Welcome to Sea of Glass- a blog about hunting glass treasures...

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Welcome! This is a blog about the modern day treasure hunt... When the waves are flat, and the air is cold, I am usually in pursuit of glass treasures... Call me a digger, a glass-tracker, or a modern-day archaeologist. Whatever the title, for this pirate it's all about the hunt. Whether it's scouring various beaches for ocean tumbled sea glass and historical trinkets or digging for bottles and native american artifacts, I will be sure to post my adventures here. You can also purchase my finds at my online store: www.seaofglass.etsy.com

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Frozen Dig

The winter is the best time to dig- It's easier to find those tell-tale bottle tops and glass shards from a long-gone era glistening through the surface of the leaves, the earth is a bit more wet and easier to get through with the shovel and rake, and there is no poison ivy or ticks to deal with.  If you're willing to fight the cold, it's great.  The anticipation of the find keeps you warm, and the cold air is good for you.

I went digging this past week, and it was frigid, but eventful.  I did manage to find a couple treasures that are worth noting.  In my last post, I mentioned a little bit about a particular bottle that I have been finding in recent digs at "The Sweet Spot".  The bottle that I am referring to is a heavy, aqua, BIM (blown in cup-mold) soda/beer bottle.  It is unique.  The bottle is almost always lopsided, filled with air bubbles, stretch marks, and pot stones.  The glass is unevenly distributed throughout, making each one different from the next.  There are no markings except for a set of initials and a date on the bottom.  The initials are "D.B.", and the date is always a "92" or a "93" (1892-1893).  The best part about these bottles is that they are always in perfect condition.  The heaviness and thickness of the glass keeps them preserved and they always clean up really well.

Before my most recent dig, I had found 4 of them, and they were all found during different digs.  I've really been hoping that I would find at least 2 more for a complete 6-pack, but digs within the past month found me in a D.B. dry spell, and I was beginning to think that I had found my fair share of them.  However, my most recent dig produced 7 more, and they were all together in one pocket of earth!  Needless to say, I have more than enough D.B.s, so I will be able to sell a couple in our online store once I can determine what they are worth.  Keep your eye out for them!

"D.B." Bottles c1892-1893
"SLOAN'S LINIMENT" Medicinal c1890s.
"CELEBRATED H.H.H. MEDICINE D.D.T. 1868" Horse Medicinal c1880s-1890s.
Notice the unique and rare color of the HHH bottle- yellow/grey.


A nice find: A whole piece of stoneware.  Cream-colored with black stamp.  I suppose they are initials "CW".  There is also a mark on the bottom that appears to have been made with a finger nail.  It's a simple comma or crescent moon.
Still researching this one.  If anyone has any clues, leave a response.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Recent Dig Finds

Just figured I'd post some photos of my more memorable dig finds of the past couple months.
Sanford's inkwell on left, lavender inkwell on right.
Both circa 1880s-1890s.
From Left: "The Media DRUG COMPANY" medicinal, circa 1890s.
"Peacock's PURITY PHARMACY CTN, ERIE & BROAD" medicinal, circa 1890s.
"Troth" medicinal, circa 1890s.
"VANBUSKIRK'S FRAGRANT SOZODONT FOR THE TEETH AND BREATH" MEDICINAL, circa 1890s.
"SCOTT'S EMULSION COD LIVER OIL WITH LIME & SODA" medicinal, circa 1880s-1890s.
"DELAVAU'S SYRUP WHOOPING COUGH-CROUP, PHILADELPHIA" medicinal with cork inside, circa 1870s-1880s.
"PISO'S PISO CO. WARREN, PA. USA" medicinal, circa 1890s.


"CUMMINGS PHILADA" (Philadelphia) Hutchinson BlobTop Soda Bottle, circa 1870s-1880s.

