This product was added to our catalog on Friday 01 April, 2011.
n making a reproduction, one does not always have the luxury of having an untouched original to follow. The goldmine of information contained within the collection of the wreck of the Steamboat Bertrand, gives any artifact onboard irrefutable provenance. However, even in the century long anaerobic environment in which the Bertrand artifacts survived, the elements still took their toll, making the condition far from new. Our reproduction of this coffee can was taken from several examples salvaged from the wreck of the Bertrand, and was so deteriorated, that very little of the lettering was visible, making it hard to determine who the actual maker was. From the letters "XON" it was hypothesized that the can was from the well known Boston coffee producers, the Faxon Brothers, whose label is currently produced by P. M'Dermott. The address however, proved to be the key factor in unwraveling this mystery.
By searching the Sycamore address, I was able to track down the name of George Dixon, who was both a long time resident of Cincinnati, and a pillar of the community. Coupling with different partners at several points in the antebellum period, his mill was well established by the outbreak of the Civil War. Being one of the two coffee and spice mills in Cincinnati, his company quickly garnered enough presence to become major shareholders in several insurance companies in the area.
Although it incorporates the ornate graphical layout of the period, this can represents the lower end of commercial packaging, Despite its simple elements, the stencil's design is a classic example of the pre-1865 period.
We wanted to thank the staff of the Bertrand Steamboat Museum, as well as the dedicated curator of the collection, Dean Knudsen for his invaluable help resurrecting this artifact into a reproduction that can be enjoyed in the hobby.