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Object Record

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Object ID # 1986.019.004ab
Object Name Bottle, Apothecary
Lexicon category 5: T&E For Science & Technology
Date 1850s
Artist Whitall Tatum & Co., U.S.A. (glassmaker)
Made Whitall Tatum & Co.
Place of Origin United States of America
Description Druggist's reagent bottle with glass label for P. TRAGACAN. This is a clear, round, pressed glass bottle with a stopper. The base of the bottle has raised lettering with "W. T. Co. C U.S.A." A thin glass label, bent to follow the contour of the bottle, is present in opaque white, with the words "P. TRAGACAN." in black lettering. This refers to powdered tragancanth, which was used as a suspension agent when mixed with water (mucilage tragacanth). The label has a 0.5 cm wide gold margin that is outlined in a thin, red margin. The mould lines are apparent on either side of the bottle, extending 19.5 cm up to the neck. The neck is 3 cm high and 6 cm in diameter. The lip has a flattened flange shape. There are numerous bubbles and flaws in the glass, suggesting age. The stopper has been pressed in two parts, with mould lines extending through the centre of both. Two round pieces are connected with a 2 cm high pedestal or waist. The bottom part of the stopper has a ground glass edge (similar to the mouth area of the bottle).
Provenance Manufactured by Whitall Tatum & Co. in the United States. Roland Ellinghausen (b. 1910 - d. 1981), an Owen Sound druggist collected this as part of a set. It is unknown from where Mr. Ellinghausen obtained the set.
Collection Pharmaceutical Equipment Collection
Material Glass/Gold/Ink
Dimensions H-19 Dia-90 cm
Found Ontario
People Ellinghausen, Roland
Doyle, L. P.
Function Apothecary bottles were often decorated with the substance they were intended to contain and made in sets so that they would look very attractive on a shelf in the drug store. The inert nature of the glass of the bottle kept the substance within in good condition, but also allowed visibility so that the amount left in the bottle could be seen. The druggist would measure out the quantity that was required.