The glassware aboard the SS Republic included a dozen small handled pitchers or cruets pressed in a pattern called “Honeycomb.” Similar examples of the era attributed to the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company founded in 1825, are referred to as 'oil bottles' and had a glass stopper. The oil bottles recovered from the shipwreck site were discovered without glass stoppers, perhaps washed away in the Atlantic’s Gulf Stream.
Cruet bottles were among the first items produced at this Massachusetts glass factory, along with tumblers, whale oil lamps, jugs and bottles. Mold pressed pattern glass such as the Republic oil bottles was often blown into molds made of brass that were tightened with screws or levers. The company founder Deming Jarvis hired the most skilled artisans of the time from all over the world. Sandwich made some of the best products and was one of the better known glass houses from 1830-1860. During this time, the factory employed around 500 men, and produced over 6,000 tons of glass daily.
While likely shipped as cargo intended for retail in New Orleans or in markets further afield, the Republic oil bottles are typical of the inexpensive pressed glass tableware that would have been used on passenger vessels of the era. As tempting as it is to attribute these examples to the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company, the manufacturer remains unknown as the Honeycomb pattern was made over a number of years by almost every glass factory producing pressed glassware during the mid-19th century.