treasure hunters privy to an outhouse's buried secrets - glass water bottle with plastic outside
Mitch, corner Hickory. —
Scott Hendrichsen stuck a steel rod to the ground until he found what he wanted. It was 150-year-old poop.
Hendrichsen's hobby is to collect antique glass bottles
Before the machine was invented, the kind made by hand was made by dozens of people.
He can look at an old bottle and tell you when and where it was made, what used to be inside, whether it was worth a lot of money.
He said the best place to find them was in a pit under the outhouse.
"In the 1800 s, they didn't have garbage to clean up, so usually they would take their household garbage --
Something like empty bottles.
"They will sell this out of the House," he explained . ".
55-year-old Hendriksson is one of the few bottle collectors known as the Cardinal, a polite name for those who dig vintage bottles in the centuryold feces.
Whether it's an opportunity to add unique discoveries to their collection or an opportunity --
Some old bottles could be worth thousands of dollars.
Few of these collectors go to places.
He stood outside, cold and winded by the rain on his side, behind an old farmhouse in Bari County north of Kalamazoo.
He was a UPS truck driver, and when he found a house on a route, its building indicated that it was big enough, there was once an outhouse and he would walk to the door, ask for permission to come back and look for the Privy Council in the yard.
A lot of times, like this rain
The confused owner agreed on the day.
Almost all of the old outhouses are long gone, and the human waste pits they leave are no longer smelling.
So the miners have to find
Bury the pit by digging the steel rod deep into the ground, pulling it out and checking the color of dirt on the rounded tip.
Most of the soil is brown.
But the feces of history are dark black.
After poking countless holes in the yard, Hendrickson finally found the payment tool.
He and Dan Hill, another excavator from southwest Michigan, grabbed the shovel, shaved off the turf, dug a narrow hole and fell into someone's old garbage again.
They are very excited.
"When you open it and start digging, these things have been there for more than 100 years and have not been touched," Hendrichsen said excitedly . ".
So it's like a time capsule.
It's super cool to dig up and you never know what you'll find.
"Advertising and art collectors like antique bottles because they are handmade --made, mouth-
Blown and crafted in beautiful shapes and bright colors.
"It was the same as today --
Please pay attention to my bottle, not his, "said Chuck Parker, 76. year-
Old president of Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club.
So they do something like that.
Instead of a bottle in pure blue or water --
They will make a cobalt blue bottle or they will change the shape.
I called them window bottles.
You put them on top and let the sun come in the morning and they look great.
"They are also fascinating artifacts of an era when snakes-
Oil salespeople travel around the country selling fraudulent mixes that they claim can cure the disease at the time, including rheumatism, karat, alcohol abuse or consumption. Like Dr.
The magical Egyptian oil of Kewell, claims it can heal a hundred whites. It didn't. And Dr.
Keeley's treatment for alcohol abuse, which opens a mixture of alcohol and morphine to solve your drinking problem. Or Dr.
James's soothing syrup is very soothing because it is full of heroin.
They have been successful for a while because the people who consume them swear they will feel better after that, mainly because they are high because they may come from these things.
Hendrich once found a bottle with about a gram of dry cocaine at the bottom of the bottle.
It is displayed in his basement collection along with thousands of other old bottles
Sparkling under the overhead lights.
They are arranged on the shelves, arranged in various colors on the table top
Rich olives, pink at dusk, Umbers and och stones, and almost glowing blue.
The shape is equally creative and diverse.
Oval and triangular, smooth and narrow, short and wide.
Most of them were struck by the imperfections of their creator's efforts that day.
Many of them are reliefs of words with crazy statements.
"The old bottles are like a piece of art because they are handmade or hand-made --
"It's over," Hendriksson said, standing in a stained glass ocean in the basement.
"They took it out of the mold, with their hands --
Process it and put a glass lip on it.
You don't mess them up in a day.
It can be said that they are an art form.
What they said above was really cool.
However, the hobbies of archaeologists are not without controversy.
Some archaeologists complain that they are tearing up and robbing the buried history.
Like any archaeological site.
You will destroy it when you dig it, "said John O'Shea, archaeological curator of the Great Lakes of the United States.
Museum of Anthropology.
"If any potential scientific evidence or information is found in an unsystematic manner, such evidence or information will be lost.
