This is the Ontario Farmer’s Gasoline Tax Exemption Book that was issued to my grandfather in 1944 so he could farm his land and feed the troops.
This is what the tractor may have looked like – 1939 Ford Tractor
The nether regions just two feet under the cobblestones of the Distillery District have been uncovered and explored by contractors off and on for the last hundred years, but there’s always lots of little treasures here to uncover…
While fixing the drainage systems under the cobblestone lanes and passages in the Distillery District, the DryShield waterproofing solutions technicians doing this work were focused on excavating the site to install drainage systems, but I went looking for stuff buried under the cobblestones. I found railroad spikes and all manner of round and square nails, bullets, nuts and cotter pins and a key.
The work done here by Historical Restorations inc is detailed on the Distillery District blog post about pointing bricks on the exterior of Victorian architecture and how that relates to wet basements and spring floods.
Roberrific on Bizcovering writes on how internal gutters are most common remedy for wet basement wall and they are dug below the wall , about eight inches wides or just wide enough to accommodate a course plastic pipe, wrapped in a nylon ‘hose’ filter.
The wall is covered with a thick plastic membrane which really does become a dry shield.
The barrier has specially designed nipples and rivulets that encourage water to flow straight down and into the freshly excavated gutter at the base of the wall.
The internal gutter excavation and ABS pipe installation is part of DryShield waterproofing solution in this residential house basement where waterproofing contractors install the membrane as remedy to moisture on cement walls and excessive run off during spring floods from a shared driveway above.;
Basement waterproofing article on Fuel Ghoul explains how contractors can do the work entirely inside the house. This is a common practice when floods have destroyed walls and water damaged drywall and wet and moldy fiberglass insulation has to be removed anyway.
Tearing out these walls reveals everything that was in the wall (period newspapers) and used to make the wall or was lost in the wall.
Experienced contractors look for pennies and coins used to level trim and rings and earrings swept under floorboards.
Big Larry is a professional excavator with a backhoe and a reputation for finding early Canadian glass and pottery. He brings thirty years of digging experience to the Diggers’ collective. He also brings a healthy sense of humor – here’s a picture of Big Larry on the job, in the oldest part of Toronto (east of Yonge st, south of Queen).
April 25th 2008 was an exciting day. Big Larry was removing some suspicious soil under the parking lot behind 252 Adelaide St E, which any knowledgeable local historian will tell you is the site of Toronto’s very first post office (circa 1834). The Town of York website hosts the story of Toronto’s first post office amid the trappings of so many dedicated historians; this page is a veritable treasure trove of facts and information concerning James Scott Howard. The dig site also contained something valuable – what Larry found in the ground is important.
It was a small hole, and not even that deep, but look at the stratigraphy. On the morning of April 25th 2008 it was possible to see the shifting sands under this great city right back to 1834 when this exact spot was a mini marsh with cattails and bullfrogs. Look carefully and note the bottom is clay and layers of top soil and finally gravel and asphalt as each generation used and improved the property. And of course let’s notice that log at the very bottom of the hole. That’s not a fence post, or a foundation beam… According to Big Larry that post is the mooring of a small dock which may have existed here on the south side of a swampy pond almost two hundred years ago. The piles may have once supported a wooden dock or retaining wall – the whole mess was covered in and filled over in the 1830s and the land supported the busy post office and Toronto dentist. Big Larry was just doing his job; he was digging a hole in a construction site. But like the wise old man, Larry keeps his eyes open all the time – especially when he’s working in history. As I watched him, he watched the hole. After a glimpse of ash, and the flash of glass, Larry jumped out of the cab and down into the pit, to grub knee deep in the mud on a hunt for the prize. And it was worth it – from the depths of time Big Larry retrieved a ‘Riddel & Burns / 406 Yonge St / Toronto’ aqua torpedo bottle.
How did this bottle get here? The site is not a dump, but may have been dumped on all the same… This bottle was probably pitched into a water filled ditch sometime in the late 1860’s or early 1870s by someone who wasn’t interested in collecting the deposit. TimBits tells me that the bottle was made in 1869 by Francis Ridell and AW Burns, the proprietors of the beaver soda company. It was one of the last torpedo bottles made, before they came back into fashion again briefly in the early 1900s.
This is a very rare bottle; even good information is hard to find.
When Dumpdiggers went searching about for data on these two early Toronto beverage makers, we rediscovered the Canadian Bottle Lover’s pages, and their wonderful photo gallery collection of early Toronto sodas.
