ANOTHER "GREAT FEATURE ARTICLE" FROM THE PAGES OF
ANTIQUE BOTTLE AND GLASS COLLECTOR MAGAZINE
THE MAGAZINE OF THE ANTIQUE BOTTLE COLLECTING HOBBY
PITKIN GLASSWORKS EXCAVATIONS CONTINUE
Story and Photos by John R.S. Dobozy
On a brisk September morning a small group of Manchester Historical Society members, friends of the Pitkin Glass Works and local high school students assembled at the sight of the Pitkin Glass Works in Manchester, Connecticut. Coordinated by Mr. Thomas Duff, treasurer of the Pitkin Glassworks, and under the direction of Mr. Nicholas Bellantoni, Connecticut State Archaeologist, the archaeological excavation of the interior of the Pitkin Glass Works building was now beginning!
|Yours truly (center) and Mr. Thomas Duff on right standing in front of the remains of the Pitkin Glassworks building. Tom is the treasurer of the Pitkin Glassworks and has been coordinating the excavations.||A hectic scene inside the ruins as the digging starts. In the foreground and background are the sifters (wood frames with 1/4" steal mesh through which all the soil is sifted in order to uncover the fragments).|
A geometric grid pattern was laid out on the ground using wooden stakes and strings to mark the boundaries of each section. Particular attention was given to the center of the building, as it is believed that the great furnace was located there. The first section that was excavated was located near the center of the structure. Digging commenced slowly, via trowel and brush, through the dense stone rubble. Several fragments of period glass were excavated including a light yellow-olive lip from an early chestnut, a corrugated deep green side section to an early flask, most likely a G VIII 6 Sunburst flask, previously attributed to Keene Marlboro Street Glassworks, a substantial section to a deep green seven ringed New England inkwell (Covill #1171) and a substantial side section to a deep olive Pitkin ink with swirled and vertical ribs!
|A side section with part of the base intact from a deep green seven - ringed New England inkwell (Covill #1171).||Clockwise from upper left: A substantial side section to a deep olive Pitkin ink with swirled and vertical ribs; A base section to a Pitkin ink showing pontil mark; A lip to an early yellow-olive chestnut; A corrugated side section to an early flask; and a deep green base section with pontil from an early utility or snuff. (photographed on 1/4" grid paper)|
|A corrugated deep green side section to an early flask, most likely a G VIII 6 Sunburst flask, previously attributed to Keene Marlboro Street Glassworks. (photographed on 1/4" grid paper)||Fragments of a yellow-olive Pitkin flask. (photographed on 1/4" grid paper)|
As the digging progressed throughout the day many other fragments of glass were uncovered. Most were the usual olive-yellows, olive-amber's and various shades of green. However, one small crude piece of slag that was found was deep amethyst! Other fragments unearthed included a flat pontiled bottom from an early utility or snuff and another substantial section of deep green Pitkin ink with base section and pontil intact. Several corrugated side sections of early flasks in various shades of green and light olive-yellows were also found, but were too small to attempt to identify.
|Square section of the "grid" are excavated.||Nick
Bellantoni, Connecticut State
Archaeologist, taking notes during the excavations.
At the day's end the deeper excavated sections were covered with plywood and then sod. The shallow sections were covered with plastic, filled with soil and then leveled. This was all done in order to maintain the appearance of the grounds.
Ground penetrating radar is planned for the near future and digging will commence in the Spring. It will probably take a few years to excavate the buildings interior. We'll just have to wait to see what new finds will be uncovered when Spring arrives and digging resumes!
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