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Object Record

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Catalog Number 1999.048.034
Description Citrate of Magnesia bottle recovered from City Centre Plaza, c. 1922-1923. Bottle has a short neck that tapers out to cylindrical body. The neck has the two distinctive rings below the rim which used to be sealed with corks closures and two more rings two at the base of the neck. The bottle is colorless glass and shows evidence of early glass machine manufacture. A large circle with a banner that outlines the name "CITRATE OF MAGNESIA" impressed in the front of bottle. A 1 inches short narrow neck flares out 1.5 inches to a 4.5 inches cylindrical body.
Object Name Bottle, Medicine
Collection 3D - Containers
Title Citrate of Magnesia bottle recovered from City Centre Plaza, c. 1922-1923.
Date c. 1922-1923
Creator Obear-Nester Glass Co.
Inscription Text "CITRATE OF MAGNESIA" (embossed on the body of bottle and surrounded by a decorative shield)
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 Citrate of magnesia (also called "citrate" here) was a medicine very commonly used for the treatment of constipation and upset stomach. Citrate was typically sold as a carbonated liquid product but was also available as a non-carbonated liquid and in granular form for mixing with another liquid.
Citrate bottles can vary somewhat in shape though most made during the first third of the 20th century closely resemble the example pictured to the left and illustrated to the right. This style of citrate bottles had a moderate width and height body, moderately tall sloped shoulders, and a short to moderate length neck. Bottles of this style often (but not always) have a ring or two at the base of the neck and were almost always made with a heavy (thick) colorless glass to properly contain the typically carbonated contents. Citrate of magnesia is strongly identified with this bottle style though it was not the only type bottle used for the product as the teal blue bottle shown below indicates.
[ of Magnesia]
Dimensions H-8 W-2.5 D-2.5 inches
Search Terms Archaeology
City Center Plaza
Redwood City
Subjects Bottle industry