Digging into Victorian and Edwardian rubbish dumps may seem a crazy way to earn a living, but many thousands of people in Britain alone have been involved in such a hobby part-time since the 1970s. It all started in the U.S.A. in the 1950s when old frontier towns were searched for their throwaway bottles. The patent quack medicine bottles of the 19th century proved a fascinating subject of research. Dump- digging soon spread to Canada and the U.K. and is also particularly strong in Australia.
The finds in old refuse are not just bottles. In a century when local chemists made their own toothpaste in the back of the shop, it was sold in small ceramic pots with lids which had printed advertising on them under the glaze. Chemists could design their own advertising lids and the individuality and naivety of these is part of their charm. This was a time before the invention of the squeezable tube which we use today for toothpaste, creams and ointments. Ointments claiming to cure a wide variety of illnesses were sold in these pots, something which is illegal today. Ointments can alleviate or soothe problems, but they cannot claim to cure!
In Digging for Treasure the author points out that once a dump has been emptied of its finds by hordes of collector-diggers, they have to constantly be searching for other sites. This has become a problem today as gradually more and more old rubbish dumps disappear under the building of trading estates, car parks and housing estates. Whilst this is admittedly true, the author believes there are still some town dumps yet to be found, although fast disappearing. Also he advocates the re-digging of sites which were inefficiently dug by zealous collectors the first time around.
Victorian refuse dumps yield a wide variety of glass bottles, printed stoneware and ceramic pots and advertising lids, clay pipes with decorated bowls, china dolls heads, brown salt-glazed stoneware bottles and jars. Some of the rarer bottles and pot-lids are now selling for several hundreds of pounds and the very rare up to 5,000. As sites become even more difficult to find, this trend for higher prices must continue.
The author points the way to the future in what he describes as the forgotten dumps. In the book he describes the research he has done on the collection of refuse in the U.K. which is a subject most of us pay scant attention to. Many would believe that there has always been a collection of our waste, but this is not so. In many towns and villages, the collection of household waste was not organised until after 1900. The smaller the village, the later was collection introduced. Although in London and a few other large cities, refuse collection began from about the 1880s, some small villages did not have this facility until about 1920. As town dumps gradually disappear under buildings, the author points the way forward for dump-diggers of the future what he calls the forgotten dumps and he claims there are tens of thousands of them to be found.
The hobby of bottle-collecting also covers the collecting of pot-lids and other finds and in all English-speaking countries there are clubs, magazines and auctions to cater for collectors. Online auctions on e-bay for antique bottles and pot-lids receive bids from all over the world. Bottles and pot-lids are big business and for anyone wishing to dig up their own antiques, this book is indispensable.
Do you attend car boot sales or browse in antique shops in search of bargains? Have you ever wished you knew more about grandma’s silver spoon? Do you envy the experts’ ability to identify and date old hand-me-downs? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, Collins Gem Antique Marks is for you.
Packed with thousands of clear illustrations, the book shows hallmarks on silver, gold and platinum, as well as those on Old Sheffield Plate, pewter, pottery and porcelain. Complete with a history of hallmarks and how to read them, Collins Gem Antique Marks is absolutely indispensable.
The book provides:
Full hallmarks for silver from London, Edinburgh, York, Norwich, Exeter, Dublin, Newcastle, Chester, Glasgow, Birmingham and Sheffield, along with maker’s marks from these cities.
Up-to-date hallmarks for gold and platinum.
Old Sheffield plate marks, showing the variety of maker’s marks.
Pewter marks and a selection of pewter touch marks.
Pottery and porcelain marks showing both letter and name marks, and symbol marks.
Forget 1492. This book starts out in B. C. (Before Columbus) and transports the cigar enthusiast on a fun and fact-filled adventure into virtually every realm of today’s popular and growing cigar smoking pastime. Written by one of the most knowledgeable and internationally-celebrated pipe and cigar authors of our time, Richard Carleton Hacker’s well-known wit and wisdom will keep the reader enthralled with every turn of the page, as he takes you on an information-packed would tour of cigars. Starting off with a history of cigar smoking, the author then shows us how cigars are made today (handmade, handrolled, and machine made), divulges the secrets of finding the “perfect” cigar, and discusses the ritual of smoking and how to properly care for and store our cigars. From there the book lists a number of innovative cigar accessories, suggests which beers, wines, whiskeys, brandies, and cognacs go with what cigars, enlightens us with a chapter on cigar smoking celebrities, and concludes with the world’s first International Compendium of virtually every cigar brand known today, complete with histories and observations on taste, according to the author’s HPH (Highly Prejudiced Hacker-Scale) ratings. If that was not enough, there is even a dictionary of CigarSpeak!
The Ultimate Cigar Book is the most comprehensive, factual, and up-to-date book for the cigar smoker or for those who just want to learn more about the fascinating and popular world of cigar smoking.
However, Chrisman agreed to try on the garment . . . and found it surprisingly enjoyable. The corset, she realized, was a tool of empowerment—not oppression. After a year of wearing a corset on a daily basis, her waist had gone from thirty-two inches to twenty-two inches, she was experiencing fewer migraines, and her posture improved. She had successfully transformed her body, her dress, and her lifestyle into that of a Victorian woman—and everyone was asking about it.
In Victorian Secrets, Chrisman explains how a garment from the past led to a change in not only the way she viewed herself, but also the ways she understood the major differences between the cultures of twenty-first-century and nineteenth-century America. The desire to delve further into the Victorian lifestyle provided Chrisman with new insight into issues of body image and how women, past and present, have seen and continue to see themselves.