Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 63
  1. #1
    Member New Bottler
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    70

    Large 1940's Dump Discovered - Advice?

    I came across a pretty massive bottle dump in the woods the other day. I found the site using an aerial photograph from 1949. I've included the aerial photos and a LiDAR hillshade image depicting the dump area, so you can get a decent feel for it.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	aerial_1949.jpg 
Views:	243 
Size:	73.0 KB 
ID:	184499Click image for larger version. 

Name:	aerial_2018.jpg 
Views:	238 
Size:	86.1 KB 
ID:	184498Click image for larger version. 

Name:	lidar_2013.jpg 
Views:	236 
Size:	71.3 KB 
ID:	184500

    The dump area is roughly 60x100 feet, and is absolutely filled with bottles. I could feel the crunching of glass and metal underfoot with every step. What surprised me the most was how many intact bottles were just sitting on the surface. The edge of the dump is only about 50 feet from a well-trafficked street; and while the forest is dense, it's not impenetrable. I could see no obvious signs of digging, so I suppose most people just don't care about bottles, or maybe 1940's dumps are just passe.

    I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of bottles in this place! There were so many just sitting there partially exposed that I didn't even bother digging. I have no idea how deep the dump is, but I reckon I could spend every weekend for the rest of my life digging if I felt like it.

    I grabbed a few (mostly small) bottles that I could easily carry, but there were hundreds more I left behind.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	bottles.jpg 
Views:	239 
Size:	43.6 KB 
ID:	184501

    - Puroform Bleach; amber cork top with horse ACL (example: https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Puroform-Ble...d=401545518125)
    - Woodbury milk glass jars; screw top
    - Phillips Milk of Magnesia Tablets; embossed, screw top
    - Unknown screw top, marked "Mutual" on the bottom -- Bitters? Soy sauce? An online search turned up no examples of this bottle.
    - Waterman's Ink, 2 oz screw top

    I'm under no illusions that any of these are valuable. I know the Phillips bottles can fetch a few dollars, and they're so pretty I just can't pass them up. There could be dozens or perhaps hundreds of that bottle alone in this dump. I'm not sure about the exact dates of these, so please correct me if you think these are newer than 1940's.

    Naturally, I'm curious how far back this dump might go. I didn't see anything that looked especially old, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything -- it's usually further down, right? There's also the potential for embossed sodas, ACLs, milk bottles, etc.

    This is where my request for advice comes in. Does anyone have a strategy for tackling a dump of this size? Start at the furthest end and work towards the road, pick a corner, or dig test holes throughout? Do the photos offer any clues I might be missing? The topography is pretty flat in the vicinity of the dump. I didn't even notice any elevation changes, but the LiDAR managed to pick out the dump nicely.

    This area was settled and logged in the late 19th or early 20th century (let's say between 1870 and 1920, since it varied). The darker areas in the 1949 image are coniferous regrowth that still exists today, so I would imagine those trees are between 100 and 150 years old now. The dump site itself is covered by a mature deciduous forest, so it hasn't been used as a dump in at least 50 years, probably longer. I saw no signs of plastic.
    Last edited by BottleDragon; 09-18-2018 at 05:07 AM. Reason: Had some issues with the images

