Prompted by the recent comment on the Fell Spice Mill post by a descendant of several workers at the mill, blog reader and occasional information-provider Donna Peters decided to do a little electronic digging, and she came up with a few things that I thought were rather interesting. I don't think I have too much to say about them, but I'll share them with everyone here.
The first, and to me, the most interesting, is the bottle shown on the right. It is a full, unopened bottle of "Borneo Ginger" from CJ Fell and Bros. I've seen empty Fell's bottles online a few times, but I had never seen a full one before. I'm not sure if there's any way to be certain that the contents of this bottle were ground at the mill at Faulkland, but I assume that that's the likely scenario. If so, there's even a chance that they were processed by Leonard, George, or James Woodward, the ancestors of the commenter. For what it's worth, according to "The Grocer's Encyclopedia" from 1911, "Borneo Ginger" was just a trade name for some white ginger, none of which was actually from Borneo. Below are a few other views of the Fell ginger bottle.
In addition to this, Donna also came across a few newspaper articles mentioning the company, including the advertisements below. The first is from 1840, the second from 1855.
Although it's interesting to see a lot of their products listed, I personally find the chocolate the most interesting. First, there's the fact that one of the brands is named "Courtland", after Courtland J. Fell, the "C.J." in "C.J. Fell and Brother". (One of the eight different brands, if I'm reading it correctly.) Second, another brand is called "Homeopathic". Apparently, chocolate was used to cure all sorts of things in the 19th Century. Honestly, it probably didn't work any worse than the other "medicines" of the day. Of course, now they say dark chocolate is supposed to be good for you. And there's always chocolate's timeless use for self-medicating depression...