Friday, November 20, 2009

Furca Ostrea...

oyster fork
....Latin for oyster fork.Can you believe there was a time when people didn't use forks?! They used a knife for solids and a spoon liquids!! Or even worse...their hands!! How very uncivilized!! (note the sarcasm in my voice)

The fork seen here is a small three pronged fork, most likely an oyster fork found in Unit 80 during our search for the Swann House. Now, it could also be a fish fork, fruit fork, or strawberry fork. We're guessing oyster fork. Oyster forks are made to follow the shape of the shell so it is easier to lift the meat from the shell. Surely if James Swann ran an oyster house, he would have had this handy utensil, wouldn't he?

One of the earliest dinner forks is attributed to Constantinople in 400 A.D.; it can be seen in the Dumbarton Oaks collection in Washington, D.C. Northern Europeans long considered forks to be unmanly or devilish. Early forks ranged from 2 to 4 prongs with the 4 prong fork being the most common "dinner fork" that we use today.

Today, depending on need, a set of flatware may contain five forks: dinner fork, fish fork, luncheon fork, salad or dessert fork, and seafood fork.

My head is spinning from the idea of having to go through "dinner etiquette" in order to figure out which one to use...I am all for going back to eating with our hands...just seems easier!

Pete and Anne

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Health and Beauty

We began photographing the artifacts that Pete mentioned in yesterdays blog. The Ban Deodorant container has an aluminum lid, but the base is white milk glass. Embossing on the bottom reads, "Bristol-Myers Co. Contains Aluminum Chlorhydroxide. Net Wgt.1.05OZ. New York, N.Y."
We have not yet tried to open the container, but it is heavy for its size. Who knows how much product might be left.

Several small machine-made bottles with screw-top threading also came from the unit inside the foundation. The brown glass bottle is embossed on the bottom with "L-60 23" and is warped, possibly a mistake made during manufacture. The small glass bottle has a square base with an embossed "2" on it.

The larger colorless bottle is Duraglass, made by Owens Illinois Glass Company based in Toledo, Ohio. The bottom of the bottle has an
"I" with an oval. This mark was introduced in 1954 and by 1958 most Owens Illinois bottles used this mark. The side has graduated volume marks in half ccs. This was probably a medicine bottle.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Trash or Treasure?

Anne and I started to wash the artifacts from the Swann Site today. We already have told you about one of the great finds last week. Before we get to the smaller finds, we took a couple buckets full of odds and ends type artifacts to try and clean them off to see what we had come up with.

The results were less than mystifying but still interesting.

Before Ban came out with the all new "roll on" deodorant in 1992, they at one point came in a aluminum can much like those that hold chewing tobacco today. We found several of these cans in our trash filled unit.

Other things of note...

old paint cans
a hairbrush
bleach bottles
glass medicine bottles
Kraft mayonnaise lid
beer bottles
a lock

...all interesting things which we will research, photograph and catalog once they dry. Pictures to come tomorrow!

- Peter

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

...Stand By...

Today we did yet more report writing and Auto-CAD mapping. Stayed tuned for much more exciting events tomorrow!

Monday, November 16, 2009

And two of our crew members age another year...

Happy birthday to our crew members Jim and Anne! As of today, Anne has graced the earth with her presence for 24 years, and, as of Friday, Jim has...well, I wouldn't use the word "graced," but perhaps "annoyed" his staff and the rest of the world for another year. Of course, I'm kidding...mostly.

Here are photos of these two folks working down at Port Tobacco...or at least doing a fine job pretending to work.

So, from the rest of the crew, happy birthday! Here's to many more years of successful digging!