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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

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Catalog Number 1999.048.393
Description LW Glenn Bottle recovered from City Centre Plaza, c. 1850-1920. This bottle is rectangular shaped in cross section and it has narrowed slightly from shoulder to base. The rim has prescription finish which is narrow (vertically) and the outside surface distinctly tapers in from the top surface of the finish to bottom. The company's name and location embossed on the side of bottle "L.W. GLENN CO/ PHILADA". A .875 inch short and narrow neck flares out .75 inch shoulders to a 3.5 inch body. The bottle is opaque with white coloration and shows evidence of glass machine manufacture.
Object Name Bottle, Toilet
Collection 3D - Medical & Psychological Tools & Equipment
Title LW Glenn Bottle recovered from City Centre Plaza, c. 1850-1920.
Date c. 1850-1920
Creator LW Glenn Co.
Role Manufacturer
Inscription Text "L.W. GLENN CO/ PHILADA" (The company's name and location embossed on the sides 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 "Rectangular in cross-section mouth-blown druggist/prescription bottles were another common shape used by druggists between the late 1870s and 1920s, with and without proprietary embossing although embossed lettering was common. Machine-made rectangular druggist bottles were also commonly used from the mid to late 1910s and later though machine-made examples virtually never have proprietary embossing, i.e., they are labeled only. It also appears that as the 20th century progressed, bottles with at least one rounded side seem to have become more popular than these flat sided styles."
[ Druggists08/16/2016]

Bears Oil

"Observations of the Native American use of buffalo and bear fats were not lost on the Europeans both here and abroad. It’s properties were investigated by some the leading scientists of the day and it was hailed by some as having particular value as a medicine and/or hair preparation. According to some sources, bear’s oil was being advertised for use on the hair in this county as early as 1822. By the late 1830’s bear’s grease and bear’s oil were one of the more popular pomades for the hair. Some used it to give a sleek look to the hair while others were sold on its regenerative powers for restoring the hair to its natural color or even simply restoring the hair.
Companies who were already involved in making fat or oil based products, such as soap and perfume makers, dominated the trade in bear’s oil. These entrepreneurs were frequently chemists who used their knowledge to produce, drugs, medicines, chemicals and perfumery articles, fancy soaps, shaving soaps or dental products. Their equipment for making these goods, along with their knowledge of perfume science, would have allowed them to process the bear’s grease into marketable products. Bear’s grease was advertised as "highly perfumed", not surprising when you consider the primitive conditions under which the raw materials must have been collected. It was not uncommon to use rancid fats."
[ 09/21/2016 ]
Dimensions H-5 W-2 D-1.125 inches
Search Terms Apothecary
City Center Plaza
Redwood City
Subjects Archaeology
Redwood City