Have you ever wondered what happens to the food and other perishable goods that go down in a shipwreck?
While most of those items succumb to the high pressure of extensive ocean depths, a number of pieces survived and were retrieved, in their original conditions, from the USS Republic. This is an extremely rare occurrence, and guests to the Shipwrecked Treasure Museum will be able to see a collection of these preserved goods, which has never before been seen by the public. The display is refrigerated to maintain the preserved states of the wares, and includes everything from food items to ink, perfumes, elixirs, and serums.
Food Items: The USS Republic was carrying a variety of food goods to New Orleans when it succumbed to the hurricane that sank it. As such, various goods were found depicting the diet of everyday people in the 19th century. These food items include:
- Champagne and beer
- Pepper sauce
Beauty & Hygiene Items: Although bathing regularly wasn’t exactly on most people’s agendas, people of this time period were beginning to be a little more conscious about their hygiene. The USS Republic was carrying various hair serums and perfumes to be sold in New Orleans. These items are preserved and are an intriguing testament to self-care and hygiene from this century.
Medicines, Elixirs, & Remedies: It is fascinating to discover how, before the days of modern medicine, people treated various ailments. With these shipwreck discoveries, we are able to explore and understand how 19th century people dealt with conditions and sought to better their own quality of life and combat disease. Some of the medicines on display include:
- Ayer’s Pills
- Elixir of Opium
- Fluid extracts
- Calcined magnesia
- Medicine bottles
- Soothing syrup
- Stomach bitters
- Liver oil jelly