19th Century Opium Viles

In the mid 1800s, Chinese immigrants brought Opium from China while working on railroads causing Opium Dens to gradually become popular in the West Coast. These dens  made their way New York by the 1860s and “By 1895, [opium product addictions] … affected roughly 1 in 200 Americans. Before 1900, the typical opiate addict in America was an upper-class or middle-class white woman.”

Opium and opiod prodcuts were specifically marketed for menstrual cramps making those addicted primarily women. Between 1895-1915 opium became a regulated drug and was no longer available as an over the counter remedy. 1909, the price of opium went from $4-$50, meaning addicted individuals moved to cheaper/more potent opiates like morphine or heroine. 

The bottle found on site was likely imported in the 1900's from China due to the presence of text found on the base of the bottle. The text has been translated and reads as "Pine Tree, Bamboo, Material". 

Copy of Photograph 28.jpg

Photograph of an opium vial found on site.