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bottle Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,723
    Definitely 1940's. Oldest stuff will likely either be in the center of the dump or on the edge furthest away from the road. Unless you actually do plan to dig the entire dump, I'd dig some test holes and then dig the area that seems most productive. Probably has not been dug because of the age...I know of a few dumps of that era in my neck of the woods that have not been dug as well...most diggers are looking for a bit more age. You never know what you might find in a dump like that though...I have dug a few in New Hampshire and found a lot of late throws, license plates, early canning jars, and so forth.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bottle Finder Screwtop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Carter County Kentucky
    Posts
    148
    A hunting partner would help a lot too.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bottle Master
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,597
    Yeah for that era most diggers aren't interested, but it definitely has good potential to have embossed sodas and milks in it, maybe even decent ACLs if the conditions are right, as well as license plates since BC used non-rusting license plates at some points. If you ever see a BC plate with the prefix "MD", keep it no matter how bad the condition is. They're extremely rare and not many examples are known, and were used right in the era you're looking at. There's also the chance of enamel signs, which can often be found in that era. I found my first one in a similar but much smaller dump last month.
    It looks like it may be a municipal dump if you're in a small town, in which case it will take a gargantuan effort to dig down to something older, if there even is anything older. But it also would mean that everything was dumped in there, which means you've got the best chances of finding the best things that era has to offer. I'd definitely say go for it, just pick a spot and see what you find.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bottle Master
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Ontario , Canada
    Posts
    2,577
    for some reason they likely stopped using the dump in the 40's or 50's . judging by the forest cover , most people wouldn't assume there was a dump there , as to why no one else has been digging there .

    I'd try and find bottles that had local city names on them , which could be soda's or milk jugs


    that kind of dump you don't really know what you might find but can sometimes yield the odd good find

  6. #6
    Member New Bottler
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    70
    Thanks for the tips, guys.

    nhpharm - Yeah, I figured they were 1940's. Late throws... good point. I could see that happening with canning jars especially since people keep those around forever.

    Screwtop - Good point. I may look into that.

    CanadianBottles - Yeah, kinda figured it looked a bit too "new" to interest most . But I will definitely grab any of those items if I come across them. It seems like possibly dozens of households... really hard to say, but certainly several. I will also keep my eyes peeled for license plates, as noted.

    RCO - Yes, it seems to have been completely abandoned around 1950 by the looks of it. This area was pretty rural at one time, so I guess it grew over with trees and no one was the wiser. I'm hoping to find some good local ones.

    I think I will do test digs in the following order... both rear corners, center rear, and then in the middle of the dump... and see what comes up.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bottle Master
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Ontario , Canada
    Posts
    2,577
    from my past experiences I've found these sorts of dumps are usually disappointing , often don't find much . most pop bottles are usually broken , same with milk jugs . and often when pop bottles are unbroken there from out of area , since they couldn't return them locally , they just threw them out instead . so you might find a bottle from some far away city you never imagined you would

    have found license plates before but usually there too rusty to salvage , also have found old hub caps in those types of dumps , at least last year I found a couple

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bottle Master hemihampton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,837
    Could be a good dump if it has old Beer Cans in it.LEON.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bottle Master
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,597
    Quote Originally Posted by RCO View Post
    from my past experiences I've found these sorts of dumps are usually disappointing , often don't find much . most pop bottles are usually broken , same with milk jugs . and often when pop bottles are unbroken there from out of area , since they couldn't return them locally , they just threw them out instead . so you might find a bottle from some far away city you never imagined you would

    have found license plates before but usually there too rusty to salvage , also have found old hub caps in those types of dumps , at least last year I found a couple
    Sodas can be quite hit or miss. I've dug dumps in BC that were packed with them, so in some areas they were certainly not always returned. Especially if you've got commercial dumping there. Milks are really hard to find in BC for some reason. People out there just didn't seem to throw away intact milk bottles. Even in stores and at sales they were almost always attic mint with no signs of being dug. Plates depend on the province. Ontario is terrible for license plates because they've been made of steel since the 1910s. BC is better because they used aluminum for some years. Quebec is excellent because they've always been aluminum since the early 50s.

    And yes like Leon said, look for beer and soda cans. Look for flat-top cans (the ones with two triangles punched in the top) and cone-top cans. Even if they're too rusty to read take them home, they can be restored. Old steel cans survive surprisingly well in the Pacific Northwest.

  10. #10
    Member New Bottler
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    70
    Yeah, I have noticed it's hard to find pop bottles around here. I guess it just depends on the area and who was dumping there, like you say.

    I never thought to look for beer cans, but I will save those.

    Another thing I'm going to look at is the curved area below and to the left of the main dump in the 1949 image. I'm unsure whether I explored that area fully... it looks very unnatural, so I think there's a chance it may be an older section.



Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •