Bear’s Grease Ointment Pot Lid- Ontario, Canada

Institution: Archaeological Research Associates Ltd.

Province: Ontario Archaeology

Object: Pot

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.