Applied FlatLip Liquor Bottle with cork, circa 1860s-1880s
"D.B." Hand-Blown Soda Bottles, circa 1891-1893 (dates are on the bottoms).
I find one of these every time I dig at "The Sweet Spot".  I'm hoping to find two more for a complete 6-pack.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bottle Top Beach

There is a beach that we like to walk quite often.  It is about a mile long, looks to the ocean, but borders the bay.  The beach is mostly sand, but between the high and low tide lines is a boggy area that looks like sponge. It is within the mud and muck here and the tidal rivulets where we find some of the largest and best looking sea glass to date.  It's odd though...  There is not much of the typical, average, ordinary, smaller-sized seaglass to be found.  A majority of the seaglass found here is large.  I'm talking whole seaglass bottles, whole bottle bottoms, complete sides, and more often than not, whole bottle tops- sometimes complete with corks and bottle toppers.  The beach is often crowded in the summer, and we don't find much seaglass when the beach is populated with families, but the winter is a different story.  The heavy storm systems that move through the northeast and the winter currents of the back bays seem to unearth new glass every day.  We have been to this beach every day for the past three days, and have collected some really nice seaglass.  Judging by the colors, and the lip/finish styles of the bottle tops, I am beginning to realize that much of the glass that we find at this location is at least 100 years old.  I have posted some pictures below.
Some of the seaglass that we found today.
A closer look...
A couple days of trips to "Bottle Top Beach" makes for a nice collection of seaglass...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Digging the Sweet Spot

"Digging" is a newer passion of mine.  It's the term that bottle hunters use to describe what they do.  It's sort of like modern-day archaeology, but instead of digging up fossils and artifacts from several thousand years ago, you are digging up bottles and an assortment of other items from the past 100-200 years.  You can't just dig anywhere.  It requires research, observing old maps and charts, or just by knowing knowledgeable people who can point you in the right direction.  I'm using a combination of the three.

My favorite spot to dig is an old dump that was active from about the time of the Civil War to the early 1930s when it was closed.  What exists today is a lush forest along an old country road.  The trees are about 30-40 feet tall, and the underbrush is thick and thorny.  To the average eye, it's just what I described, but to a digger this location is so much more.  In the midst of these trees, beneath the earth lies a vast city dump that has been closed for 75 years.  Once the underbrush has been trimmed back, and the leaves raked aside, the digging begins.  I dub this location "The Sweet Spot".  Labors here have produced literally hundreds of bottles dating anywhere from the 1870s to the 1930s.  I have dug up a variety of other items as well: china, figurines, toys, pottery, stone wear, and many household items from the Victorian age...  Each time the blade of the spade goes into the soil, there is a sense of anticipation as to what might show itself.

My digging trips are always exciting, rewarding, and lucrative...  There is something to be said about digging through the soil to unearth beautiful embossed cobalt blue medicinals or unearthing hand blown lavender apothecary vials.  It is a tedious and dirty process, but in the end it gives me a satisfaction that I can't describe.  I can't help but think that it reunites the past with the present, and it gives me an appreciation for history and things of long ago.
Dig #1 at The Sweet Spot-
This hole is about 5 feet deep and burrows under an old dead Sweetgum tree.
Dig #2 at The Sweet Spot-
Doesn't seem like much, but this dig has revealed lots of treasure.


This is the pile that I am not going to keep.
It is growing by the day.
My pile at home is 10 times as big! :)
Some old broken milk bottles and household items.

The photo banners that are posted at the bottom of this blog site contain many of the bottles that have been unearthed at The Sweet Spot.   I hope to blog about The Sweet Spot many times in the future.  I will also make an effort to post photos and video from some of my digs.



Sunday, January 9, 2011

South Jersey Sea Glass

There are not many places in South Jersey to find sea glass- at least not like Rincon , Puerto Rico.  However, I do have some spots that I like to go to often that are pretty decent.  One of my favorite spots is about 1/2 mile or so of small beaches bordered by walls, jetties, a boardwalk, and old town ruins.  There is almost always treasure to find here- sea glass, sea pottery, sea china, whole bottles, bottle toppers, ballast marbles, etc...  The morning after one of the latest Nor'Easters (storms) during a full-moon low tide, I carried home a large bucket full of treasure.  I posted a photo below of this recent glass harvest.

