Artifact of the Week: Antiseptic Bottle

Archaeologists recovered this antiseptic bottle from Downtown San Diego. The site housed a working class population during the late Victorian period (c.1880-1915).

Antiseptics today are readily available and safe to use. In the early 1900s, antiseptics could contain iodine, carbolic acid, hydrogen peroxide, percloride of mercury, sodium hypochlorite, boracic acid, salicylic acid, chloride of zinc, potassium permaganate, either alone or in combination, in liquid or paste form. Many of these ingredients were toxic and did more harm than good.

Date: Post-Contact Period (300 ya – present)
Material Class: Glass

Want to learn more? Visit the exhibit Block 112: The Untold Story of San Diego’s Working Class in the 1800s currently on view at the Center.