Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Vintage Telephone on eBay


I'm selling this red plastic Vintage Telephone on eBay. I started the sale of at $9.99, but I hope the item fetches ten times that amount. It should. Everyone knows the red phone is the hot line. This item was the center of conversation at the office
where each business phone system is such an important part of modern communication and can seriously impact your firm's overall profitability. The pattern has been established by the success of highly communicative companies that use erp software to integrate various components into a well oiled machine - the red phone is part of that struggle!

Once again, I've used Blabble to insert a modicum of story. Forgive me.

Red phones look great when placed on wooden desks and the look especially good when the sunlight hits them and makes a room's occupants aware on a subconscious level of the importance of someone with a red phone. For this reason they are highly sought after props by home staging companies. I have seen more than one Toronto condo well decorated by a handsome red phone.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fisher Price Family Fun Jet

This is a very cool, very vintage Fisher Price collectible toy. These plastic toys were extremely well made, and every kid knows the airplane and the house boat were the best models.

This is product #183 Family Fun Jet

With the Family Fun Jet, your child can fly the Little People to any vacation spot in the house.
After recovering and cleaning this relic, I placed the whole lot for sale.
 The Fisher Price FAMILY FUN JET sold for just under $50 USD in the winter of 2008.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cast Iron Cook Stoves For Doll House?

Here is the first of several curious items that I recovered from the junk filled abyss of Bert Dalmage's historic workshop in Dartford Ontario.

Two different sized cast iron stoves for a doll house. The Blabble text box informs buyers that there are 17 separate removable cast iron pieces in this lot.

When I found this stuff, in the remains of decaying doll house at the bottom of a wood chute in the bowels of the barn, I was convinced that these items were real prizes... But when I showed Timbits he informed me that doll house furniture was mass produced in the 1960s as several toy companies created 'period piece sets' to accompany historic clothing etc in popular colonial mansion style doll houses.

So how can I determine today if these heavy black metal objects are indeed reproductions? and how much would they be worth as originals? And how much are they worth as replicas?

Well, its easy for me to find out, because I can ask the growing membership of accredited experts on Dumpdiggers.com. Here's where I'll simply start a thread about cast iron doll house furniture in the Dumpdiggers Discussion Forum, and I have also put this lot on Table #1 in the Dumpdiggers Underground Show and Sale just to see if I get any nibbles.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hunting History in Dartford Ontario

My father sometimes talks about his father, and the work they used to do on the farm, near Dartford Ontario. Mt grandpa started farming here sometime in the late 1930s. Our family tried everything once, and over time my grandfather erected many buildings with the help of a local builder, Bert Dalmage.

Up the road in the village of Dartford there was a grist mill and a post office, butcher and grocery store.

Dumpdiggers doesn't know much about this place, but we do have an 1878 map.


On Sunday October 12th, 2008 I walked around Dartford Ontario and took pictures of old buildings and tried to imagine the workings of the village one hundred years ago. Its easy to see where certain roads and wagon trails there once popular have been forgotten and overgrown with the passage of time.

As the wheel of fortune spins, I happened across and old friend named Audrey and her daughter Tanya who were making room for something in their back shed.

I invited myself inside and in the spirit of Marshal Gummer, The Appraiser, I found myself surrounded by in veritable cornucopia of old and new age collectibles. This building was the repository of seven decades of stuff, and the very oldest material was deposited here by Bert Dalmage himself, for this building was his workshop fifty years ago.

While exploring an old barn looking for stuff to sell on eBay, and otherwise valuable antique merchandise with a friend and local supporter of Dumpdiggers.com, I happened across some wonderful collectibles on which to experiment.

Stay tuned for more posts on each piece - linked to sales on eBay and tables in the Dumpdiggers.com Underground Show and Sale.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bottle Dumps on Country Roads

The autumn landscape is bright yellow, orange and red in Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada. The fall colours excite me and my fellow history hunters; the end of summer ignites a burning desire to explore crimson forests in search of old stories.

On October 12th, 2008 Dumpdiggers had another outdoor adventure. Armed with a small spade shovel and a garden fork, I wandered the country roads around Dartford Ontario in search of old bottle dumps. I’ll be sure to post more information on this historic village later in this series, including an 1878 survey map.

How To Find Bottle Dumps on Country Roads. The township roads are usually the lot and concession lines on the first local maps. These are the second oldest roads in most areas; the oldest roads in North America are the Indian trails. When veteran dumpdiggers hunt for bottles and relics in roadways and farm lanes they are of course scanning the ditch, looking for any signs of century old trash buried below the surface.

Look for surface tins and rusty cans Even though these objects are worthless, they can sometimes mark the spots where older material is buried. Even if the surface tins themselves are not very old, the places they gather along fencerows and in gulleys are natural collection spots and should be excavated in shallow test pits - look for rust coloured earth and bits of glass and pottery.

The Dumpdiggers Handbook holds that there are six different types of old dumps; we are hunting deserted ditch dumps and these are places near roads where farmers and townspeople emptied wagons filled with rubbish. The best country roads are near busy towns, but still lonely strips of gravel that bisect overgrown swamps and scrub brush pasture, and the best bottle dump roads are still deserted today.

