19th Century Bottle Diggers
         It's all about the history

               19th Century Bottle Diggers

                                                                  I'TS ALL ABOUT THE HISTORY

Guest Digs.

 BOTTLE      ADVENTURE'S     from     other    diggers

 I have put together  some  bottle digs from other  fellow  glass fanatics like me. The majority of the people are  from one of my favorite bottle forums "Antique-Bottles.net" and Face Book bottle sites. Enjoy the pictures and story's.





                                 A Bone Chilling Dump Dig

This is a dump dig that most diggers will never see. It takes place in Canada the temp was a "BONE CHILLING" -20 You have to be a dedicated bottle digger to dig in these conditions! One way to thaw out the rock hard fill,was  with GAS!!! Enjoy the pix!








  This dump produced some amazing stuff.




Dug by a member of my bottle forum Antique Bottles.net ---  Dan & Son


                     Bottles waiting to be woken  from their long nap





   Dan & Son  digging up a storm





                                             A nice yellow bitters



                                                The future of bottle digging



                                                        Cobalt Master Ink



                                                   Anchor Flask



                                                     Transfer ware pot lids.




                                              Black glass medicine








                                                KEEP ON DIGGING


Bottle gold mine found under old drug store

                        Here is another once in a life time adventure.

   Chris and the Wilmington Boys got permission to search around under an old building that was once a drugstore back in the mid 19th century. The out come was jaw dropping. See for your self.






Under the drugstore.


 A lot of these bottle were just stacked one on top of the other. Some were in rotted boxes.


Lots of medicines and  perfumes .

Umbrella and turtle inks 

1880s perfumes still in the box.



Like I said "Jaw dropping" 








Dave my digging buddy and I got invited to check out a dump  from a fellow ABN member. She was local  so we met up and shared a little of our bottle knowledge with her. It is always good to pass on the love of old glass to a new comer.

Jamie took us to  to an old stone wall where she found a lot of glass and many whole bottles.The area where she lived was built up with all newer homes,1950s 60s. But there was an old farm there many years ago,the farm house still stands,that is where all the bottle came from.

                                                 Rock wall  loaded with glass.

                                                     Jamie ready to grab a bottle.

  The bottle's that were found in this dump were from the 1920 & 30s. With a couple of cool late throws.

Fellows Chemist & Druggist.

Lydia  Pinkhams  Medicine  


My Buddy Dave goofing off. You can't take him anywhere.


Even though the dump was 1930s  it produced this beautiful 1870s dark green cone ink. It just goes to show you,"you just never know" what you could find.


 The old farm house.It was built in 1860. We will search out the older dump in the fall.



Straight from AB&GC magazine Aaron Koehler aka "Lil Digger" an Antique-Bottles.net member tells his story  on why he loves bottle digging.





New Orleans Digging  The old school way



A good friend of mine "Charlie Cook and his digging buddy Terry G have been digging bottles and "crawling crawl spaces" for old glass in New Orleans for over 40 years maybe more. Mr C is 71 and Terry is 67.I hope I am still giving it hell in the bottle holes when I get to be their age! I have never met them but I stay in contact with Charlie over the phone at least once a week. We talk a lot about bottles and currant  affairs,but mostly bottles.

I started this Blog to pay tribute to a couple  of  "HARD CORE"  bottle nuts.  They do not mind being called nuts,it is a term of endearment in the bottle world.


More pictures to come.


Charlie Cook with a few construction lot finds.


Terry G with a Warner's Safe Cure 





  Charlie with a huge pontiled pickle they dug.


Terry with a fresh dug Cathedral pepper sauce from the 1870's 



Mr  C  with a larger  pepper sauce,they take their bottle's seriously



 Down in a hole



A Iron pontil  1860's



Once in a while they have help,but mostly it is just the two of them.



No it's not the end more pictures to come  





The UN Touched Dump


I went digging with another new comer to the bottle world last weekend. His name is Neal. He found a huge town dump behind his house. The dump is totally un dug. With no access  from the surrounding roads. Neal has easy access  right out of his back yard!

So far  we found stuff from the 1880s 90s up to 1930. It is a newer dump but the potential is there to find some good late throws and unique items. We will try and find the older section as we dig.


Neal with a late throw. A nice amber pumpkin seed flask



Me with what I call "Alain Brass knuckles"


Neal with a Spittoon. They placed these on the floor and spit tobacco juice into them.



Bottles under the barn

A friend of mine "Paul"on  the bottle forum  "Antique-Bottles.net" had a cool experience while searching under  a barn. Enjoy the pictures.





