19th Century bottles
Domestic refuse, such as these bottles and other objects, help to illuminate the daily lives of the inhabitants of east London during the 19th and 20th centuries.
“Pottery and glass containers were used for foodstuffs (beverages, sauces, preserves), pharmaceutical products (medicines, cosmetics) and household goods (ink, cleaning products),” Bradley said.
Proprietary marks reveal the manufacturers, and therefore the sources of supply. Londoners at this period consumed a mixture of locally sourced foodstuffs alongside national brands, many of which are still familiar today. Bradley continued, “Some patent medicines would fall foul of current legislation - one mixture for teething infants (Mrs Winslow's Soothing Syrup), marketed until the 1930s, contained unsuitably high levels of morphine, while a jar of clotted cream proclaimed its successful use in the treatment of 'consumption and debility'!”