milk-glass jar, for skin cream. Right: milk-glass jar, ‘Creme Floreine (+) Paris’ – a beauty product. Imported.
Left: ‘Back & Co, Norwich and Yarmouth’ (aqua, oval) Right: ‘Fuller & Co Ltd, Dispensing Chemists, Norwich’ (large, aqua panel bottle)
Beetham’s Glycerine and Cucumber, a preparation for beautifying and whitening the skin. Clear glass.
Neck from a ‘Hamilton’ mineral water bottle (either egg-shaped or flat-bottomed). Aqua.
Small pot lid with fractured base. The lid would have had a paper label. Pots of this sort were sold by local chemists, containing toothpaste, cold cream, bear’s grease and the like. Larger companies could afford transfer-printed labels, which had the advantage...
Extract of Malt, prepared by the Army and Navy Co-operative Society, c. 1910. For infants and invalids. Found with rubbish to the rear of the stables at Hempstead rectory.
Elliman’s Embrocation bottle, c. 1900. Medicine for chest complaints, etc.