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Old 03-13-2018, 11:34 AM
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Question How do you folks find bottles?

Is it that you find them while in the process of MD'ing, or are you hunting them specifically, in a special manner? Searching old buildings, old outhouse pits?

Still waiting on permission to hunt this old farm house and barn area, and it'd be nice if I could find some old bottles, as well.

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Old 03-13-2018, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Birddog1911 View post
Is it that you find them while in the process of MD'ing, or are you hunting them specifically, in a special manner? Searching old buildings, old outhouse pits?

Still waiting on permission to hunt this old farm house and barn area, and it'd be nice if I could find some old bottles, as well.
So i'm an absolute novice compared to some people on this thread so I'm excited to hear the responses.

If you know the location of the privy hole, that is often a good spot because people would use them as trash dumps too.

For me, I've had the most success just looking around an old house/homestead that was in the area. Typically, they dumped in the same spots over and over, so the deeper you dig, the older the finds will get. My experience has been that in wetlands or on stream banks were the favorite locations because it wasn't land they were using for farming or more productive activities.

Sometimes, its just luck too. You're walking through the woods and stumble upon broken glass or bottles.
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Old 03-13-2018, 03:42 PM
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How to find bottles? Well, yacorie above gave good advice. I would add, that I originally found my first bottle dumps with a metal detector. The cans and other metal tipped me off and a quick dig found the bottles. Now, I probe out suspected areas that look like possible trash dumps, and most are rather shallow but if you are in the Eastern half of the USA these dumps could end up being a privy and those can really be *deep*. Look for any areas with broken glass on the surface, places where something looked like something once happened, and look along creeks and in the woods. Look around and under old houses (crawlspaces) and outbuildings, old well holes (careful though). If land is a mowed yard look for depressions as most small shallow dumps settle as the trash decays.

The bottom line, though, is: bottles are found most anywhere.

These are the kind of probes I use:
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Old 03-13-2018, 06:40 PM
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I started digging at age 15, 40 years ago. I like old home sites at least from around 1900 or older. Usually farm property, I find most dumps on the edge of ravines and low swampy areas. These sites are typically first 'eyeballed', when I see exposed glass or metal. It was not too difficult years ago to get permission to dig. Nowadays land owners are a bit hesitant to grant permission, for liability reasons. I also found dumps while floating down local waterways in a canoe.

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Old 03-13-2018, 07:08 PM
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I find bottles while I am scuba diving for gold. Some I can see part of. Some I discover while digging for a metal object. The Hutchinson's I have in my collection still have the metal stopper in them and it set off my detector.

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Old 03-13-2018, 08:07 PM
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For me it was purely by accident, being at the right place....but I do research a little to improve my chance.

Living in a modern city it is fairly hard just to even find one bottle site..
If I see some evidence of old bottles or ceramics then worth a look see.

I have had modest luck checking the nearby forrests next to homes, a bit of pottery is a good clue.
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Old 03-30-2018, 11:12 AM
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I'm not a bottle digger, but can speak from experience in saying that they can be found (many times in nice shape) in the old garbage dumps that others have mentioned. If you know of any wooded areas with ravines, creekbeds, etc. where you can get permission, you're bound to find one near almost every older homestead.

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Old 03-30-2018, 01:59 PM
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Usually I find a pit a couple yards from the main house full of them. Sometimes I find them along piles next to railroad tracks where railroad workers would stop and toss out any garbage they had and sometimes I see them in the buildings foundation itself.

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Old 04-02-2018, 08:28 PM
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In the woods, look for signs of former dwellings or other activity. When I see an old pitcher pump out in the wild, I investigate. I found some shallow dumps in the vicinity of this one about 15 years ago.
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Old 04-02-2018, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by GLASSHOPPER1955 View post
In the woods, look for signs of former dwellings or other activity. When I see an old pitcher pump out in the wild, I investigate. I found some shallow dumps in the vicinity of this one about 15 years ago.
I agree with GLASS. I have found most of my bottles in the woods just laying on the ground. When the wind blows a gale- I can find them in them in the river.

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Old 04-05-2018, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Perquimans View post
I agree with GLASS. I have found most of my bottles in the woods just laying on the ground. When the wind blows a gale- I can find them in them in the river.
We have many beaches with sand dunes where I'm at and during the fall-winter-spring off seasons when the fierce north winds blow directly off the lake it uncovers a lot of stuff. I find old bottles, cans, coins, anything people lost/buried in the summers gone by. It is quite common to find the earliest style zip tabs and ring-pulls from the early 60s pop and beer cans. I have even found 1900 era hutchinson type bottles in the dunes.

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Old 04-08-2018, 02:26 AM
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I find a lot of bottles on the surface, if i see a glint of glass i start investigating more. Generally if I see glass I will start poking my head over the surrounding old stone walls, I guess they dumped just out of sight, out of sight out of mind...

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Old 04-08-2018, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by zeemang View post
I find a lot of bottles on the surface, if i see a glint of glass i start investigating more. Generally if I see glass I will start poking my head over the surrounding old stone walls, I guess they dumped just out of sight, out of sight out of mind...
Look for anything that showed people were around. I also often find old graniteware pots and stuff near dumps.

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Old 04-08-2018, 03:00 PM
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All great info! Also, take a peek around the perimeter of the property, usually marked by stone walls. I've found quite a few bottles someone dumped just over the property line. Good luck, and keep us posted!

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Old 04-09-2018, 11:39 PM
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I was not even looking, but i found 2 1950s cocacola bottles when i was tearing a concrete slab out, i cannot believe i didnt break them, they were right under one corner of the slab.

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Old 04-11-2018, 10:36 AM
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My first time in bottle collecting started at Mcnears beach on a low tide in 1981 I believe it was. It was our 8th grade graduation picnic and the tide was low. There were antique bottles laying everywhere in the mud and we picked em up for years!
Also found them creek walking looking for glass and metal old stuff.
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:47 AM
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Yep. Woods where old homes used to be; "trash dumps" in the nearest creek/ravine to any old home site or business; in, under, or around abandoned houses and outbuildings, etc. Privy digging/probing is beyond my ambition, but can really produce. The older the place's history, the better; so research was a great suggestion too.
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