Museum Homepage

The San Mateo County Historical Association
Online Collections Database

The mission of the San Mateo County Historical Association is to inspire wonder and discovery
of the cultural and natural history of San Mateo County.

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 1987.186.002
Description Ayer Clear Glass Bottle, n.d. Clear glass bottle. Elongated oval base with oval body. Two seams extend length of bottle to just below mouth. Body tapers to narrow straight neck. Raised ring just below mouth tapers to rounded lip. Bottle is empty. Raised ring below rounded lip is irregular with uneven and creased edges. Several air bubbles throughout glass.
Object Name Bottle
Collection 3D - Containers
Title Ayer Clear Glass Bottle, n.d.
Date n.d.
Creator Ayer, James Cook
Role Manufacturer
Inscription Text "AYER" (embossed on bottom)
Notes "...Ayer's Sarsaparilla (originated in 1848) produced by the J. C. Ayer & Co.; both companies were located in Lowell, Mass. (Holcombe 1977). Ayer's Sarsaparilla - which was bottled in a similar shape and size bottle - was also a very popular product from the mid-19th century (some Ayer's bottles come with pontil scars) to at least the mid-20th century (Fike 1987). Both companies were pioneering - and prolific - advertisers which may help explain their popularity (DeGrafft 1980). The Ayers company boasted that their advertising almanac was second only to the bible in circulation (Heetderks 2002). They also imply in the 1880s trade card pictured to the right that the discovery of their product was on a par with Columbus discovering the New World. (Or maybe Columbus discovered the New World and a billboard for Ayer's Sarsaparilla at the same time!)..." []
"...In fact, the year 1865 was not yet over before a Charleston druggist was shipping north the roots of southern plants for use in J.C. Ayer's medicinal products. James Cook Ayer was a qualified doctor (a rarity among patent medicine manufacturers) who began to create his own line of medicinal remedies in the 1840s..." []
"In 1843, James Cook Ayer mixed up a cherry cough medicine in a Lowell, Mass., apothecary while his boss was on vacation in Europe..." []

Dimensions H-7.375 W-3 D-1.375 inches
Search Terms Bottles
Subjects Bottle industry
Bottling industry
Glass industry