Don't ignore 1970's dumps! You never know what's hiding in there!

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FreeBirdTim

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Stumbled upon a bottle dump the other day while metal detecting. Happy at first, but disappointed when I spotted a ton of 1970's Tab and Fresca bottles on the surface. I did see quite a few steel soda cans, so I checked it out in the hope of finding some in decent shape. Didn't find any worth saving, but started to see older stuff when I started clearing leaves off the mounds of bottles and trash. A GM carb from the 1940's, a broken aqua Atlas mason jar and a car radio from the 1950's (I think).

It got really interesting when I spotted a very large crock that was broken into a dozen pieces. Picked up a shard and it had a cobalt blue design on it! Thought it could be pre-1900, but not positive. My thinking at that point was that someone had cleaned out an old barn and dumped the refuse there. Started to rifle through all the Tab bottles and spotted a blob top right on the surface! I was in total shock! It was an 8 1/2" aqua bottle from T. E. Hickey & Co. of Providence, RI. They were in business from 1872-1902, so it's at least 122 years old! Has a rough whittled look to it, so it could even be from the 1880's. Not in mint condition, but not bad at all. Safe to say, I'll be going back there to see if there's any more good finds lurking under the leaves. You never know...
 

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Semar

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I've dug a couple of dumps (when I was young) that went back to the early-mid 19th century starting from the 1940-50's on the surface. :cool:
Trash pits were a thing long before town dumps.
Do go back and dig until you hit virgin dirt.
I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir since you've been here since '015. ;)
 
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Sitcoms

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I'm of the minority that actually loves digging in mid-century dumps - some of the non-bottle items I find are awesome (scored a great milk glass sconce plate last week), and I love a good ACL soda or chemical. The 50s-60s dump I've been digging actually lead to an older 20s-30s dump nearby just by searching the area.

I'd guess the one you found might have been the household dump, used for generations. Looks like you've got a nice time range there, and to find a blob top right on the surface is pretty great!
 

FreeBirdTim

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Thanks, Taylor! Got my info from your "RI Soda Bottle Company Histories" page online. Figured I had something good when I saw that the company went belly up in 1902. Haven't found any more blob tops at that dump, but I'll keep looking.
 

PlaneDiggerCam

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I too have found 1970s dumps and always do small test hole to be sure, especially if there are no other options and the surrounding area is old enough and if the dump is fairly mounded. I have found 1800s dumps buried under 1970s trash. One actually went into pontil era and produced early bottles. I know people who turn down 1930s-1950s dumps by looking at them, which I completely disagree with. 1960s-1970s is pushing it, since I myself feel usually it is to modern, but it never hurts to do a test hole which I will always do.
 

islamoradamark

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i have found a couple areas of some modern soda bottles took a couple home after reading here i am going to go back and look a little harder they were 1967 and i got a old licence plate
 

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