Antique Bottle Digging/Hunting

By: TheShovler3 , 4:13 AM GMT on May 07, 2008

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Recently, while in the woods cleaning up and looking for composted leaves i ran into an old Pepsi Bottle i dated it back to 1963 making it 45 years old. This peaked my interest.

I'm really starting to get into it, i was out at my girlfriends house in her woods at the site of a old house where i found a bottle that read Scott's Emulsion and had an embossed man carrying a huge cod over his should and on the bottom it said 'Cod Liver Oil' The company was started in 1876 and grew rapidly, i dated the bottle back to the 1920's which was when the first screw caps came about and it has two separate threads. I'll up load a picture later.

While in her woods i also found a flask like bottle that said "Federal law prohibits the resale or reuse of this bottle" Thinking originally that it was poison i researched it. It turns out that these were old Alcohol bottles used after the prohibition. they date from 1932-1964 ( i haven't dated my bottle specifically.) Federal law ordered all the bottles to be destroyed after use and if caught with them in your possession you could serve 2 years in jail and/or 1000 in fines. Check out this link. Link

In short i have now found a new and exciting hobby.
Two Piece Ideal Ball Mason Jar With Glass lid and clasp

Aqua Strong Shoulders Mason Jar

Kerr Quart Mason Jar

Kerr Pint Mason Self Sealer

Pertussin Medicine Bottle

Chester Club Soda Bottle

Dog

Waynes Produce Company Cider Vinegar


Pictures 1880's-1890's bottle
Front View
Link
Bottom view
Link
Spout view
Link
Scott's Emulsion Bottle

Front View
Link

Bottom Trade Mark Stamp
Link

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46. bigtrucker
5:32 PM GMT on July 04, 2008
Hi shoveler Happy 4th to you and Family

Member Since: January 9, 2006 Posts: 80 Comments: 6118
45. TheShovler3
3:53 AM GMT on May 21, 2008
Hello bigtrucker, its ashame that people stoop so low as to steal. Wish ya still had it, i would have loved to see some pictures. I am very glad that you enjoyed/are enjoying the syrup! I strive to please

Bottle digging has been on Hiatus for awhile due to weather, graduation and family health issues. I hope to get back to it relatively soon though!

Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
44. bigtrucker
5:01 PM GMT on May 18, 2008
Hi Shoveler...Interesting blog..When i was growing up we used to dig for bottles on the edge of the Milford, CT cemetary. There used to be a bottle dump there. My favorite one was a purple ceramic milk of magnisia bottle from the early 1900's. I had quite a collection that got stolen from me back in the early 90's. I also had several soda bottles but cant remember what they were.
Still enjoying the syrup i bought from you and will be a repeat customer next time around.
Member Since: January 9, 2006 Posts: 80 Comments: 6118
43. TheShovler3
9:01 PM GMT on May 11, 2008
Yeah i counted 30 on me after i got done the other day, one had started to bite, but i got him before it engorged. I head straight to the shower after and then soak em out with a thick soap lather.
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
42. sullivanweather
5:55 PM GMT on May 11, 2008
Be careful out there, Shovler!

I found a damn deer tick on me yesterday after I got done bottle hunting. They know where to hide those little blankity blanks...
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
41. palmettobug53
5:41 PM GMT on May 11, 2008
LOL.... Nah, I find it interesting but if I haven't gotten pulled into it by now, I won't be. I've seen these bottles around, here and there, for years. Yeah, I think it would be fun to dig and find them but I also don't think anyone would care to find me up under their house or in their backyards, trying to find an old privy hole. "Herb! There's some woman digging a hole in our backyard!" That's where a lot of household trash got tossed in peninsular Charleston.

Hubby grew up downtown and, like most kids, found it was fun to play up under the house. That's where he found some of his. A couple of others, he found under houses, when he worked for a painting company.

