ANOTHER "GREAT BOTTLE DIGGING STORY" FROM THE PAGES OF
ANTIQUE BOTTLE AND GLASS COLLECTOR MAGAZINE
THE MAGAZINE OF THE ANTIQUE BOTTLE COLLECTING HOBBY
Privy 1+1=2 an Antique Historical Flask Digging Story bottle
ebay by Bob Keim nasa
hiI had not heard from my two bottle digging partners for quite a while. All three of us work for the same company in Reading, Pa., but in different buildings. I decided to give them a call at home after work to see if they could go digging sometime soon. It was the Labor Day Weekend so I was hoping they could go one of the days we had off.
We could all dig on Sunday, so my one partner, Jim Creveling, picked me up at my house at 8 a.m. We met my other partner, Vince Arms, at the digging location around 8:30 a.m. Vince told me that he had dug one hole in the yard a few weeks before, with another digger we know, but they found very little. It was a barrel with a black tar like composition.You diggers have probably seen and smelled it before, so you know what Im talking about. They got very little out of that goo.
We started to dig on the opposite side of the yard, right across from where they dug, and agreed our hole was also a barrel. After a couple of hours we also had very little to show for our labor. About six feet down we hit solid yellow clay and presumed we had bottomed out. The funny thing though was that in one small area the chocolate colored dirt was still visible.
When it was my turn in the hole I studied the barrel and noticed that both sides of the hole had a few stones showing to the left and right of where I was sitting. This didnt make any sense since a barrel-lined hole has all wooden ribs which can be seen. Then it hit me! This barrel hole was sitting in a stone-lined hole, but off center quite a bit. Surely this must be a pontiled hole. The question was though - was it dug before by other diggers? It was possible, as this hole was exactly on a property line dividing two yards.
I had these negative vibes and complained that it was probably dug before. After one half hour of my complaining Vince reached for something on the wall of the now stone-lined hole and showed me a squat soda! It was a dark green graphite pontil N.A. FELIX READING, and on the reverse side it had DYOTTVILLE GLASS WORKS PHILA. All three of us were very overjoyed. Down we went! Bucket after bucket until the next bottle was unearthed. I think its blue said Vince. Sure enough it was a sky blue pony G.P. (graphite pontil), JOHN FEHR, READING. Things were really looking up and at about the 15-foot level the squats started to really roll out as we were getting near the bottom of the hole.
We found a medium green G.P. squat JOHN FEHR on the shoulder of the bottle and READING on the opposite side of the shoulder. We also found two green N.A. FELIX in a slug plate, G.P. squats, but with no READING on them, six green G.P. squats, but no embossing. What a bummer! The last thing to come out was a surprisingly embossed historical flask. It was aqua, open pontiled with no chips or cracks, FREE TRADE AND SAILORS RIGHTS. KENSINGTON GLASS WORKS, PHILA. was embossed on one side, with the word FRANKLIN under a sailing ship on the other. GIV-34 according to McKearins listings.
We pulled a few more O.P. unembossed medicine
and vials from the bottom of the hole and that was it. With a
flip of the coin we split our finds and talked about our next
dig. It wont be long as I probed out two more holes in this
McKearin, Helen, American Bottles and Their Ancestry, Crown Publishing, Inc. New York 1978.
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