I used to belong to this forum, (as photolitherland, you can still search my finds on here as the Litherland collection (all burnt up and melted now)) has been about 11 years since I posted to here, as my bottle collection that I had dug for in Arkansas, Texas and New Orleans melted in a storage unit fire in Houston. I lost nearly everything. Damned near 300 hutches, iron pontils, historic flasks, blobs, inks, bitters, etc.
I recently started digging and buying again to rebuild it. I've dug some stuff up here on the Ohio River and random creeks/construction sites in Pittsburgh after I moved here about 7 years ago, but it had seemed that most of the bottle dumps had been cleared out long ago. I finally found a bottle dump after years of searching near Carnegie, PA in the past couple of months and it piqued my interest in collecting bottles again, after being dismayed by everything I lost. Anyways, Ill be posting my finds from this dump once I start taking some photos; as logging into this website and registering has been screwy the past few weeks, but it finally worked. Anyways, here's one starter photo of a super nicely embossed Hutch from prob 1900 or so I got out of the dump with other inks and whatnot from it, minus the historic flask on the left; which I bought today at the Pittsburgh Bottle Show.
An autistic kid jumped the fence and burned it down via pouring gasoline throughout the entire facility late at night to watch it burn I guess. I didn't get anything for my loss, nor did the hundreds of other people who lost everything, like boats, antique cars, etc; as technically it wasn't the storage facilities fault, but an act of vandalism or whatever.
Sorry to hear about your collection but happy to hear you’ve been able to find the collecting big again. I wish you luck and look forward to your posts. I feel your pain struggling to find any dumps that haven’t already been cleaned out.
Found this Hutch at a construction site sitting in a pile of dirt in the Southside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, where most of the bottle works were historically.
This is some of the stuff that survived the fire, along with a few of the new bottles Ive found. Im so glad my blown decanter in the back survived, its from about 1830 and made in either Ohio or the Pittsburgh area and found it in a barn near New Orleans.
That is a shame about your bottle collection. Even though the storage facility was not at fault, they should have insurance for such things. I guess it depends what is in the fine print of the rental contract. Welcome back to the site! You still have a great collection yet.
That's one of the finest Hutchinsons that I've ever seen. I'm glad you're back at it and back with us. It really tears you up inside to lose stuff like that. I suffered the same sort of thing back in September, a quarter of my collection, a third of its value, gone in a split second, bottles that can never be replaced because some of them were the only known examples. It put me in the middle of a tug-of-war between my worldly and spiritual sides. I look at the loss and get in this funk, then I start counting my blessings, things that no amount of money could ever replace, my wife, kids, arms, legs, eyes and on and on. Then, there's the survivors. Another pile of miracles, because it could've been way, way worse. What's tough is that I'll never throw away the pieces because they were so rare and important, but then I have the reminders of the catastrophe to keep knocking off the scab. Just know that there's somebody out here that can sympathize with you, for what little that might be worth.
Now, back to bottles: I'd love to see more pictures of that decanter in the back!
Yeah digging is sometimes a pain! I once had to dig through a pile of chickenwire, cable and cast iron stove pieces ugh! My work was paid off though when that spot produced a rare local milk! It pays...
Still working the site. I'm sure I'll find a blob or a med. Just got to keep poking away. Farm dumps are very tricky, they didn't usually dump everything in one area and you have to keep working the...