But there’s no Riddel & Burns torpedos on display here; the only similar specimen is a broken ‘bowling pin’ squat soda.
When Larry cleans and tumbles this piece I hope to do a follow-up on Francis Riddel & AW Burns. Anyway Big Larry, nice find.
Six months ago I wrote an article for Bizcovering magazine entitled, How To Find Stuff To Sell on Ebay,
Scavengers find the best stuff to sell online.
To my satisfaction, the article soon became a very popular and has now been viewed almost a thousand times. As of this morning it has earned $3.54 in that author rewarded web 2.0 world. What’s more exciting to me is that the Stanza corp protects the originality of the submitted content. These guys won’t publish duplicate content, and (they claim) they’ll drop content that’s heavily replicated after it has been accepted as original work and published on their site.
That means Bizcovering is a massive collection of original works, and it’s no secret that search engines love that type of website. It’s interesting that this article’s pages have grown in prominence because they are optimized and original (and also helpful and informative; Google Page Rank = 2). What’s this really means is, today’s search engine users that type the words ‘eBay Scavenger’ into the query box will find this article in the first page of results!
I have since contacted Bizcovering magazine and edited the piece to include a ‘back link’ to Dumpdiggers. Forgive the obvious SEO properties of this post; I reveal these marketing strategies only as insight into how eBay Scavengers can promote their own sales online.
Dumpdiggers are the most passionate antiques collectors.
Dumpdiggers are experts that research, locate and excavate the precious objects that would otherwise remain lost. This begins the ‘life-cycle of patronage’ that every found item endures as it appreciates in value on its path to the museum – which is every true historic artifact’s ultimate accommodation.
THE PATH OF A TRUE ANTIQUE
It’s common for prolific diggers to unload their relics in bulk at pawn shops, Saturday markets and bottle shows. Antique pickers scour junk shops and flea markets to bring these objects to more knowledgeable dealers. Upscale customers buy these objects in high end antiques stores to add to their collections at home – where do true antiquities go next?
Here’s a fine assembly of ornate ‘oiling’ cans. When I peruse this collection I’m left thinking about the genius mechanics, or the eccentric inventor who tinkers over his contraptions. What will happen to these items when their collector leaves this world? Will they be sold off individually? Or will the entire hoard be donated to a museum for a tax receipt against the capital gains accrued by the inheritance (in some States). The latter scenario has become quite common in Canada, and there are many small museums that now have huge collections – sometime their historic inventory is three or four times larger than the building’s capacity for display (and it makes me wonder if sometimes whole rooms full of historic items sometimes get lost out the back door?).
ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES BLOGS
Passionate collectors can spend hours online following their hunger for history and researching their own pieces. Unfortunate most other antiques and collectibles blogs are huge photo collections with very little descriptive text. The shutter happy bloggers in this case don’t spend any time describing the object’s history, and if they write any text at all, its usually just to detail the condition of the item.
Dumpdiggers is always eager to add other like-minded sites to the blog roll, but very few domains exist that would benefit the Digger’s Alliance. Just today however, I added Antiques Collecting to the list because I like the style and presentation of this blog’s information. It could benefit from a few more pictures actually, but I like how it appears on the same template as Dumpdiggers and it shares a similar perspective on some subjects. Check it out!
While excavating old dumps, Diggers will sometimes pray to God for luck.
Not all Dumpdiggers are Christians, but in my experience, veteran diggers all believe in some sort of supreme deity. Passionate historians recognize and honor divine mechanisms that help them make sense of the stories in which they traffic.
Dumpdiggers love contests and especially online web challenges. You will find an interactive photo challenge on Dumpdiggers.com and links to All Canada Contests in the friends and alliances section of that website. This is because that website is the best in Canada at collecting and connecting our people with contest opportunities.
In the United States, men and women with metal detectors on the forgotten battlefields of the American Civil War carefully follow the footsteps of men with rifles one hundred years ago. Adventurers with shovels and brooms sweep away a century old debris to discover the remains of the Gold Rush.
Privydiggers honeydip the latrines of their ancestors. Antiques & Collectibles bargain hunters are also historians and often quite religious.
As mentors go, this Dumpdigger holds in high regard the old man.
HOW TO FIND A LOST DIAMOND The old man once found a diamond that had slipped from an engagement ring and disappeared into the cracks of an old kitchen floor. He re purposed the bride’s nylon stocking over the end of a vacuum hose nozzle and vacuumed the entire room. The diamond appeared in the lint trapped in the stocking.