Sunday, June 21, 2015

Brilliant Idea?

  Here are a couple very interesting artifacts from a recently dug 1870-80 pit. While some nice glass was recovered, I dug these two pieces right next to each other. I recognized the pistol, but at first the wrought iron monster treble hook was a heavy, and large for any fish...too small to repel down a building like Batman. I believe it is an attempt at an Outhouse recovery system.

  We have all been amazed at what is found in early privies, and the thought of " It fell in, so there it will stay". Well, what happens if you accidentally drop your prized revolver in to the slop? Pretty difficult to retrieve, UNLESS you have this handy dandy recovery grappling hook to lower down and recover your pistol or whatever it might hook on to. Pretty ingenious but alas, the pistol was laying next to said hook, and apparently did not prove successful. Of course it could just be a "honey bucket" hook used by the Chinese to clean to pit, although the hole was jammed with age correct glass and trash for this residence. Has anyone else found one of these? It is a first for me! DM.


  1. I have found several pistols but never a treble hook. I think the strangest thing I have ever encountered was a turn of the century large wheel bicycle about 6 feet into a hole. It was in two pieces ( the big front wheel and back wheel & frame) and I couldn't get it out or dig through it. I never did find out what was in the rest of the hole but I don't think that bike would ever fit through the privy wood hole. Must have been used for fill after the privy was abandoned.
    - rs -

  2. My claim to fame in the accidental outhouse discard department was a pepperbox pistol and a sawed off double barreled shotgun with a large bore; best guess was 10 gauge. They were side by side about five feet down and both were rust buckets.

    Come to think about it, this particular silver town out in the western dessert had a well earned reputation for being a regular slaughterhouse. Maybe they weren't so "accidentally" deposited in the outer after all.