Those old bottles are pretty rampant here. Just about everyone I know, that grew up here, has at least one or two.
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 232 Comments: 24968
40. TheShovler3
5:10 PM GMT on May 11, 2008
bangor, i did a little researching on the zanesville bottles but can't seem to find too much. Got any links?
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
39. TheShovler3
2:50 AM GMT on May 11, 2008
Bangor, i'm renting the excavator now! gonna dig the entire yard up haha... though i'll probably just find mason jars haha. Oh well still fun
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
38. BANGORWALKER
2:33 AM GMT on May 11, 2008
Shovler I was just joking about the Zaynesville bottles, that's the Holy Grail of bottle collecters. You are closer to Zaynesville, Ohio, than I am so I thought maybe you had a chance of finding one. The offer still stands, I will give you a Benjamin for one of them, but if you do the research I'm sure you would just laugh at the offer! Think down payment on a house or a new car if you ever find one. If that doesn't get you digging deep I don't know what will LOL!...just remember, if it says Zaynesville, Ohio anywhere on the bottle you are all set. And if it's cobalt blue or red, think 6 figures you hit the jackpot!!!
Member Since: January 17, 2006 Posts: 18 Comments: 3382
37. TheShovler3
12:38 AM GMT on May 11, 2008
Charles perhaps someone should have pushed me down a ravine.

Looking forward to your pictures!
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
36. TheShovler3
12:37 AM GMT on May 11, 2008
Palm, if you don't want to start doing it on a regular basis, don't find any information out on your bottles. Had i not done that i would have left it at that bottle haha.

I really need to find a place to watch that Cash and Treasures episode, i haven't seen it yet
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
35. TheShovler3
12:34 AM GMT on May 11, 2008
bangor if the caps i have fit yours your more than welcome to one i have a bunch of them i can post a picture later, in fact i found three more today.

and so far no zaynesville bottles, will keep looking though.
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
34. charlesimages
12:26 AM GMT on May 11, 2008
I do remember when i was younger and dumb finding a bunch of glass bottles and at age 11 it was fun to break them, now i'm a bit upset at my behavior.

My friends would break them, I never did. In fact when I was around 10-11 after watching a friend of mine break one after I told him not to, I pushed him down the ravine into the stream for doing it LOL He never broke another one when I was around again!

I did find a couple of the old bottles in a box I have, I will look around for some more too this year. I will take pix after the race and see if I can upload them
Member Since: May 25, 2006 Posts: 347 Comments: 29278
33. palmettobug53
12:22 AM GMT on May 11, 2008
I think just about everyone who has lived in Charleston, especially downtown, has a few old bottles. We do. Hubby found them up under houses. A lot of them are old medicinal bottles. We haven't tried to date them. They're all small, with the largest being about 3 inches high. One appears to be a perfume bottle from Paris. It's just a little more than an inch high.

I watched a Cash and Treasures show one night on the Travel Channel, I think it was, where they were hunting bottles. Really cool.

Good luck with your new hobby!
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 232 Comments: 24968
32. BANGORWALKER
11:30 PM GMT on May 10, 2008
Atlas E-Z Seal pint size in the greenish color and Atlas "strong shoulder" wow that brings back memories...

I could use a clear mason cap for a Drey I found...

I know all about how to date them and how to clean them, I went through all this in the mid 70's LOL. Remember to let me know if you find any Zaynesville bottles!
Member Since: January 17, 2006 Posts: 18 Comments: 3382
31. TheShovler3
11:03 PM GMT on May 10, 2008
Sullivan, let me know how you ended up with your bottles. If you find any odd colored masons let me know!
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
30. TheShovler3
10:59 PM GMT on May 10, 2008
From my short time today just an hour in one spot i managed to fine a clear Mason that says "mason's Patent 1858 and has hundreds of airbubbles in the glass, a citrate magnesia bottle and a bunch of others that i'll post up later!
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
29. TheShovler3
6:59 PM GMT on May 10, 2008
sounds like a plan, a lot of them are really neat looking.
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
28. sullivanweather
5:41 PM GMT on May 10, 2008
I think I'ma go back to where all the bottles are today and see what I can find.

