I started this site for the love of old bottles.Unearthing the past is what it is all about for me.The thrill,the rush,and the satisfaction of pulling out an old bottle from a time capsule in the ground is an UN real feeling!
I rarely sell any of my "good" bottles, but on occasion I will bring a box or two to a bottle show, or sell a few on E bay. This hobby is not ' all 'about money to me,it is about the history of old glass from the past. Once a certain rare or scarce bottle is sold,I may never dig another. That is why I hold on so tight to my better pieces of old glass.
My grandmother is the person I have to thank for this wonderful love of old bottles.I do believe she is with me at times, especially when I find a bottle like the puce eagle pictured above. I think it is safe to say that bottle was heaven sent.
My main source of old bottles today is privy digging AKA outhouse digging.I also dig dumps if they are old enough.The year 1900 is my limit on dumps.( TOC turn of the century)
This hobby is all about history to me more then any other factor.I love to daydream about who used this hollow wear from the past.I picture a much slower and simpler time,unlike this fast paced world we live in today.
But on the other side of the coin,there was a high death rate from all the wide spread diseases that the quack medicines could not cure, even though the labels said they could.Most of the diseases from that time are non existent today.
That brings up another reason why I love this hobby so much.Because of all the crazy quack cures and guarantees on some of these dug bottles,claiming to cure everything from cancer to alcoholism.One bottle even states "Cures ALL Diseases" Wouldn't it be nice if it were that easy.
Don't forget the time & master craftsmanship that went into each bottle.Unlike our cookie cutter world of today.
On this site you will see mostly pictures of privy dug bottles,and digs in action.I also have digging story's on my blog that were published in the Antique Bottle & Glass Collector, Western & Eastern Treasure,Antique Trader and Bottles & Extra's and various write ups from other publications.
Take a trip through time
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or interested in this wonderful hobby.
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The privy cleaners better known as "Night Men" or "Honey Dippers". These guys had a very important job.To rid the outhouses of excess crap and trash. They did their job at night to spare the town/city from the god offal stench that came when the outhouse pits were disturbed. It was a crappy job,but someone had to do it.
LQC Wishart's Pine Tree Tar Cordial Phila Pa
I won this bottle in a writing contest from AB&GC magazine.
For the cure of inveterate ulcers ,bad legs,sore breasts,sore heads, gout and rheumatism.
The front of the Puce Eagle.
The back of the puce eagle.
Dyottville Glass Works Philada
1870 eight sided Seitz mineral water six ounce size.
Wm A Selser.Bee figural honey bottle/Jar.1890
A scarce example made from a private mold.
Wm A Selser Guaranteed Direct from bees
All of these cobalt iron pontil sodas & beers were found
in one 1850 privy.The full story of this adventure is in
my blog.The "Cobalt Hole" & "The Privy Blues"
This cool looking pitcher was dug in a 1870s privy.
A Loaded 1870-80s privy
A certain cure? I don't think any thing was
certain back in those days.
St Drakes Plantation 4 log bitters.
(Another bottle I won in a AB&GC writing contest)
This is what we call a heart breaker! A cornflower blue
Washington father of our Country. This was put back
Keep going there's more!
Three face pipes dug from a privy on 6/20/11Franklin Pierce was the 14th President of the United States (1853-1857) and is the only President from New Hampshire. (Clay face pipe)
A striped wear pitcher dug in near mint condition.1850's
More sodas from 1850s to 1870s outhouse holes.
My digging buddy Paul down in a 1850s wood lined privy
Two ovoid jugs dug in a 1850s barrel lined privy.
A summer tree summer tree flask.Dug in a 1840s privy.
A Flagon used for wine or other liquids.
A scarce Hazleton Pa. Beer bottle.
A Cathedral pepper sauce bottle 1860s
Strychina Poison a scarce example 1880
To the left a West Ford Glass Works Sheaf of wheat
flask.To the right a green J .A Seitz beer 1870s privy.
A Ironstone tea pot & a chamber pot.
A Washington Taylor flask made at the Dyottville
Glass works Philadelphia. late 1840s-50s
Another shot of the Sheaf of Wheat flask.
J. Wise Allentown Pa.1870 beer bottle.
Milk glass bitters bottle from Germany
A 1890 Dr Moores Venereal cure.
A Wistar Pine Tar Cordial. This bottle was
dug from a 22 foot brick lined privy.
The full story is in my blog (Dig story's)
This is a local advertising flask.Stein & Kramlich. The liquor
store was located on top of the fire Dept,witch was also
On the side of the building in the picture below,
part of the word liquor can be seen.
