ANOTHER "GREAT BOTTLE DIGGING STORY" FROM THE PAGES OF
ANTIQUE BOTTLE AND GLASS COLLECTOR MAGAZINE
THE MAGAZINE OF THE ANTIQUE BOTTLE COLLECTING HOBBY
Privy1+1=2an Antique Historical Flask Digging Story
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 otherpartner, 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 weeksbefore, with another digger we know, but they found very little.It was a barrel with a black tar likecomposition.You diggers have probably seen and smelled it befor
We started to dig on the opposite side of theyard, right across from where they dug, and agreed our hole wasalso a barrel. After a couple of hours we also had very little toshow for our labor. About six feet down we hit solid yellow clayand presumed we had bottomed out. The funnything though was that in one small area the chocolate coloreddirt was still visible.
When it was my turn in the hole I studied thebarrel and noticed that both sides of the hole had a few stonesshowing to the left and right of where I was sitting. Thisdidnt make any sense since a barrel-lined hole has allwooden ribs which can be seen. Then it hit me! This barrel holewas 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 holewas exactly on a property line dividing two yards.
I had these negative vibes and complained thatit was probably dug before. After one half hour of my complainingVince reached for something on the wall of the now stone-linedhole and showed me a squat soda! It was a dark green graphitepontil N.A. FELIX READING, and on the reverseside it had DYOTTVILLE GLASS WORKS PHILA. Allthree of us were very overjoyed. Down we went! Bucket afterbucket until the next bottle was unearthed. I thinkits blue said Vince. Sure enough it was a skyblue pony G.P. (graphite pontil), JOHN FEHR, READING.Things were really looking up and at about the 15-foot level thesquats started to really roll out as we were getting near thebottom of the hole.
We found a medium green G.P. squat JOHNFEHR on the shoulder of the bottle and READINGon the opposite side of the shoulder. We also found two green N.A.FELIX in a slug plate, G.P. squats, but with no READINGon them, six green G.P. squats, but no embossing. What a bummer!The last thing to come out was a surprisingly embossed historicalflask. It was aqua, open pontiled with no chips or cracks, FREETRADE AND SAILORS RIGHTS. KENSINGTON GLASS WORKS, PHILA.was embossed on one side, with the word FRANKLINunder a sailing ship on the other. GIV-34 according toMcKearins listings.
We pulled a few more O.P. unembossed medicineand vials from the bottom of the hole and that was it. With aflip of the coin we split our finds and talked about our nextdig. It wont be long as I probed out two more holes in thissame yard.
McKearin, Helen, American Bottles and Their Ancestry,Crown Publishing, Inc. New York 1978.
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