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Catalog Number 1999.048.051
Description Preserved Food Bottle recovered from City Centre Plaza, c. 1880-1890. This colorless bottle has a 2.5 inch wide mouth with 1. Inch short neck flares out to 1. inch shoulder to a 5.5 inch rounded body. The .625 inch rim is double ring finish and shows evidence of glass machine manufacture. The base of the bottle is slightly concave.
Object Name Jar, Preserving
Collection 3D - Food Processing & Prep Tools & Equipment
Title Preserved Food Bottle recovered from City Centre Plaza, c. 1880-1890.
Date c. 1880-1890
Creator Unknown
Role Manufacturer
Inscription Text none
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 Glass makers also offered a fairly wide assortment of different cylindrical or round glass vessels designed for bulky food products during the 19th through mid-20th century.
These cylindrical food bottles/jars all share the binding elements of having bodies that are round in cross-section with relatively parallel sides, and like the other general styles had relatively wide mouths (bores) to facilitate the packing and removal of the products contained within. The more or less one quart sized example to the left is quite typical of the cylindrical food bottle type - large bodied, relatively short necked with a wide bore and simple one-part finish, though later machine-made examples (late 1910s and later) had external screw thread finishes. These types of bottles/jars potentially held a wide assortment of variously preserved foods with most of the contents usually dried, pickled (sometimes in alcohol) or cured with later (20th century) more reliably sealing examples sterilized, vacuum or otherwise hermetically (airtight) sealed (Bender 1986). It should be noted that regular canning/fruit jars were often used by commercial food packers to contain and distribute their wares during the last half of the 19th century until well into the 20th century.

The applied wide patent finish to left is on a Crown Brand Queen Olives (S. S. Pierce & Co. Boston, MA.) jar that likely dates from the late 1880s or 1890s based on diagnostic features, including the fact that wide mouth containers appear to have been commonly produced with applied finishes into the 1890s (empirical observations). The S. S. Pierce Company was still in business in 1980 and dates back to at least 1831, making the dating of this jar impossible based purely on company related historical information (Zumwalt 1980). Even with the label, the age of this jar/bottle must be estimated using diagnostic manufacturing characteristics.
Dimensions H-8 W-3.75 D-3.75 inches
Search Terms Archaeology
City Center Plaza
Redwood City
Subjects Bottle industry
Food industry