Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Harold Barrett is an old friend of the Dumpdiggers, and I have personally traded bottles and stories with him since 1996. I see written here on his card that he has been in the antiques business since 1974. Today he sells mostly small furniture and the stuff that young urban professionals use to furnish their 600 sq ft condos, but there was a time when his store was crammed with perfume bottles, pottery, coins, silver cutlery, art deco ashtrays and crystal glassware. Those were happy days when kitsch was cool and old bottles were all the rage.
‘Where did you get these inks Harold?’
‘They were found by a backhoe operator working near the old racetrack in Weston.’
‘Hmm… Where is Weston again?’
Inside what is now the City of Toronto, at the intersection of Lawrence and Old Weston Rd, there was once a small mill town on the quiet banks of the Humber river. My research tells me that Carleton Track was located on the southeast corner lots of Keele and Dundas St more than one hundred and fifty years ago. This was the very place in which the Queens Plate was inaugurated on
Could these inks have been used by Sir Casimir Gzowski or Thomas Patteson to write to Queen
Today the actual trophy, the 'Queen’s Plate' they position in front of the TV cameras, is actually a gold cup, about a foot high? It should be called the Queen's Gold Cup or something more appropriate.
Back in 1860, Sir Casimir Gzowski was a distinguished engineer whose father had been a Polish officer in the Russian Imperial Guard. He wrote a lot of letters and was probably one of the most well connected men in
Back in 1860, by successfully establishing an annual 'Queen's Plate' incentive, Sir Casimir and Mr. Patteson had made Canadian horse racing “the sport of royalty”.
The Carleton racetrack disappeared as horseracing moved down to the lakeshore area of
When legitimate horse racing solidified at Woodbine there was both thoroughbred and standardbred races, the latter was harness racing with sulkys. Gambling was tolerated and police were usually present at each match.
The Origin of American Standardbred Racehorses
According to Betty and Jack on this
Over time, Messenger’s sons had foals of their own. One odd looking horse in particular, a big-rumped stallion named Hambletonian, was particularly fast.
Over the next 24 years Hambletonian became
Bad News! This ink bottle is just not that old. This vessel was made in
Because I want to know how much its really worth (if anything?) , I put this early aqua LYONS INK on eBay.
DESCRIPTION: Sometimes called a snap bottle, this vessel was made in England in the late 1800s and filled with India ink then packed in wooden gross (144 units) crates and shipped to markets all over the world (in this case, Canada). Sheer top, this aqua colored ink has pronounced vertical ridges on three sides. The fourth side is flat and no doubt once accommodated a paper label. The 3 x3 inch bottle was blown into a mold? I think so. And as you can see in the second picture, there's some embossing in a circular stamp on the bottom of the vessel that reads 'LYONS INK'
The bottle is in 'as found' condition. The stains and blemishes on the glass are well detailed in the third photo. There is also some recent damage to the top.
Does anyone have anything to add about this ink?
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Three Tuesdays ago, Malcolm Mcleod surprised me with a
Have a look at this 5 oz medicine bottle. Although a little dirty, its in good condition. The stain from the original contents is still visible inside, and that’s perfect. That’s just how I intend to preserve the treasures – as found. The slug plate on this transparent piece of Canadian history reads: ROBERT W CAMPBELL / PHARMACIST /
It actually doesn’t surprise me that there are historic objects bearing my name. As one of
Today, when I type my name into Google, I find there are hundreds of contemporary examples – an actor, an architect, a fiction author and a real estate agent in southern
Generally speaking, the
This particular pharmacist, Robert W Campbell lived and worked in the City of
I was the first official visitor to sign into the building that morning – the doors open at , and I was there at .
The City of
Don’t even mention the word ‘camera’ when you visit the Toronto Archives. It’s a bad word. It triggers a conditioned response of ‘No Cameras Allowed!’ This clause ‘special permission required’ is peppered with words like ‘appointment’, ‘request forms’ and ‘fees’… yes the Toronto Archives profits by making photographic reproductions. They charge $25 to lens each piece of public property.
Robert W Campbell appears the 1896 City of
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Dumpdiggers found this token while rooting through old cupboards in a farm work shed. I wondered what something like this might be worth? Its made of cardboard, ugly and mass produced... what do you think?
Here is this same Canada Meat Ration token offered for sale on eBay. At the time of this post, there's three days left in the auction... The Seller started the item at 1$ and there have been NO bids yet.
Monday, June 2, 2008
On the phone Albert’s voice crackles like Jim Rockford’s answering machine, but the resemblance is purely audio; Albert doesn’t look anything like James Garner.
On Tuesday .
Here's a picture of Albert holding a two-box detector along with his trusty
Our hunt happened out on the Scarborough Bluffs in the vicinity of
Golden Treasure Metal Detectors is almost certainly
Together we tested Albert's machines in the open fields near his house. Because it’s only May, there's no grass or shrubbery to impede the coil swinging or impair the quality of the signal. As we worked, Albert explained that Golden Treasure Metal Detectors is the official Canadian Distributor for White's Electronics. He is an official Dealer for DetectorPro, Fisher, Garrett, Minelab, and Tesoro. He has something for everyone and commented on how the high price of gold is creating more amateur prospectors – one nugget could pay for your hobby. Other popular trends include scuba diving with underwater metal detectors – Albert stocks everything necessary for this activity too, except the scuba gear.
Local Toronto Treasure Story As we walking along the bluffs Albert related a tenacious local myth - the Lost Treasure of Highland Creek. I find it highly unlikely, but the story that took place during the war of 1812: It seems a British sailing vessel was being pursued by an American gunboat and rather than risk capture, they put in to the mouth of Highland Creek on the Eastern most edge of what is today East Point Park. Here the Captain dumped or somehow buried or hid his ship’s cargo. It has been suggested that it was a wide range of treasures, from gold coins to copper kettles and pots. Many people have looked, but nobody has ever recovered any items from this creek. Hurricane Hazel in 1954 altered the course of the river and now the items maybe anywhere in that estuary, if in fact they ever existed.What did we find? Well for once we found exactly what we were looking for, an excellent local metal detector connection.