It blows me away every time I get into pontiled bottles here in Texas. Never imagined I'd be digging stuff this early here. Still doesn't happen very often and the quality of the early stuff isn't usually too great but still fun to dig.
A puff is a small open pontiled bottle with no embossing, usually cylindrical, that would have taken just one puff of breath to blow. They usually have very thin glass and thin flared lips. A dip mold is a mold that looks a bit like a cup...the glassblower uses it to form the sides of the bottle but since it is cup shaped it does not mold the neck, which is effectively freeblown. Slick just refers to a bottle with no embossing.
Correction, only dug 2 1860's privy's. One had pontiled puffs & that super rare Newmans Indian Fruit Bitters (heavy damage) ect, ect while the other had 1 Tellers Ten Pin Cobalt Blue graphite pontil (heavy damage) & about 20 large Stoneware Pottery Ginger Beers all in little peices. dug a 1870's privy with a couple of puffs thrown in it. LEON.
Went out again this past Sunday and had some good luck...first hole I got into just had a few marbles, so I went to a spot where I had probed out some deep trash and dug up a hock wine and an unembossed barrel mustard bottle. After filling that hole in, I started probing and found a spot that felt real promising. Dug it out and it turned out to be a nice big 1870's barrel privy. It was fairly empty but in the bottom was one of my "Holy Grail" bottles...a very rare and crude blob top squat soda from Galveston embossed "Henry Cortes & Son/Galveston/Texas". That had me hopping a bit for sure! Before I filled the hole in, I probed the back wall and could tell there was another privy just behind this one, so I ended up digging it out as well. It was another barrel privy from the 1870's but had some 1880's trash on the top. Dug 4 local hutch sodas and 2 nice local pharmacy bottles from the mid-1880's out of this one.
Now for the heartbreakers. In the fill on the top of the first privy, I found part of a front panel of a bottle that I didn't recognize, so I set it aside. When I went to filing the hole, I found the other half of the front panel. Page And Apfels/Kidney And Bladder Cure/Victoria/Texas". Would have been a big bottle and a real beauty if whole. I've been told it is a rare bottle with only a couple known, perhaps both damaged. In the bottom of the second privy, I also found a topless Schultz Patent "F. Solyer/Galveston/Texas" bottle...these are tough bottles to find.
Nonetheless, it's always fun to find one of those bottles you never expect to dig and I did that Sunday! That's what keeps me going out, even in the hot summer weather!
Yeah...sure would have been. As far as I can tell, Page & Apfels patented their medicine in 1892 and it is advertised in the Galveston Daily News as being sold by J.J. Schott in Galveston in 1894-1895. I've still not found an 1890's era privy on the lot I am digging on (everything has been 1880's or earlier) so I will cross my fingers that when I do find the 1890's privy it will have one of these in it! It's the dream that keeps me digging.