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Object Record

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Catalog Number 1999.048.288
Description Salt shaker bottle recovered from City Centre Plaza, c. 1890-1923. This bottle is round shaped with hand-blown tooled rim for a a screw finish. A .5 inch short and narrow neck flares out 1 inch shoulder to a 2.5 inch body. There are four horizontal rings at the shoulder of bottle. A banner that outlines the name "E.R. DURKEE / & CO. / NEW YORK," were embossed on the bottle facing left. On the bottom of the bottle it says "BOTTLE PATENTED"/ "APRIL 17, 1877". Also, there is a diamond shaped design on the bottom. The bottle is clear and shows evidence of glass machine manufacture.
Object Name Saltshaker
Collection 3D - Food Service Tools & Equipment
Title Salt shaker bottle recovered from City Centre Plaza, c. 1877-1923.
Date c. 1877-1923
Creator E.R. Durkee & Co.
Role Manufacturer
Inscription Text "E.R. DURKEE / & CO. / NEW YORK," (embossed on the bottle facing left of bottle).
"BOTTLE PATENTED" "APRIL 17, 1877," (embossed on the bottle on the bottom of bottle).
Provenance 20 boxes of archaeological material excavated from the City Centre Plaza site at 950 Main at Middlefield in Redwood City. Excavation for development, done by Basin Research Associates.
Notes The most common overall shape for milk bottles for the majority of the period covered by this website was cylindrical or round in cross-section. More specifically, from the 1880s when the first distinct bottle style associated with the bottling of milk was invented and significantly used (covered below) until the late 1940s/early 1950s when square or rectangular bottles began to become more common.

Toulouse (1971:182) placed the inception date for Eugene R. Durkee – making spices and extracts in his basement at home – at 1850, and we have seen an advertisement for the firm as early as 1851 – the year given by most sources. The early ad noted that E.R. Durkee (no
“& Co.”) was a “Wholesale and Retail Dealer in Drugs, Medicines, Perfumery, Brushes, Fancy Articles, Glassware, Congress Water, Leeches, Cigars, Pure Wines, Liquors, Oils, amphene, Burning Fluid &c.” in Buffalo, New York.

A salt shaker of this same design (see below) was made by a pressand-blow machine – even though the mouths on these are very small for that technique. It is likely that at least some of the salad dressing bottles were also made by the same machine. These were likely manufactured during the very early 1900s. The final technique was the use of the Owens machine, leaving the distinctive feathered scar (See the picture from the bottom of bottle)
Durkee also packaged at least two types of salts – “Izlert”2 and Celery – both under the Challenge brand name and packaged them in smaller versions of the salad dressing bottles. These were embossed “E.R. DURKEE / & CO. / NEW YORK,” read with the finish of the bottle facing left (see pictures).

Dimensions H-4.75 W-2 D-2 inches
Search Terms Archaeology
City Center Plaza
Drug Stores
Redwood City
Subjects Bottle industry
People Durkee Eugene R.