The Lenni Lenape

Long before South Jersey was discovered by Europeans, it was inhabited by a group of several organized bands of Native Americans called the Lenni Lenape or Deleware Indians.  Part of the Algonquin linguistical group, the Lenape had three distinct clans.  The clan inhabiting much of Southern Jersey coastal and bay region were the Unalachtigo.  Several different villages of Lenape Indians existed in Cape May County where I reside.  My previous post describes a peninsula of marsh land and beach where one particular village of Lenape spent the warmer months hunting, fishing, and gathering.  Evidence of a camp has been found nearby as well as two distinct burial grounds.  Over the years I have collected many Native American projectile points.  The stone tools pictured below include many of the points that I have discovered on the beaches described.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

History Unearthed

I currently reside in Cape May County in South Jersey.  Being that I am a Science and Social Studies teacher, it is an incredible place to spend my time.  I do a lot of exploring.  There are pine forests, beaches, intercoastal waterways, and marshy trails surrounding our home in every direction.  Science and History can be found everywhere, you just have to look for it, OR simply take note of it...  One of my favorite places to explore is about a mile away.  It is a long marshy beach that can only be accessed at low tide.  The beach stretches out to a point in the bay where there is nothing to be found but nature.  Each time I venture out to the furthest point of that coastline, I feel alone in the world simply because I never see a soul.  It is the kind of place that feels "undiscovered"- like no one has ever been there before.  Evidence, however, would prove the contrary.  The beach itself has shown that it seems to have been a favorite destination for people for hundreds if not thousands of years.  On each walk out and back, there are a variety of natural and historical artifacts to be found.  The rise and fall of the tide combined with the wind seem to unearth treasures each and every day.  I have found an assortment of things: sea glass, sea pottery, antique bottles, and broken vintage china originating from the past 100 years or so.  I can imagine the items being thrown into the bay or left behind by Victorian-age folks out for a stroll or a picnic.  I have also found a variety of Native American projectile points.  It must have been a great place to hunt and gather in centuries and millennia past...  Here are some photos to visually document the landscape and treasure to be found there:
The long walk begins beneath residential docks and piers.  But only at low tide!   Many treasures have been found here.
Almost to the point.  Many projectile points have been found here.  I've also found antique bottles sticking out of the marsh banks.
This is a high area at the end of the point.  It is exposed even during high tide.  Most of my larger projectile points have been found on this very beach.

Rincon, Puerto Rico = Sea Glass Heaven

If you are a sea glass collector Rincon, Puerto Rico is the place to be.  The beaches are littered with sea glass, bottles, sea pottery, ballast marbles, etc...  Here are some pictures from our last trip to PR:

Rincon Beach = Sea Glass Heaven.
Rincon Beach also has a lot of odds and ends that the tradewinds carry in...
Laura overwhelmed with a large pile of sea glass.
Kirk and Laura
Some nice bottle bottoms.

Friday, January 7, 2011

www.seaofglass.etsy.com

When we returned from our trip to Puerto Rico, my wife began making beautiful sea glass jewelry. She started an Etsy store and began selling her jewelry online. The store has evolved to include a variety of items. Check it out: seaofglass.etsy.com. Sea of Glass deals in anything glass... ~Handmade sea-glass and beach diamond jewelry, antique bottles, vintage sea glass bottles, hanging antique jar luminaries, & bulk sea glass & jewelry supplies~ Keep checking back for the latest glass treasures...

Welcome to Sea of Glass

It all began a few years back when my wife and I were on a surf trip to Rincon, Puerto Rico.  "What began?", you might ask.  My glass obsession...  We went to Rincon to surf, but for a few days the waves were too big to ride.  We spent a lot of time walking the beaches, and we discovered that the huge surf had littered the beaches with sea glass.  My wife and I loved sea glass, and we had even collected a few pieces here and there in our travels, but what we discovered was that Rincon is sea glass heaven!  We spent several hours each day collecting perfect surf-tumbled glass in every size, shape, and color imaginable.  Well, we eventually got some pretty memorable surfing in, but we also brought home some pretty killer souvenirs- about 50lbs of sea glass...