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Object Record

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Object ID # 1986.019.006ab
Object Name Bottle, Apothecary
Lexicon category 5: T&E For Science & Technology
Date 1850s?
Artist Whitall Tatum & Co., U.S.A.
Made Whitall Tatum & Co., U.S.A.
Place of Origin United States of America
Description Druggist's reagent bottle with glass label for CETACEUM. 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 word "CETACEUM" in black lettering. This refers to spermaceti, a solid wax obtained from the head, blubber and carcass of sperm whales. It has historically been a common ingredient for cold creams.
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/Inks
Dimensions H-19 Dia-9 cm
Found Ontario
People Ellinghausen, Roland
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.