                          An awesome yellow Bunker Hill Pickle



 Finding bottles under buildings in a lot different then digging deep holes  for them.They  are usually  just laying in view with a little dirt over them.



Another creepy doll head.


A nice temporary shelf.






Partial paper labels something you don't see on dug bottles     

New York Pharmacy Association. 


Milk glass chicken lid.


 The homestead and barn where this cool digging adventure took place. 





                                            Privy Heaven!



Hello all treasure freaks this is the one we have waited for. The one I gave a little teaser trailer on with the previous digs that I posted. This one took a bit to get it all together and all cleaned up after the fantastic dig that we had just unearthed. I suppose it all started a few years ago with the first pit that we had dug and discovered what a great hobby it was to actually dig up history. Several hundred pits later and we finally hit a privy that I think will go down as one of the best experiences I have had treasure hunting.
It started out with some luck, then we added just a little bit more luck and topped it off with a whole lot of luck! The timing was crazy too. Started off by just driving around to see where the excavators were digging up a bit of a parking lot. Found one pretty close to the city center so we thought we had a good chance to check it out. So we waited for the workers to stop for the day, then Gary had to probe it for the pits. It was late and he actually found a good one. But it was too late to dig with no lights. Kinda dangerous. So the next day came around and the excavators were back at it. So we waited for our time to pounce on it after he stopped pushing dirt around. He was so close to the privy that I just had to say something to the dozer driver. Usually I hate to interrupt their work but this one we had to take a chance. As luck would have it he said that he was almost done for the day and that he would leave the pit area alone, but just for one day. So all or nothing for tonight. One chance to dig this pit that we knew would be great. Gary had found a pontil Canker Balsam bottle right on top. Figuring everything below would be just as old or older. So at a feverish pitch we began to excavate what would be an unbelievable evening.

So it was Don, myself and Gary going at it. You have to be super careful because pontil bottles are fragile. Down about 5 feet we hit the top of the "Use Layer". Pontil Heaven!! We started to hit Scroll Flasks like it was the factory for them. One after another after another. Aqua, then the great site of an amber one. What a great day to be a digger. The amber one alone is huge. I'm sure it would bring a pretty penny all by itself. Then a kinda heart breaker one. A true Sapphire color scroll flask with the top knocked off. But still an incredible find. Then more aqua scrolls, pints and half pint. Then we hot a streak of medicines, cures and bitters bottles. All iron or open pontil bottles. All dating to around 1850. Crazy time had by all. The medicines saw the light of day for the first time in over 150 years. Radway RRR pontils, Dr. Bakers Pain Panacea, Dr. Wrights Indian Vegetable Syrup, Budd's Bone Wound Liniment, Ayers Cherry Pectoral all pontiled. Then a great looking C.T. Hughes & Co pepper sauce with an open pontil. Some miscellaneous unmarked tubular bottles and 4 Iron Pontil Udolpho Wolfe's Aromatic Schnapps that were iron pontil. Then 9 John Moffat Phoenix Bitters showed their faces after a century of slumber. Unbelievable. That's all we could say to each other.

Then to finish the pit Gary found a great Ravina Glass Company Travelers Companion flask in amber. And a nice ale tri mold bottle was picked out as well. Everything we pulled out was either Iron Pontil or open pontil. I could not believe the privy that we had all just experienced and captured forever on film. All tallied we pulled over 50 pontil bottles from the pit that just might surpass the $5,000 mark. But no matter what the price we eventually get for them it will never pass the amount of fun and great times we had spent just wondering how very lucky we were to get to dig this pit. Once in a few hundred privies we may get the chance, but we know reality, this may never ever happen again. A once in a lifetime chance really, but it sure paid off in good times and the fact that we can be treasure hunters in this great country and share this history with everyone! Thanks for looking everyone, be safe out there and we hope to do some more digging real soon. Until next time, jgas
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    From the pages of the

             The Potomac  
         The Potomac Bottle collectors







  The Cobalt Hutch Hole 


I came across this unique dig on ABN  "Antique Bottle & Glass.Net." This is a cool dig for sure. In my area we have never come across a single cobalt blue hutch. These guys dug many in one privy.This dig took place in Detroit.














              This dig story was published in Antique Bottle & Glass Collector  magazine. 

            Mike Urbanski  is the author and digger. 

            This Dig took place in New York city. On a construction lot. 


October 2014 











 Bottle's dug in the kiwi State

By New Zealand Dump and privy diggers.





 "Not to be taken"


Kiwi Pill Bottle 









Fresh dug NZ bottles 

















 Digging in Columbia Pa

With Blade Big Don  and Badger

7 foot wide brick-liner  12/7/16