I'll let you know if I come across anything interesting.

Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
27. TheShovler3
5:30 PM GMT on May 10, 2008
after the rains that we had yesterday, i'm back to start my digging quest again! Hope everyone is enjoying good weather cause tomorrow night will bring back the rain
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
26. mobal
6:43 PM GMT on May 09, 2008
LOL, yea the poop has turned to compost...
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 482 Comments: 5331
25. TheShovler3
4:31 PM GMT on May 09, 2008
Pictures uploaded

Well being that most places poop houses are well over 60 years old i'm not too worried about it. Though the thought isn't too appealing. It seems the people that used to live around here dumped everywhere.
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
24. stormygace
4:04 PM GMT on May 09, 2008
I think I'd prefer digging in that sand to digging in old pooper sites. But, hey, that's just me. :) Busted DH last night as he lobbed on of our 30 caliber shells from the beach (they're in a pail on the deck - yeah, I know, awesome display LOL) at something crashing around in the heavily overgrown lot next door last night. I'm bringing a pail of rocks up for him as alternative ammo today.
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 1107
23. TheShovler3
4:00 PM GMT on May 09, 2008
Awesome Tip Mobal, i'll have to take a look into that. I'm uploading photos right now as we speak of what i got yesterday. Deciding if want to brave the rain and dig again.
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
22. mobal
3:14 PM GMT on May 09, 2008
A great place to find bottles is old filled in outhouses. They would feel these with their daily trash. Two ways to find locations of outhouses. If you know were an old house was you try to locate were their yard stopped. At this point you look for ground that is a bit shallow from settling. The second is the use of Sanborn maps. Archives and such will have these. They were used by fire insurance companies and mark the outhouse locations.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 482 Comments: 5331
21. TheShovler3
2:56 PM GMT on May 09, 2008
mobal awesome picture and info i just bought a few books so i can become a little more informed. I can't wait. Feel free to post some of the cool bottle pictures. I'm going to try and get a picture of some of the ones i found yesterday. Everything im finding is just a stones throw away from my girlfriends house. Crazy to think its been there this entire time.

Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
20. TheShovler3
2:52 PM GMT on May 09, 2008
Bangor thanks, the metal clamp is a little rusty but i'm gonna see if i can clean it up some. I also found amongst the broken mason jars a lot of glass lids so if anyone needs some let me know i have 9 clear glass ones and two aqua. I also have three of the zinc lids with milk glass inserts.

Additionally i found underneath a pile of what appears to be hand sewn shoes was a hand painted porcelain dog that has Germany printed on his side and a number above it and a lightbulb with a purple ceramic or porcelain threaded screw.
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
19. mobal
12:52 PM GMT on May 09, 2008
Shovler,
Nice blog, I have been digging bottles for years. Have some pretty neat ones.

I also volunteer with the University of South Alabama Center For Archaeological Studies. One the coolest finds was some wine bottles at Port Dauphin, a French village on Dauphin Island, Alabama (1702 to ca. 1725). Here is a picture and description from their web site.




Even more astonishing was the discovery of three intact English wine bottles. These had been placed, probably intentionally, upside down in the sand outside one of the doorways. We don’t know why the colonists did this. The abundance of wine glasses associated with the structure suggests that it may have functioned as a tavern, so perhaps the wine bottles were deposited by an inebriated patron.

Many of the Port Dauphin artifacts came from England and Spain, not France, presumably because all sorts of ships stopped at Dauphin Island and their crews conducted some private trading with the enterprising islanders.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 482 Comments: 5331
18. BANGORWALKER
11:16 AM GMT on May 09, 2008
Good score on the mason jar with the metal clamp intact! Usually those are rusted out when left underground. I found my one and only paper label medicine bottle in a barn. If you find any odd shaped colored bottles that say "Zaynesville, Ohio", be very careful with it and give me a call. I'll give you a Benjamin for it LOL!
Member Since: January 17, 2006 Posts: 18 Comments: 3382
17. sullivanweather
7:26 AM GMT on May 09, 2008
Awesome blog!!

