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

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Well-Known Member
Oct 6, 2006
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Hi Hemi and everyone else. That is most definitely a citrate shape and color. Check out these images from one of the prizes of my collection - came out of a barn in Baltimore County in the 1970s. Was used to store oil which preserved the closure metal perfectly. Label corresponds to the embossing and the stopper is original. Most definitely a citrate (associated with a local Baltimore druggist). Andy
Interesting, I wish mine had as original label like that one. Leon.

p.s. thanks for the confirmation.


Active Member
Nov 6, 2023
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New York
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.
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Gallon jug, sadly it was cracked but they're always exciting to see in the hole!
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BIM 1858 mason, sadly a crack was hiding on the still-buried side.
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Freshly pulled post-1921 local druggist, I've still only seen them come from this specific dump, but here they're plentiful.
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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"
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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!
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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.
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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:
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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!
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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!
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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!
Wow! Amazing dig! Watch out for cave-ins!

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