Hidden in Plain Sight:
The Material World of Early Springfield


French wine bottles

c. 1825-1845
Recovered from Edwards Place privy
Collection of the Illinois State Museum

Unlike beer and distilled spirits, wine was not commercially produced in the United States until 1830. In Colonial times wine was expensive and therefore restricted to consumption by the upper classes of society. By the time Springfield was settled, wine was sold by local grocers who accepted country produce as payment for goods. Although no longer prohibitively expensive, wine nevertheless cost three to five times more than whisky.