A frosty yet rewarding dig in the "Roaring 20s" dump with a rare late-throw!

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Plumbata

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Hey 'ole friends, I kinda dropped off the map after moving to a new state with far poorer prospects for digging, but when I'm back visiting family and friends I make sure to visit the beloved old dumps too. Last winter a friend and I thought it would be good fun to sink a pit in the trusty Roaring 20's dump, and with a high of -5 degrees Fahrenheit the 2nd day we were motivated by more than the prospect of bottles to quickly get in below the thick frostline and build ourselves a cozy hole where the arctic winds couldn't reach us and the risk of frostbite wasn't an imminent threat.
DigHole1.jpg


Gallon jug, sadly it was cracked but they're always exciting to see in the hole!
DigJug.jpg


BIM 1858 mason, sadly a crack was hiding on the still-buried side.
Dig1858.jpg

Freshly pulled post-1921 local druggist, I've still only seen them come from this specific dump, but here they're plentiful.
DigBest.jpg


Not rare per-se above ground, but actually digging an intact local BIM Nurser doesn't happen every day! It reads "Barker & Wheeler Co. Crescent Nurser Peoria, ILL"
DigNurser.jpg


We did pretty well the first day all things considered, besides normal non-locals each of us got a taste of the BIM 1920s CLG Co. "Best and Jordan" Peoria druggists which I've always had a soft spot for. I pulled a roached guilloche yellow enameled sterling silver compact too, finding silver is always a nice bonus!
DigFinal.jpg


The 2nd day was punctuated early with my friend pulling a particularly scarce druggist, one I've never dug personally. It reads "Johnson Drug Co. A Safe Place to Trade Peoria, ILL", the company first opened in 1920 so like the Best and Jordans it is solidly 1920s and another unusually young BIM bottle. Being able to pull BIM locals that aren't lucky late-throws from a 1920s spot is a real blessing.
DigJohnsonDirty.jpg


I've had a smaller embossed + labeled example in my collection for years but it isn't embossed "Peoria, ILL" at the bottom like the larger size bottles. After enjoying his for a while my friend generously traded it to me to keep the lonely undug one I have pictured here company:
DigJohnsonLabel.jpg


Anyway, after being struck with a barely manageable case of Johnson-envy I was motivated to find something special for myself. I got a quart stoneware master ink from England (next to the tools in the first pic), they're cool but I gave it to my friend as it wasn't what I was looking for. Time went on and tailings piles grew higher but as the day was drawing to a close and frost was creeping ever faster I still didn't have much of note to show, not until I saw an intriguing rounded bottom of a blown bottle peeking out of the wall in my side of the pit! I joked that it'll surely be a rare unlisted local citrate, and while I wasn't right about being unlisted I was right about the rest, woohoo!
DigCitrateDirty.jpg


It's a good bottle (indeed all Peoria citrates seem rare), with just 1 or 2 others known to the collectors I've consulted. It dates to around 1905-1910 so was probably nearly 20 years old when tossed, and it reads "E.A. Ossenbeck Pharmacist Peoria, ILL 622 N. Adams St." Besides typical ground haze/staining it is perfect!
DigCitrate.jpg


I really couldn't have hoped for a better addition to the Peoria collection to come from a 20s dump than just the 5th citrate found in 15 years, I love digging and collecting druggists but these fellas are the cream! Happy hunting everyone!
 

nhpharm

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It's awesome to see you back here and that looks like a great dig! I love citrates...they are very tough to find down here in Texas! The local baby bottle is incredible!
 

willong

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Hey 'ole friends, I kinda dropped off the map after moving to a new state with far poorer prospects for digging, but when I'm back visiting family and friends I make sure to visit the beloved old dumps too. Last winter a friend and I thought it would be good fun to sink a pit in the trusty Roaring 20's dump, and with a high of -5 degrees Fahrenheit the 2nd day we were motivated by more than the prospect of bottles to quickly get in below the thick frostline and build ourselves a cozy hole where the arctic winds couldn't reach us and the risk of frostbite wasn't an imminent threat.
View attachment 249963

Gallon jug, sadly it was cracked but they're always exciting to see in the hole!
View attachment 249967

BIM 1858 mason, sadly a crack was hiding on the still-buried side.
View attachment 249968
Freshly pulled post-1921 local druggist, I've still only seen them come from this specific dump, but here they're plentiful.
View attachment 249964

Not rare per-se above ground, but actually digging an intact local BIM Nurser doesn't happen every day! It reads "Barker & Wheeler Co. Crescent Nurser Peoria, ILL"
View attachment 249965

We did pretty well the first day all things considered, besides normal non-locals each of us got a taste of the BIM 1920s CLG Co. "Best and Jordan" Peoria druggists which I've always had a soft spot for. I pulled a roached guilloche yellow enameled sterling silver compact too, finding silver is always a nice bonus!
View attachment 249966

The 2nd day was punctuated early with my friend pulling a particularly scarce druggist, one I've never dug personally. It reads "Johnson Drug Co. A Safe Place to Trade Peoria, ILL", the company first opened in 1920 so like the Best and Jordans it is solidly 1920s and another unusually young BIM bottle. Being able to pull BIM locals that aren't lucky late-throws from a 1920s spot is a real blessing.
View attachment 249969

