I found this underground (1 pic)

alisandeSeptember 13, 2009

While digging up a garden, I found quite a few pieces of broken thick glass, some of them from mason jars, and this piece of "china."

I know it's not much to go on, but does anyone have a clue how old it might be? Just curious.....the house is about c. 1850.


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It's about 1860 to 1910.
I think Ohio ironstone...I need to dredge out of my brain what myght end with a T...Thinking Knowles Taylor and Knowles...or Meaken...
But not them....but of that period.
Keep diggin!
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 8:39PM
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Ha! Easy for you to say. It was the worst digging imaginable! I don't mind huge rocks--as long as they're not so big that I can't get them out with persistence and a crowbar--but this area is nothing but small rocks surrounded by a little bit of dirt. You can't get a spade or shovel in more than a half-inch; all you can do is chip away at it. If I hadn't really really wanted to extend my flower bed into that area, I would have given up quickly.

When I got down about a foot, I encountered the piece in the picture, as well as the glass and lots of rocks without any dirt at all. Must have been a rock pile at one point. I was thinking maybe a garbage dump, but it's the wrong place for that: in front of the house at the edge of the road.

Thanks for the info, Linda!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 8:48PM
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Oooh, I found it here (scroll down a bit). And boy, did you ever nail the dates!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 8:51PM
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Glad the brain still works! ;-Q
There is an area in my yard that is a "dump"...somewhere about 25 years ago we planted a tree....and dug up all sorts of Cra&...the tree is now about 20 feet tall....but I'll bet there's more bits and pieces of stuff in that spot.
But since everything I found was just sort of 1890-ish and in pieces, I don't think I will dig up the yard.
Makes me wonder why "they" decided to dump stuff in that spot....

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 9:12PM
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Farmers used to dump old junk into their outhouse pits, knowing that eventually they'd be filled in. If you ever find a bunch of broken china and odds and ends deep and all in one spot, that's prolly an old privy site.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 9:23PM
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Fascinating, follow me...(tidbits in the middle, good stuff at the end) ;)
I googled the first part "Royal Warranted Best Ironstone China" and came up with a hit where they found artifacts bearing that label from Ft. Clatsop (where Lewis & Clark overwintered in 1806). Scroll down to Artifacts at that link, about the middle of the first section under Artifacts. The latter part of the marks of pieces unearthed there showed the label as "Warranted Royal Ironstone China - Charles Meakin England" and this immediately folows: "Edward Clark, Burslem, England". Your label looks like a "....K & Co." on the bottom, but no searches of the entire term (beginning iwth Warranted ending with Clark) turn up anything.

However, I did find reference to this:
Royal Warranted Best Ironstone China , H. Alcock & Co England. So I'm going to guess that's your manufacturer.

More googling...
Here's the link to the piece that was sold on eBay. It's dated 19th century. WorthPoint is the site, to get info for what it sold for you have to be a member (I see they have a free 7 day trial tho, enough to get more info if you don't need to supply a Credit Card, etc.)

Another reference to Alcock I found is here. Scroll down about 3/4 of the way, to heading "JUGS, TEAPOTS, AND ANIMALS. 237". Vague company bits but mentions 1830's to 1860's as dates the "Alcocks" were manufacturing. It's vague.

Another link where "H Alcock" is a hit is below, but it stalled while downloading the huge (5MB) PDF file for me on high speed. If you can access it, perhaps you can search the file for Alcock. Archaeological investigations at the Westney Farmstead,Mangere

Best of all, here is your mark, looks to be exact were it intact:
North Staffordshire Pottery Marks
Henry Alcock

2nd mark from the bottom. Appears it was used around 1910?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 9:25PM
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I see while I was doing some virtual digging so were you and found the mark as well! Cool ;)

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 9:26PM
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"If you ever find a bunch of broken china and odds and ends deep and all in one spot, that's prolly an old privy site."


    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 11:33PM
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I don't know of anyone at home that put things in their "full" outhouse holes,usually put the dirt from new place in the hole so you didn't have to smell it!!I had 6 aunts & uncles that all lived to over 100 & were on farms.We lived at lake but had outhouse until I was 12. But they used to have somewhere on everyone's property where they burned trash & people tended to use the same spot when the property changed hands.Most people had a large metal barrel they put it in & threw the match in.Some just used the ground with very large area of dirt around it.Very windy in So. Dak. Found out they did the same thing in San Fernando Valley, GF's house had a trash burning spot & she retrieved a lot of things from it. 1 was a cute lady in a colonial dress made in Occupied Japan, salt & pepper shakers, don't remember what they looked like, lot of bottles(on her window sill) few wrought iron items. We were always going to dig deeper but she broke her hip & then moved & now it is several apt houses on the property. So either got dug up or buried forever!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 12:52AM
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I live on a farm, settled in 1805. You are right, when we moved here there was a trash site, but it contained mostly articles from the 1930s and on. Before I moved here, I also had a burn barrel, as do most people who weren't on regular trash pickup routes, and some even afterwards. But, I have also found other sites on our property where 'junk' was found. One of them is the cinder pile from coal burning. But, the reason so much old relics are found in privy holes is their proximity to the house and the regularity with which they were used. Of course you fill in the pit with the dirt from the new one, but more than just poo went in most pits. Privy holes are on the list of haunts for treasure hunters. I know where the last outhouse pit is from this house. Somebody many years ago planted a peach tree over it. LOL. I've found quite a few things when digging there after removing the peach tree. Pulled up, no doubt with the roots.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 3:30PM
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The outhouse was in back of the house. Unfortunately, it had to come down when we put the pool in 20 years ago. We were forbidden by law to erect it anywhere else, even if was not intended to be used as an outhouse.

The burning/garbage area was further out back, at the edge of the woods.

We also have an old stone ice house, by the way. This year I grew pole beans in its window.

Love these old farms!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 6:22PM
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That old stone ice house is beautiful. I used to dig up old dumps for antique bottles when I was a teen. Thats what got me interested in antiques. filix.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 7:39PM
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I'm new to this forum.
I find all of your posts so interesting.

In 'my neck o'the woods' when a well went dry, it was filled with trash.

Today, these old well sites are prime areas for treasure hunters.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 5:53PM
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Finding the outhouse pit is greeted with cries of glee by archaeologists because it's layered, seldom disturbed after it's filled in because it's so deep, and so much household stuff ends up there accidentally.

By then the poo is turned to dirt and you are left with busted china, old pipe stems, and other things that would not otherwise have been saved.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 2:05PM
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