First Privy Dig

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hemihampton

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From what I see don't look to good, you want to see different layers or colors or differences in the dirt, your dirt all looks the same. If I was there I would probe bottom of hole & then all the sides of the hole, if you don't feel anything with the probe but the usual dirt then probably a dud & move on. Most Privies will have white ash in them, usually at bottom but could be a couple of different layers at different levels. If I see white ash on end of my probe thats just one good sign out of 3. Leon.
 

hemihampton

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Here's a example of white ash, Yesterday after work, I stopped by this spot where they just tore the House down or demolished. back yard dug up by bulldozers or backhoe, probably from removing concrete garage floor. As usual I go straight back to the corner, all along one side to back corner nothing but dirt, but, when I get to other back corner a big pile of white ash & busted bottle shards which is a good sign privy nearby. SO, I probe & dig but couldn't find it making me wonder where this white ash came from. sometimes the white ash or bottles get moved around by the bulldozers. right after I took this pic I did find a FAD. Richter Pain Expeller Bottle with cool Anchor on it. Common but better then nothing. Leon.
WhiteAsh.JPG
WhiteAsh2.JPG
 

East_Tn_Bottle_Guy

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Thanks, Leon. I'll probe the hole again soon. I might keep digging a little bit just because I'm kinda curious how deep it goes, but won't dig a second hole yet. Thanks.
 

Martenrat

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Hello, all! It's been a long while since I last posted and an even longer while since I've actually looked for bottles because I've been getting into traditional woodworking. But that's not why I'm here. I'm here to show the bottle I just found. But first, some context.
I've posted before about bottles I found in the attic of an old farm house that my family moved into a couple years ago. It's a century farm in East Tn that has been in the Brown family (not my family) since 1835. Unfortunately, I'm not sure where the original house was built, but the one currently standing is at least 100 years old (I think over been told it was built in the 1920s but the style was popular in the 1890s and the bottles I found in the attic seemed older than 20s).
So, the privy. There's 2 dips in the yard next to the house that for a long time I've been wanting to dig. One weird thing though is that it's upwind soooo... doesn't seem like the smartest idea to me but on the other side of the house is a road, so it might have been the only option. But I stuck my soil probe (I need to get a bottle probe but don't have one) into the hole and around it and, honestly, it felt softer next to the hole than in it. I was confused but was like "screw it" and dug the hole anyway.
At first there wasn't much glass (kind of disappointing because I've found more glass that the chickens scratched up and digging a ditch for water pipes than the actual bottle hole lol). Then there was shards and pieces of a flower pot. "OK. So it's not just an accidental shard. There's actually something here."
I kept digging and found more shards and flower pot pieces and metal junk. Then, I put my shovel straight down onto the side of something and pushed down. At first I didn't know if it was a rock or bottle, but then saw glass and was astonished that it didn't break in half. I pulled it out and... it was WHOLE! At first I just saw one side and thought it was slick... then flipped it over and BAM! Surprise number 2! It says
"SC Wells & co
Leroy, N.Y."
And on the sides it says
"established" "in 1870"
It's not too old (could someone help me date it? Sorry I only have one picture right now. More tomorrow), but it's the first privy bottle I've dug and it's embossed.
I'll dig more tomorrow. View attachment 253555View attachment 253556
Wells, LeRoy N.Y. Very common, especially here in W. N.Y. Age around 1900 - 1910. Still it looks in good shape and it will display
 

hemihampton

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being a screw top I would guess from the 1920's+ but being a older looking screw top could predate that. Leon.
 

East_Tn_Bottle_Guy

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I didn't think that it would've been that old since it was closer to the surface. Pleasant surprise.
Here's a closer picture of the top after I rinsed it off. The "threads" aren't continuous around the top, which I thought was interesting. It's just 3 little bumps.
20240316_200242.jpg

I expected it to be pretty common, but like you said, it'll display nice.
 

hemihampton

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in the 1930's & up most meds/druggist/pharm bottle switched to paper labels, just like beer bottles did, some had acl labels starting in mid 30's & 40's. Leon.
 

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