This bottle bears a paper label, likely similar to those originally affixed to many other bottles in this group. The contents are identified as extract Hamamelis, the genus of the plant Witch Hazel. Native Americans used parts of the Witch Hazel plant to treat skin ailments, and traditional medicine practitioners later picked up on its soothing properties. Witch Hazel is still in use today.
While the oval shape and reinforced lip finish of this bottle are typical for drug bottles of the time period, its large size is not. What sort of medicine was sold in this quantity is unknown. The bottle was made for Clark’s Drug Store, in Springfield, Illinois, at 213 South Sixth Street. Robert Clarkson operated the business from 1906 to 1930. A newspaper advertisement announcing the opening of Clarkson’s “New Modern Drug Store” states that “Mr. Clarkson needs no introduction,” having "previously worked as a prescription clerk at Stuart Broadwell and as a partner in Clarkson & Mitchell’s Drug Store.”
The embossed image of a lion using a mortar and pestle is noticeably subtle and is not in as stark relief as the words and images on other bottles. No one knows for sure why the lion was chosen as the symbol of Joel B. Brown’s apothecary in Springfield, Illinois.
Close inspection of a bottle produced for sale at the Stuart Broadwell Drug Store in Springfield, Illinois, shows the minor imperfections and bubbles in the handmade blown glass. Whitall, Tatum Co., of Millville, New Jersey, manufactured the bottles with the druggist’s name embossed on the side.
John Bressmer’s dry goods business remained at the same location in downtown Springfield, Illinois, for his entire 54-year career. Whitall, Tatum Co., of Millville, New Jersey, produced this embossed, blown glass bottle for Bressmer’s store.
This phone was made by the Kellogg Switchboard & Supply Company of Chicago in 1906. Known as the Microphone 1, this model was the first telephone in the United States to integrate a transmitter and a receiver into a single handset. Between 1900 and 1910, the number of telephones in use in the United States went from 600,000 to 5.8 million.
This prie dieu, or prayer kneeler, was used by French settlers in the Illinois territory during the late 18th century. During prayer, individuals would kneel on the bottom platform and rest their elbows or place books on the upper shelf. The Roman Catholic Church played a dominant role in the lives of these settlers, who celebrated 27 religious holidays throughout the year.
The scene in this child’s plate may have been hand colored by a child of less than 10 years old. Children typically started working at the potteries in Staffordshire, England, by the age eight, but some started as young as five or six years old.
Like the detailed Staffordshire transfer print plates used for dining, residents on the Illinois frontier also imported other goods from Europe, including toys. This porcelain doll head, along with other pieces, was recovered from a cistern at the Huggins Farmstead Site in Perry County.
This plate fragment came from the home site of Alexander Clark, an African American blacksmith living in New Philadelphia, Illinois, in the mid-1800s. It shows a portion of a bridge and person bridling a horse, an image that can also be found near the center of a transfer print plate with the image “Rural Scenery.”