Study gates in fences. The gates in farm fields are the best place to look for bottles and coins and that’s because the gate is where all the action happens. Beyond the everyday spillage that might occur in the simple act of opening and closing the portal, there’s also the jumping and climbing of gates and this activity temporarily inverts pockets. Let’s also remember the workers who once gathered in the breach to wait for instructions or equipment, and to celebrate a job well done with some cold drinks. The bottles are seldom taken away and usually deposited in fencerow on both sides of the aperture with the intention of an eventual recovery, someday.

Look around the stumps and trunks of the oldest trees. The fence near the largest tree trunk is always a good place to swing a metal detector, or fork the tree leaves out of the grass, and move small rocks in order to look for signs of inhabitation. The shade of a thick tree is precious on a hot summer day, and it's right here that relaxing labourers would often idle about for lunch or a relaxing break. Depending on their customs, its right here that would have enjoyed a refreshing soda, or a cold beer, or even a dram of rum, or a swallow of whisky. Here's an amber whisky flask that I unearthed in a deep test pit beside a decaying tree stump. I spent an hour digging there before I found that, and I'll be sure and visit this site again in the spring to look for more specimans when the foilage is more manageable.

Inspect over-turned tree roots. When walking at the side of the road, keep a careful eye out for overturned trees and inspect the dirt on their roots. Are there any pottery shards hanging from the tentacles? Bottle caps? Is there bottle glass or glass of any kind? This is a sure sign of a dump.

Tree roots are like fingers and they often inch down into the morass and clutch buried objects which they wrench out of the mud when the wind blows the tree over. Cedar trees are particularly susceptible to strong winds . They have shallow roots that find the trash below the mud and grass of the forest ditch. This Wampole bottle exists like an ominous marker on the upturned horns of these roots - here there be old bottles and trash.

Go off road. Good century old trash can be found as far as the arm can throw, and the forest paths that meet farm lanes are likely places for wagon dumps.

On the October 12th county roads expedition I uncovered a jade teacup from the 1930's, a small amber whiskey flask from the early 1900s, and a square druggist bottle embossed CANADIAN KODAK.

Monday, October 6, 2008

SC digger is Saving History on YouTube

Dumpdiggers has a friend in Greg Toney, and we recognize him as the web’s most videogenic relic hunter, SC digger. The charismatic college professor has become YouTube's foremost authority on Civil War metal detecting - his video series Saving History has now collected over 198,000 views, and has 386 subscribers.

Although there are hundreds of treasure hunting videos online, Saving History is the best. It has the most knowledgeable host who consistently shares the highest quality information and recovers the best stuff. And most importantly, this video series has a terrific soundtrack. The opening jingle is strangely reminiscent of the HBO series Deadwood, and I personally find it delivers the same anticipatory response…

Episode One – The Collection SC digger does a great job introducing himself, and the series objective. This opening clip features a spectacular photo montage set to an acoustic version of Guns and Roses Sweet Child of Mine. In this sequence Greg lenses all the different types of buttons he has found over the years, and the result is truly breathtaking. Each little piece of metal in his collection has a long and complicated story that we can only contemplate…

Episode 21 Port Royal Camp
SC digger takes viewers to the low country of South Carolina with Bill Duggan. At the beginning of this clip there's a taste of Metallica playing in the background as Greg shoots an establishing shot from inside the cab of the truck. That episode introduces the gorgeous ruins of a three hundred year old church as Greg sketches its history, and again the music in the soundtrack is perfectly suited to the visuals.

Always improving, SC digger fingers Episode 23 Sherman's Shells as his best video yet, and I suppose that's because of the quality of the hunt. The team recovers some truly amazing ordinance from the temporary trench pits of a long forgotten civil war battlefield.

So is Greg Toney a heavy metal head banger? What an interesting juxtaposition. Could this respected filmmaker and expert historian (Greg has a Master's Degree in Mass Communication from Auburn University, a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communication with a Minor in History from Winthrop University) also be an avid fan of heavy metal music? Not really. His profile lists his musical preferences as: R.E.M., The Cure, The Smiths, Social Distortion, AC/DC, The Doors… whatever. The entire Saving History sound mix is brilliant - that includes the musical soundtrack, and also the digging and metal detector sounds and professional sounding dialogue mixes... really outstanding audio!

The Saving History video series advocates the responsible recovery and preservation of historical artifacts. In each episode, SC digger takes viewers out into the field for adventures that educate and inspire audiences by relating all manner of hobby related tips and tricks (so amateur enthusiasts might improve their own relic hunting techniques). The show is made to satisfy armchair historians too, as SC digger usually outlines the broad strokes of major US Civil War battles before and sometimes during every hunt.

Saving History also recovers Native American artifacts like flint blades and arrowheads, and SC digger has been known to find and unearth objects that are not made of metal, like hundred year old glass bottles, stoneware inks, whiskeys, pill jars and saloon pipes.

In summary, SC digger writes, “I shoot my hunts in the field as they take place...I don't just save up for when I find something good...if I don't make any great finds, you see that too...as any relic hunter knows, that's the way 90% of the digs go...so a little reality...but, yes, every once in a while we do dig something special.’