"The contents of these pits reveal a lot of information about who used them.
The types of excavated bones reveal the animals they feed and eat, while pollen shows plants that grow nearby.
The medicine bottles they purchased and discarded showed the disease they captured and tried to cure.
The glass ink bottles in the pit show that their owners can read and write.
A large number of wine bottles strongly advise them to drink too much, while the storage of some bottles suggests that their owners have an unhealthy taste of the opium.
Sometimes, when people use the toilet, they accidentally drop something very valuable below and think it is not worth it to get out of the smelly muck.
"The Privy Council is actually a very good source of data," O'Shea said . ".
"You can get a lot of potential information from there.
"Miners have objections to criticism.
"My God, there are thousands of houses besides age that have no historical significance," Hendrichsen said . ".
"If we go to a fort and destroy something, I can see why they are worried, but what we are digging is something that has been discovered and recorded millions of times.
They will never get into these houses.
"Most of the bottles they dig out are worth no more than $ or two.
But the best-
The original and rare things they found
Can bring hundreds or even thousands of dollars online or at auction.
But most privy keep them just for the sake of collection.
They said they really enjoyed the thrill of hunting, the fun of collecting, and the excitement of finding something so fragile and valuable buried in something so dirty and disgusting.
"This is a great hobby," Parker said . "
"You didn't realize how interesting it was until you fell into the hole, you said, 'I have a doctor
Cancer syrup from the mixer!
Everyone there knows what you're talking about.
"The seeds show that John lastoski is standing outside, and in the cold drizzle, he looks doubtfully as three people dig out the yard and look for a pit full of historical feces.
His house in Cape Hickory has a history of 140.
It used to be a meat market, next to a machine shop and a blacksmith in a strip called "mechanical Lane --
Only remember a commercial zone on the old county map.
Over the years, they think, there must be more than a dozen outhouses behind it.
Once the pit of a house is filled, it is covered with dirt, and when the grass exceeds it, it is forgotten, and the Outer House itself is moved to the rest of the yard
Some pits last five to ten years;
Others don't have that long, based on how fast they fill in and how deep they dig.
"It depends on whether it's two-Seat or three
Hendrichsen pointed out.
Rastoskey watched an excavator disappear into a hole that was rapidly deepening.
"It's okay," 35-year-
When his yard was dug, the old homeowner said.
"Like most homeowners they approach, he doesn't want anything in return, except for a cool bottle from transit.
Miners work efficiently and methodically.
First, divide the turf into squares, take it out and place it.
Then put a plastic waterproof cloth, and the soil in the hole they dug piled up on it.
They passed through layer by layer. Topsoil. Sand or clay.
The wood and coal ash thrown out of the House to suppress the smell of the pit.
But if they are in the right place, they hit a small layer of seeds, a dead giveaway, they are in a pit outside the house because the seeds go straight through the people who have eaten them, floating in perfect condition on the muck of the outhouse, after they are filled, on the ground
If the seeds were there, they would most likely hit a thick layer of old feces.
After years of hard work, putting their hands into the buried human garbage will not upset them.
"I have gloves," 51-year-
Lao Shan said with a smile.
"I 've been in enough privies and I didn't even think twice.
I just appreciate seeing it because the bottle is usually there.
"They began to find something that showed the existence of humans, such as pork bones, and pieces of red bricks and ceramics in an old tile tank --pot.
Over the years, they found all kinds of strange things in the toilet.
Clay pipes, coins, toothbrushes, jewelry, potty, and intimate items that people use from time to time.
But, in the hole, Bill Riley, a 65-year-old excavator, reached out and found what they wanted: an antique bottle. Then another.
And one more.
These guys get around them and look at them.
They may be old, but they have no reliefs, no colors, no value, except in the eyes of a bottle nerd.
Guys start filling up the hole.
It was a frustrating day.
Miners look frustrated.
They say, but they can't all be bonuses.
What's more, the thrill of their hobbies is not just what they find.
This is what they learned.
"There's something valuable, but it's also a secret history of people," Hill said . ".
"People throw in things they never thought someone would find.
There is a huge treasure of historical connections, and it is exciting to be able to start digging and discovering these things.
It's like a treasure seeker.