Well, I was going to lead off with a comment about today’s artifact relating to our ice storm… except, no ice storm.  (Salt, to put on the ice, get it?)  Uncooperative weather notwitshstanding, here is a little box of Atlantic Sea Salt, imported (and packaged) by Muth Brothers & Co., Baltimore.

This salt was for bathing, not for cooking.  Bathing in salt water was (and often still is) considered healthful and invigorating; as the box proclaims, this salt “Produc[es] a Real Salt Water Bath.”  The wood box (7″ x 4″, and 4 1/4″ high) is covered on four sides with pink paper labels.  The short sides have directions and prices; a 3 pound box was 25 cents, a 7 pound box 50 cents, etc.  (As the box is empty, and I can’t fill it with sea salt to test the weight, I’m not sure if this was a 3 lb or 7 lb box.)   The instructions are as follows:

“To every gallon of water add four or five ounces of Sea Salt.  In order to thoroughly dissolve the Salt it will be well to put the Salt into the water, say one hour before using.” 

On the lid, in ink, is the inscription (mailing address?) “Miss Susie G. Jones, Olney, Md.”  Susan G. Jones (b. 1869) of The Briers, Olney, married George T. Barnsley in 1890.  As near as I can tell, Muth Bros. & Co. opened for business in Baltimore in 1889.  (For once, an undated artifact can be dated with relative ease!)  Perhaps the salt was a gift – or something she bought for herself – as part of the preparations for her wedding.

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