Bear’s Grease Ointment Pot Lid- Ontario, Canada
April #Artifactofthemonth:— ARA Archaeology (@ArchResearch) April 17, 2018
Many strange, weird and wacky remedies were created for daily use in the 19th century. Here we have a ceramic jar lid that once contained Bear’s grease that was believed to encourage hair growth. #artifact #archaeology #araheritage pic.twitter.com/T3jJiQd058
Institution: Archaeological Research Associates Ltd.
Province: Ontario Archaeology
Era: 19th Century
Bear grease was an English-based, men’s hair product throughout the 19th century. The pomade was a mixture of bear fat, marrow and perfume. Although Russian bears were advertised as the source ingredient, the animal fat was often substituted with smaller, more accessible animals.
Based on the black transfer-print lettering, manufacturers of Genuine Russian Bear’s Grease released their product no earlier than 1860.
- Coleman, Caitlin. “A Delightful Odor to the Breath: Toothpaste in Nineteenth-Century Toronto.” International Journal of Historical Archaeology 20.4 (2016): 730-742.
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