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(photo) Early Pepsi bottle. consumer choices

Most of the glass fragments found at the Robinson House site were from Mason jars, suggesting that the family preserved much of the food they grew. During the 19th century, it was common for families, both African American and white, to preserve their homegrown fruits and vegetables for later use. However, it is also possible that by canning their own food the Robinsons were able to avoid a potentially discriminatory marketplace.

Despite their self-sufficiency, archeological evidence also indicates that the family consumed brand name, mass-produced goods like Vaseline, Smith Brothers cough syrup, and Pepsi Cola.

NPS Archeology Program