This is a cologne bottle,Scrolled leaves & flowers.
1830 - 40s open pontil
Cleaned up scrolled leaves & flowers cologne.
Kohl & Beans Mineral Waters Easton Pa.1850s .
( Note the extra large blob top)
Paul dug this Staford's Master ink dug in a local dump.
Boooooo! The Doll Head from the past.
I call this one the basket of cheer.
Cobalt,teal and green iron pontils,
from a 1840s privy.
Better known as"The Cobalt Hole"
John Clarke Mineral Water.Mid 1830s
Washington & Taylor flask & Ip sodas. 1850
Over 600 bottles dug from a brick lined privy.
Dating to 1880s- 60s.Read the story on how
this dig started and ended.In my digging blog.
U.S.A Hospital bottle.This bottle was found in
medical bags during the Civil war.
H.H Warner & Co Tippecanoe
Here are some of the historical flask that Paul pieced back
together.There were 14 broken ones in that privy.
Read the full story "The Last Bottle Out"
In my digging story's.
Eagle Cornucopia flask 1840s polished pontil
Scarce amber Allentown PA Hutch
Daniel Ritter.Check out "three dumps on a hill"
in my digging blog.
Belle of Clifton Whiskey.This was a so called
medicinal whiskey.Good for what ailed ya.
Four 8 sided Seitz & Bro Mineral waters.
A mint forest green Seitz & Bros.
This is the way it was when I dug it.Mint!
I drink from this one.
A rainbow of 19th century beer's and sodas dug from one privy.
A green eight sided mineral water from a 1870s privy.
C.C Conrad & Company
12 sided iron pontil pepper sauce bottle.
With the pepper seeds still in side.1860
Some Iron pontil eight sided sodas and my favorite little poison.
The story of how this little common poison became a rare and
sentimental bottle."Bottles in the Blood" (click digging story's)
Historical flasks that Paul put back together.These
are tough to find whole.
Four privy dug medicines.Philly Pa,Easton,Pa,Washington NJ &
and Allentown pa. All dug from the same privy.
A dark teal 1850 summer tree flask.This flask was re constructed
by my digging buddy Paul.Every piece was found.
My buddy Charlie Cook from New Orleans with a
MONSTER! CATHEDRAL PICKLE.
I call this one the "Rock Pile" bottle.
There is no info on this one.My
guess is that it was used to treat piles.
This is a U.Bruner druggist from Catasauqua Pa circa 1850.
1870s Geo Hoffman Allentown. Eight sided soda.
"Mine shaft privy" (check the video)
Grandmas Secret For Baby's.
The first and only"Warner's Safe Kidney & Liver Cure I ever dug.
They are not found in our area much
1850s pontiled umbrella ink well.
Dug October 15 2010 in a barrel lined privy.
Four faced crystal salt shaker
A green Seitz & Bro with dark striations, one of a kind.
Lehn's Magic Lineament Best in the World.
Metzers Catarrh Cure & Add
My Dyottville Puce Eagle flask at the Original Dyottville Glass works factory in Philadelphia Pa. We visited the site on 2/17/12
Check out my video on our visit to Dyottville.
Future Privy Diggers? Some local kids look down the privy while I dig bottle's.
The puce Eagle in "The Last Bottle Out"
From "Antique Glass & Bottle Collector"
Dark green cone ink.
A gift from a friend. Water Town NY ginger beer
DR Kings New Discovery For Consumption
Dump dug bottle. Gross "Cereal Extract of Oats and Barely" Philadelphia USA.
My last good bottle from 2012
Late 1890s foot warmer.
See bottle below.
A permanent destroyer of bed bugs & their eggs.A great labor saving article.
WM Peterman MFG chemist New York & London.
Slutz Mineral Water
Large Chemical bottle stopper. Dug in a Chemical dump in N J.
We dug a number of these,but all the bottles were broken.
Bowen's Crude Oil Hair Grower
This product was distributed by Edward J. Bowen, of Philadelphia.
Liquid Velvet - a secret formula known only to Bowen's. Blending genuine parafine base crude oil with other rare material of wonderful value for hair and scalp.
These are full examples with labels
Recently dug at a dump.
"Chas Jolly" No 9 So Seventh st, Philadelphia.
A product that Dr T.E Davis sold in his store.
Dr. T.E Davis ran the Switch-Back Pharmacy on the corner of Front and Market st, across from the Eagle Hotel. He lived in Summit Hill for several years and also owned the Summit Inn. He was famous for some of his concoctions, including Switch Back Sarsaparilla, Cough and Cure, and his Blood and Liver pills.