19th Century Bottle Diggers

I'TS ALL ABOUT THE HISTORY

It started out looking like this. I received an email through my web  site from a women in Philadelphia. She said she had a sinking spot in her small 12x10 back yard. (space) is more like it. She asked if I wanted to check it and dig it if it was a privy. I excepted with out hesitation. Me and 3 of my buddies made the trip to center city Philly the fallowing weekend. This is how it went.
The opening of the sinking spot. In the back "Digger Don" next "Badger" and me doing all the work as normal. :-)
Chris Aka "Blade" feels the hole out. He can tell if it is a privy just by sitting in it. He is that good.
From a sunk in spot in the bricks to this in a few hours.
A few bottles are starting to show. A blown Philly crown top.

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Philadelphia blob top. They are getting older. We found 1930s milk bottles at the start of this monster. That is a good sign that this one was never dipped. They used to dig really deep holes in Philly so they wound never have to dip them (clean them out) Who would want to clean out a deep brick hole full of fresh crap?  No one!  That is great for the privy digger. That means more bottles.
The home owner Lauren brings out some homemade brownies for the crew. This day is looking up!
 
I think my bone is down there?
Deeper and deeper it goes. Our 10 foot probe still buries to the handle.
 
The home owner Lauren had to ask her neighbors if we could use their back area to put fill from the privy. There was just to much of it. We ran out of room fairly quick. I am glad she said ok because that would have put an end to that dig. This is the first time this has happened to any of us digging outhouses.
Soon I had to brake out the head light. You can see why.
Hoagie and picture time.
Green Tree Remedy for dyspepsia only Phila. Pa
The Flag Blob beer
Cosmopolitan Hutch
 
He said he was headed to the roof. We had no idea why until -----
Home owner takes a few shots from the roof.
The home owner Lauren whips us up some lunch. It was more like a "Privy Party" then just a regular ole privy dig. They fed us all day and even bought pizza for us at night when we were filling it in. yes we were there pretty dang late. We need more permissions like this. Thanks again for the fun day folks.
How many people can take a selfie like this??
Hey everyone! Look down the hole!
Now it was getting a little hairy. It was 10pm and we were not hitting bottom with the probe. We were running out of room in the neighbors  flat and the 30 foot  chain ladder was starting to worry us also. It was rolled out at 30 feet and there was at least 7 foot left to dig to hit bottom. I was in the hole when I decided I had enough. I was down there for over half an hour. When I made my way out I realized I had left the light the probe and my shovel down there, I thought someone would go next to dig. But no one wanted to go down. We were pretty much beat up. We had to fill it in when we were done and that was going to take super human strength. Don decided to go back down to get the tools and scratch around a bit more. He probed one more time and the 6 foot probe sunk to the handle! with out touching bottom! That meant there was a lot left to go and we were out of space ,energy and ladder length. This Monster privy may have gone 40 feet or more! It is a shame we could not finish it. I know the bottom was pontil age. The house was built in 1858. No doubt it  would have had some cool civil war era stuff down there also. We did not know what to expect when we started this thing. Next time we will have a longer ladder!
Putting the bricks back .
Finished  product at the end. No more 40 foot hole.  :-)