Artifact of the Week: Historic Bottles

The bottles above include a Welch’s grape juice bottle, catsup bottle, and mustard pot. Archaeologists recovered these artifacts from Block 112 in Downtown San Diego. This section of San Diego housed a working class population during the late Victorian period (c.1880-1915).

Despite their poverty, the inhabitants of Block 112 showed a desire to not just survive, but to make a home. In addition to beautiful ceramic dishes, archaeologists uncovered tableware, spittoon fragments, ink wells, and decorative metal tongs. These objects have both functional and symbolic value: they speak to both the actions and ideals of the inner-city working class. The European and Asian decorative ceramics found at Block 112 show how this ideal was shared in both cultures.

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.