Curious find

Bixby Bill

Well-Known Member
It looks like they used the bottles as filler in the cement, like we use small stones back here in the east. To me this is worth more historically than what the bottles would be worth, leave it as it is! It doesn`t appear to be any valuable bottles in there anyways. Great piece!
 

dsimms

New Member
Montgomery, AL here. I would try to find a photo of the old building to frame and put with this. You might be able to find it with a Google image search. Interesting that they would have used bottles as mortar or brick filler. I've been to plenty of bottle shows and haven't seen anything like this before.
 

LolaInSF

Member
That is SO cool! My cousin, who works for a 125-year-old brick making company, says "Wow, that is a rare find. Back in the day they sometimes fabricated a kiln on the construction site due to not having a brick plant close enough. If that was case, they would often use glass as fill ( since glass already vitrified, made it usable for this)."

He also said it might be that the kiln operator had a drug/drinking problem and was hiding the bottles... ;).
 

willong

Well-Known Member
Just to chime in and hopefully help make your decision to preserve that interesting piece: Keep it as is!

Sites I used to dig never produced pontiled bottles (too recent history); so that was the first thing caught my eye. Still, as multiple members have pointed out, the individual bottles are likely slicks of little value; while the aggregate is special, perhaps even unique.

As to why the builders might have embedded the bottles in the clay to begin with, I don't see need of any reason beyond whimsy. Now, if clay was scarce--unlikely since they opted to build with brick anyway--the bottles might have been used as filler simply because they were available. Were there more in that structure? Alas, we'll never know.
 

JOETHECROW

Well-Known Member
I logged on for the first time in years to say that I would leave it! it is waaay unusual and what a cool keepsake! Plus you found it with your dad! :)
 
that is an open pontil on the bottom. Looks like an utility bottle. 1820-40's

Story: In the late 1970's my Dad and I would go on metal detecting day trips around central Alabama where we lived, he would detect and me being a kid would dig targets, play or explore. This particular day we were at a road intersection in Pickens county at a dilapidated two story wood building supposed to be a stagecoach stop. The building was on stone pillars which put the floor at my eye level, he was detecting and I was perusing around the building. I pulled some loose hanging boards off at floor level and found this curious mortar brick with tiny bottles within it. I've been holding it as a keepsake for the last 40 years or so, we talk about every few years and how he wished we would have kept pulling boards to see what else was there. The site has long been gone and now a busy intersection. What date would you guess? any value? Leave intact or try and separate them?
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