A number of curiosities were unearthed during the civil engineering works that have recently been completed at the croft, in Home Park [Field 1]. Here’s one we’ve cleaned up. It was close to the shore, under a couple of inches of turf.
The embossed lettering on the bottle reads :
MURRAY & LANMAN
Was it flotsam, washed across the Atlantic? Is it from the SS Politician, wrecked in 1944 just a few hundred metres away on the sandy shoals of the Sound of Barra? Was it brought home by a seaman on leave? (Historically, the most common occupations of the menfolk of Eriskay, in addition to their crofts, were fishing and the merchant navy.) Or was Florida Water, at some period, imported to the UK and on sale here?
It’s interesting to speculate! It’s joined our little collection of curiosities from the garden and croft.
[Oops: Pity about the focus : smartphone photography has its limitations!]
Referring to Wikipedia, I see that Florida Water was first sold in 1808 and has been in production ever since. However, after a bit more research, it seems that this bottle dates from before 1861, so is more than 150 years old.