Pontiled blacking bottle had original contents from the 1850’s – Cocoa Beans?

My son and I went to the Smithsonian last week, and there was a woman set up at one exhibit who was showing how chocolate was made in the 1800’s in America. She had block of cane sugar, and a couple of other ingredients laid out. But on the wooden cutting board in front of her I was amazed to see actual raw cocoa beans sitting in a flat bowl. The reason I was amazed was because I knew that back home in my basement on my bottles shelf, I had an 1850’s redware dish that I found scuba diving, and laid out in the dish were some very similar looking beans. I had found those beans in an 1850’s bottle on the same dive! The bottle was sealed, and looked like it contained Boston baked beans, but I pried open the cork, and poured the oozy mess out onto a flat board in the sun, and dried them off, and the photo you see there are what was left after it all dried out. I had always wondered what they were, and now I tend to think that they were cocoa beans for making chocolate!

19. bowl seeds

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