I've had a smaller embossed + labeled example in my collection for years but it isn't embossed "Peoria, ILL" at the bottom like the larger size bottles. After enjoying his for a while my friend generously traded it to me to keep the lonely undug one I have pictured here company:
View attachment 249970

Anyway, after being struck with a barely manageable case of Johnson-envy I was motivated to find something special for myself. I got a quart stoneware master ink from England (next to the tools in the first pic), they're cool but I gave it to my friend as it wasn't what I was looking for. Time went on and tailings piles grew higher but as the day was drawing to a close and frost was creeping ever faster I still didn't have much of note to show, not until I saw an intriguing rounded bottom of a blown bottle peeking out of the wall in my side of the pit! I joked that it'll surely be a rare unlisted local citrate, and while I wasn't right about being unlisted I was right about the rest, woohoo!
View attachment 249971

It's a good bottle (indeed all Peoria citrates seem rare), with just 1 or 2 others known to the collectors I've consulted. It dates to around 1905-1910 so was probably nearly 20 years old when tossed, and it reads "E.A. Ossenbeck Pharmacist Peoria, ILL 622 N. Adams St." Besides typical ground haze/staining it is perfect!
View attachment 249972

I really couldn't have hoped for a better addition to the Peoria collection to come from a 20s dump than just the 5th citrate found in 15 years, I love digging and collecting druggists but these fellas are the cream! Happy hunting everyone!
Congratulations on an impressive and productive dig described in a nicely-composed report!
 

Plumbata

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It's awesome to see you back here and that looks like a great dig! I love citrates...they are very tough to find down here in Texas! The local baby bottle is incredible!
Thanks and good to see you too man, are you still mining out treasures buried in the Galveston area? Any particularly memorable digs in the last 7 or 8 years that I missed? Please drop pics or link me to your threads. Here's an admittedly poor picture of the 5 Peoria citrates, all dug by me and my father. From what I've observed the Red Cross citrates may be the most "common", I've seen 2-3 others. Dad's 2, the clear Durkin and Dufner's were both unlisted so with that track record it might be best if he digs the 6th one! Durkin did lots of business and his normal druggists are relatively common so I bet other citrates are lurking underground, but the Dufner bottles are all rare so I'd be impressed to see another come out.
DigCitrateCollection.jpg


Congratulations on an impressive and productive dig described in a nicely-composed report!
Thank you very much! It's kinda sad to see how much the activity and engagement here has decreased since the good 'ole days, facebook has really done a number on hobby forums of all kinds but I like the format of forum dig reports the most.
 

mingoman64

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Congrats on the finds! I've been out in days near 100, but feel I'd fail miserably in-5.

Sent from my SM-G990U3 using Tapatalk
 

Plumbata

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Congrats on the finds! I've been out in days near 100, but feel I'd fail miserably in-5.
Once I was digging a creek dump during a 100 degree and basically 100% humidity summer day and probably got heatstroke. Got tunnel vision where everything but the very center of my field of vision went dark and I felt very dizzy and faint. Had to struggle my way back to the truck which was parked really close thankfully or I probably wouldn't have reached it, then blasted the AC and drank from a gallon jug of still-cool water for about 25 minutes before I recovered. Found some good TOC bottles and jugs but in retrospect it probably wasn't worth the risk. It's easy to add more layers when it's cold, but when heat and humidity gets too high there ain't much you can do. Deep in a hole it's like an igloo and the soil temperature is warmer too so it wasn't that bad, but I think it was around -12 degrees (windchill even worse) when we packed up that 2nd day so hiking back was horrible, in spite of the "hot hands" packs I brought our fingers and toes weren't happy. Be careful out there!
 

Fenndango

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How do you bust through the frozen topsoil? Pick axes?
 

hemihampton

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It's awesome to see you back here and that looks like a great dig! I love citrates...they are very tough to find down here in Texas! The local baby bottle is incredible!

I agree with npharm, nice to see a old time member still in here, I thought I was about the only one left, seems everybody left for fakebook or elsewhere? The Citrates & baby Bottle nice finds. I find the common Citrates, nothing that old or good when it comes to citrates & never found a baby Nurser but do have one from Detroit, my digging area. Welcome back. LEON.
 
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Plumbata

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How do you bust through the frozen topsoil? Pick axes?
It was a tough job, the frost was probably around a foot thick but I have an all-steel Estwing mattock/pick which is a superior tool for rockhounding as well as cutting through the frozen dirt. once you have a hole opened up to below the frost it's not as hard to score and then pry/break off chunks around the rim of the hole to expand it. One of the best things about winter dump digging is how the frozen surface holds everything together and allows you to tunnel further than would be safe in temperate weather. It's still important to be mindful, leave "supports" that you don't undermine until it's time to cave things in and to maintain archlike tunnels of course, but in winter I've dug tunnels up to 15-feet horizontally with no problems which is impossible the rest of the year.

EstwingPaleoPick.png
 

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