This summer, Susie Kowalsky found a bottle behind her Imperial Avenue house, in the Saugatuck River.
It’s a fascinating relic.
Embalmers Supply was the largest company of its kind in the country. I’ve written about it before. But I find it fascinating — so it’s time once again to give the story “new life.”
It was formed in 1886 as a partnership between 2 Germans: inventor C.B. Dolge and pharmacist Max Huncke.
Four years later, the firm moved to Westport. In 1893 Dolge bought out his partner.
It manufactured embalming fluids using arsenic (formaldehyde was not yet available), as well as accessories like pumps and goosenecks, without which a body could not be embalmed.
After many years at 14 Wilton Road, Embalmers’ Supply moved to Ford Road — across the river from where Bridgewater is now. So the world’s biggest embalming supply company has been replaced (sort of) by the world’s largest hedge fund.
Today the company is called ESCO. It’s located in East Lyme — no connection to the “lime” once used to dispose of a corpse — and is strictly a chemical business.
Susie has no idea how or when the bottle washed up by her home. But it sure is well preserved.