While the objects in our exhibit are all drinking vessels, some can be grouped further by their materials and the way they were made.

Mass Manufacture

Both the Jenever bottle and the Boontonware were produced by mass manufacture.  In the case of the gin bottle, the label “v. HOYTEMA & C,” is the company responsible for the bottles’ manufacture, which was produced in Culemborg during the mid 19th century. 1 The cup and saucer were manufactured by Boonton Molding Co. in Boonton, New Jersey. The company was founded in the 1920s and was a spin-off of the highly successful Boonton Rubber Manufacturing Company 2.  And both exhibit a maker’s mark.

Durability

While the glass bottle (discarded in a river bed), the ceramic Mastos (having survived almost 2,518 years) and the melamine formaldehyde plastic Boontonware (lauded as being “unbreakable”) 3 are extremely durable, the Matte cup (made of a dried gourd) is an example of a drinking vessel that would quickly degrade if discarded.

  1.  National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Royal Museums Greenwich, http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/2816.html
  2.  Jeffrey L. Meikle, American Plastic: A Cultural History, (New Brunswick, Rutgers, 1995), 96-97.
  3. Meikle, American Plastic, 187.