There's hundreds, perhaps maybe a couple thousand bottles behind our house.

I've been back there looking through them several times and took a few back with me the last time I was back there.

If we get a break in the rain tomorrow I think I'll head back there and see what I can find. As I said, there's got to be at least a thousand of them.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
16. TheShovler3
7:09 AM GMT on May 09, 2008
i think i hit a mason jar land mine, found dozens, most were cracked but i got 4 good ones an aqua blue green mason jar with lid that said strong shoulders mason jar. I got a "Ball Ideal" qt jar with glass lid and metal clamp top. A quart kerr mason jar with lid and a pint wide mouth kerr mason. I missed a purple Perfect mason it was cracked in half. I'm going back tomorrow to look again if its not pouring. Scouted at least another 4 spots to dig. Also found a pertussin medicine bottle, a Waynes Produce Company cider vinegar bottle, Club Chester bottle distributed out of Poughkeepsie, NY, a two person saw, old pitch fork and numerous old shoes.
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
15. TheShovler3
4:12 PM GMT on May 08, 2008
Bangor, well cork tops on the scotts emulsion were genearally 1890's if it were square, 1900-1910 if its round and then screw tops came after that . Thanks for the tips i'm about to head out to dig now.

Stormy, sea glass can get quite expensive and you can find tons of it on the beach. Plus you can get just as tan walking the beach as laying down so why not do two things at once. In the winter i'd bet she finds the most as thats when less are on the beach same goes with sea shells. When i want to get the best pick i got up with the sun if not a little before!
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
14. stormygace
2:22 PM GMT on May 08, 2008
Love that light blue glass - cool, watery translucent, nice.
I met a woman on the beach last summer who was from Cincinnati. She regularly hunted beach glass on the southern shores of her Great lake - even in winter! (brrrr!!). She sold was she found on Ebay & PAID for her family's week at the beach here in a beachfront 2BR condo!!!
I taught her about our sharks' teeth & she had a ball all week. Nice gal she actually sent me a package of nicely rounded green, brown, white 7 a few pieces of blue glass. We don't see so much beach glass here.
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 1107
13. BANGORWALKER
12:20 PM GMT on May 08, 2008
Shovler--Not sure about my Scott's emulsion bottle except it was cork top. I've boxed up most of the common bottles. I've only got so much space on the shelves to display them so it's only the oldest and most colorful that are on display. Other commons: Dr. True's Elixir, Clorox, Hood's Sarsaparilla, Listerine. If you get lucky, you'll find a Father John's Linament. It's Orange and square shaped. Embossed with a safe and the logo "It's safe to use". If you're really lucky, bone china coffee cup or saucer. I found alot of broken chinaware and one intact saucer. Another tip: dig deep. The newest stuff is on the top and mostly broken. I got that gallon ceramic jug 3 feet down.

Have fun, you're hooked now! I spent many long afternoons at my "excavation pit" right up into my mid 20's until I had got all the bottles off the property...
Member Since: January 17, 2006 Posts: 18 Comments: 3382
12. TheShovler3
5:15 AM GMT on May 08, 2008
its really amazing what researching a bottle can lead you to. I've learned a lot in just a few days , stuff i would just generally never known about.
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
11. TheShovler3
5:14 AM GMT on May 08, 2008
awesome Charles, i just started looking around my property. there are lots of old rusted farm equipment parts around so i would imagine there is something along the lines of bottles around. I do remember when i was younger and dumb finding a bunch of glass bottles and at age 11 it was fun to break them, now i'm a bit upset at my behavior.

