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Bottles – Sewing Machine Oil

Sewing machine oil bottles These bottles, which once contained lubricant for sewing machine parts, were found among other household goods during excavation of a brick-lined structure in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. The structure might have been used for storage by a soap and candle company, and then for trash disposal, likely around the 1870s to the early 1900s. The sunken panels on the top bottle read “WILL NOT CORRODE//SPECIAL GRADE/SEWING MACHINE/OIL//WILL NOT GUM.” That bottle is 4.5 inches tall, 1.5 inches wide, and 1.25 inches deep and does not show a manufacturer’s name. The lower bottles read “SPERM/SEWING MACHINE/OIL.” The bottom bottle is 4.75 inches tall, 1.75 inches wide, and 1.25 inches deep. It has a faint embossed letter H on the base and an embossed number 3 or 8 located diagonally from the top right corner of the H. Several companies in the late 1800s and early 1900s used an H as their symbol, and because it is not clear whether the H and the 3 or 8 are separate or related stamps, the specific company that made the bottle can't be determined.