Tear Bottle History Collecting Links
 

Antiquity
The Roman Period
The Victorian Era
The U.S. Civil War
Contemporary Times
Tear Bottle History

It's difficult to say exactly when the first tear bottles came into being, however, we can be certain that the legends began in antiquity. The Old Testament of the Bible (KJV) references collecting tears in a bottle in Psalm 56:8 when David prays to God,  “Thou tellest my wanderings, put thou my tears in Thy bottle; are they not in Thy Book?” The reference predates the birth of Christ by over 1000 years. See more under Antiquity.

Tear bottles were fairly common in Roman times, around the time of Christ, when mourners filled small glass bottles or cups with tears and placed them in burial tombs as symbols of respect. Sometimes women were even paid to cry into these vessels, as they walked along the mourning procession. Those crying the loudest and producing the most tears received the most compensation, or so the legend goes. The more anguish and tears produced, the more important and valued the deceased person was perceived to be. See more under The Roman Period.

Tear bottles reappeared during the Victorian period of the 19th century, when those mourning the loss of loved ones would collect their tears in bottles with special stoppers that allowed the tears to evaporate. When the tears had evaporated, the mourning period would end. See more under The Victorian Era.

In some American Civil War stories, women were said to have cried into tear bottles and saved them until their husbands returned from battle. Their collected tears would show the men how much they were adored and missed. See more under The U.S.Civil War.

The tear bottle tradition has historically been a mourning tradition. Only in contemporary times have tears of joy and inspiration been captured. In current music and literature, tear bottles have once again been romanticized. References to the power of the tear bottle tradition occur in contemporary music videos, novels, and poetry. Contemporary tear bottles are created by glass artists around the world and a few successful manufacturers. See more under Contemporary Times.

Today, lachrymatory bottles may also be called a tear bottle, tear catcher, tear vial, unguentaria, or unguentarium. There are also several less common spellings for lachrymatory, including lachrimatory.

 

Next
Send mail to webmaster@lachrymatory.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2003-2008 Lachrymatory.com, The Tear Bottle Information Site
Last modified: 05/22/08