While information on A. Van Hoboken & Co. is scarce, bottles in this style would have been relatively ubiquitous beginning in the late 1700s. These square-like bottles were created for ease of packing and transport, and were typically a dark olive green color. Other colors used for these case gin bottles include amber, cobalt, and clear. This particular bottle was found in the James River – other A. Van Hoboken & Co. Case Gin bottles have been found across the globe, from Australia to West Africa.
Gin was a valuable trade good that was equally as desirable as textiles and gunpowder. It was regularly sold to coastal traders who used it to barter in the transatlantic slave trade. Gin was first invented in the 16th century by a Dutch doctor and called “Genevere,” the Dutch name for the juniper plant that gives the drink its distinct flavor. It was first developed to be used as medicine, and was given to soldiers during the Eight Years War to encourage bravery.