I am heading out to where i found the emulsions bottle, there were well over 30 others there that i just didnt have time to check out.
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
10. charlesimages
5:03 AM GMT on May 08, 2008
I used to have a bunch of old bottles from the place I used to live, an old farm house that was about 90 years old. Tons of cool stuff could be found around the property. I wish I knew where that stuff was... I will look for it tomorrow.
Member Since: May 25, 2006 Posts: 347 Comments: 29278
9. stormygace
6:55 PM GMT on May 07, 2008
it's sooooo good!
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 1107
8. TheShovler3
2:10 PM GMT on May 07, 2008
BANGOR, thanks for the tips, does or did your scotts emulsions have "with lime and soda on it" i can't seem to find anything online about bottles without that saying. I found that with many others at the edge of a rock wall like you said. I have to go back and grab the rest, i just took that one cause it looked rather cool
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
7. BANGORWALKER
1:05 PM GMT on May 07, 2008
Shovler--

Welcome to the club! I spent most of my childhood digging for bottles around the property line. Got a few cokes from the 50's, Ball Ideal mason jars from around 1920, and yes a Scott's Emulsion with embossed fish. Many medicine bottles and ink wells from around 1900. My pride and joy is a ceramic brown and tan one gallon whiskey jug around 1880. And 4 olive green hand blown wine bottles from the 1850's that I found in a barn where Mom boarded her horse in the 70's. The owner said I could have them. I sort of outgrew it since all the good spots around town have been picked clean. Hint: Look for rock walls. Back in the day, farmers would make a dump at the lowest part of the property. Down over the hill and out of sight. In the lowest corner of the rock wall, which was the property line.

Happy Hunting :-)
Member Since: January 17, 2006 Posts: 18 Comments: 3382
6. TheShovler3
7:30 AM GMT on May 07, 2008
Well not specifically old for the pepsi bottle, but its 23 years older than me, more along the lines of the 1920's bottle. I watch Cash and treasures all the time i'll have to DL that episode thanks! Sea glass is very nice, its hard to find varieties of colors but i made a nice mosaic tile out of it when i went to galveston, TX this summer. Perhaps i'll do that with every beach i visit, but that takes a lot of time.
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
5. catfuraplenty
6:54 AM GMT on May 07, 2008
Shovler, a tv cable show on the Travel Channel, called Cash and Treasures did an episode on antique bottles. I don't know about ones that are 45yrs old. I don't consider that old (hint, it's a year younger than me, LOL). But I've learned that it is often the type of bottle, the shape of the bottle and even the color that can affect the price. You might want to visit the Travel Channel website and see where they went digging for bottles. :) I like to comb the beaches for sea glass. I think it's lovely and it can make some lovely jewelry.

All my best.
Member Since: May 7, 2006 Posts: 149 Comments: 3337
4. TheShovler3
6:39 AM GMT on May 07, 2008
Stormy, once i get into something it takes me forever to shake it. I was always intrigued with history and this will just amplify it.

Hope the syrup is treating you well.
Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
3. TheShovler3
6:29 AM GMT on May 07, 2008
Shore, thanks for the link. I found diagrams for a bottle cleaner that slowly churns it in a solution for 2 weeks to preserve the bottle.

I really feel that this is going to be yet another hobby like the maple syruping. I have another couple bottles at my dads work from when they excavated for the construction site they say cure on them right now that i can make out.

In the morning i'll get some pictures up!

Member Since: December 9, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2579
2. stormygace
5:17 AM GMT on May 07, 2008
we used to dive for bottles in Puget Sound (West Seattle & Edmonds) when I lived there. Some folks amassed quite impressive collections. I got too easily distracted ...
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 1107
1. shoreacres
4:22 AM GMT on May 07, 2008
I don't collect the bottles myself, but know many people who do. Here's a link to Antique Bottle and Glass Collector magazine.

Be careful about cleaning what you find. There are ways to do it which won't damage the glass. If you do a google search for antique glass bottle cleaning you'll turn up some good info. Also, go over to ebay and just browse the category there. You'll learn a lot, quickly, about dating, bottle varieties, companies and so on.

Enjoy!
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288

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