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Trash to Treasures

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  • Trash to Treasures

    I know there are folks on this forum who also collect bottles, and I have found several since I began beach-combing two decades ago. But on a storm swept beach finding intact bottles doesn't happen very often. Instead the glass comes ashore as shards that have been tumbled, frosted, and transformed from sharp to softly ground edges related to the environment and the structure of the glass itself. The more aggressive the wave action, the composition of the beach bottom (sand, gravel, boulders, etc.), and the length of time the glass has spent in its briney bath, all contribute to the level of surface corrosion.

    I've been collecting sea glass far longer than I've hunted for artifacts and fossils, and confess the glass is easier to find if one knows where to look. My favorite stretch of beach throws up glass from underwater dump sites, so while I'm hunting points, my eye is calibrated to spot the sparkle of sea glass among the shells, detritus, and rocks that litter a Chesapeake Bay beach.

    Sea glass can often be dated by color. "Black glass", which is really a deep olive green when held up to the sun, is filled with tiny bubbles and and predates the 1800s. Shards I've found date from the Colonial period and came from hand-blown bottles. Reds, yellows, and orange are considered rare, with origins that may have come from Depression glass to railroad lanterns. Cobalt blue was popular for medicinal remedies, while aqua glass may have started life as a soda bottle or a Ball jar. So called clear glass often changes color-- purple, lilac, straw, pink-- depending on the chemicals present as the glass is exposed to seawater and sunlight.
    I've collected pounds of glass, over the years and thought you might like to see some of it.
    A collection of frosted bottle necks and glass stoppers that date from the late 1800s to the mid 20th century. Sea glass comes in a variety of colors. Most have a rounded or triangle shape due to the tumbling action in the waves. More glass.
    Last edited by Havenhunter; 02-09-2017, 07:30 AM.
    Child of the tides

  • #2
    Cool, especially the Toppers and colored pieces.
    http://joshinmo.weebly.com

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    • #3
      That is really neat, there was some old and colorful bottles there.

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      • Havenhunter
        Havenhunter commented
        Editing a comment
        There was a commercial fishing pier on that stretch of beach almost 100 years ago & folks just tossed their trash into the bay.

    • #4
      How cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! glass is always one thing I look for out west but not as old.
      Look to the ground for it holds the past!

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      • #5
        Some old pieces! Here along the Great Lakes our "beach "glass is very rarely that old but we still pick it up. A lamp one of kids filled up years ago . There are also jars and baggies of the glass laying around the house too.
        Click image for larger version

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        NW Indiana

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        • Havenhunter
          Havenhunter commented
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          True! The North American Seaglass Assoc. holds an annual festival with glass sellers & artists from every coast. Love to wander the aisles seeing the various glass folks have found. Best display I ever saw was 2 ladies who hunted an Italian beach across from the Murano glassworks. They say that beach is almost covered in glass, some dating back to the Etruscans. They shipped home 60 lbs of glass!
          Last edited by Havenhunter; 02-09-2017, 08:46 AM.

        • gregszybala
          gregszybala commented
          Editing a comment
          Now that would be a fun beach to hunt!

      • #6
        Havenhunter - I've found a few worn glass pieces in our streams and river but mostly all are of modern manufacture. Your finds are really nice and colorful, especially that glass full. I was thinking along the lines of decorator pieces, like Gregs lamp when I first read your post. We used to find glass balls in Japan when I was stationed over there. The Japanese fishermen used various sizes as net floats. Wish I had one to post. ...Chuck
        NE Central Tenn - Any day on this side of the grass is a good day. -Chuck-

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        • Havenhunter
          Havenhunter commented
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          Chuck, I've posted a photo of one I found last year.

      • #7
        Chuck, I know what you are talking about. I found a glass net float last year that measures just 3 1/2 inches across and was hand blown. As far as I know glass floats aren't used in the Atlantic or Caribbean so I haven't a clue where this came from. The Japanese floats are quite a bit bigger and are now hot commodities in coastal gift shops. I suspect the more colorful ones are made in China for just this purpose.
        Child of the tides

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        • 2ndoldman
          2ndoldman commented
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          That glass float is very cool Deb. They are found often enough on the west coast of Vancouver Island. some day I will make a trip and try to find one for myself.

      • #8
        Interesting collection Deb, it looks very artistic in those Jars and lamps, and im sure it could be used in many ways.... I can see why you pick it up, I would do the same!
        Josh (Ky/Tn collector)

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        • Havenhunter
          Havenhunter commented
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          Hunting for sea glass is as addictive as hunting for artifacts, or eating chocolate! Equally sweet!!

      • #9
        Havenhunter - I dug my float out to see how it compared with yours and they are almost identical. I found mine while sailing on Lake Ogawara in Northern Japan (Misawa). I was told that they used floats that were a variety of sizes from 2 - 24 inches in diameter. They might group a bunch of smaller floats together to make a larger float. Hope ya don't mind the post. ...Chuck
        Click image for larger version

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        NE Central Tenn - Any day on this side of the grass is a good day. -Chuck-

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        • Havenhunter
          Havenhunter commented
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          Not at all! I knew Japan has been using glass floats for centuries & think they're lovely. I was surprised to find one washes up on the Chesapeake Bay & consider it a true treasure, as is yours. Thanks for sharing.

      • #10
        you'd love R.I. Deb, we got tons of really nice polished sea glass dating to all time periods here too. i know of one cove tucked way up in the bay that i kayak to and its loaded with old 1800's bottles just sticking up outta the muck all as perfect as when the dude chucked em overboard! i love finding and bringing home old bottles but besides the tiny medicine bottles i dont keep em, i give em away to anyone who wants some.
        call me Jay, i live in R.I.

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        • Havenhunter
          Havenhunter commented
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          Well, at some point you find so many that unless each is unique, they tend to take up space & compete for attention. Like you, I give many of my bottles away, and I've filled jars with seaglass for family & friends who admire it but can't get out to the beaches like I can. A few want the glass for craft projects.

      • #11
        now this is a post I can contribute to as I still seek my first Native American artifact

        I've picked up rocks and shells from the beach all my life, but in the last 2 years I've seriously hunted sea glass here in CT along Long Island Sound. here's a few of my recent/best finds. the 2 large clear pieces are vintage glass drawer pulls, that and the pipe stem are my favorite pieces.
        Last edited by firefly887; 03-13-2017, 12:17 PM.

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        • Havenhunter
          Havenhunter commented
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          Nice glass collection!! Have you gone to any of the North American Sea Glass Festivals held annually on the East Coast? I think this year it's in DE or MD. Great fun & folks!
          Being a major shipping lane, the Chesapeake Bay had been the repository for glass trash for centuries. It's becoming scarce as collecting has become more popular & plastic has replaced glass containers.
          I occasionally find 18thc Clay pipes, which is always exciting! Good hunting.
          -- Deb

      • #12
        Havenhunter-- wow on finding that glass float along the east coast!!! I have a few floats that I've picked up from antique stores and flea markets, I don't think I'm finding one in LI Sound anytime soon. https://www.glassbottlemarks.com/gla...ng-net-floats/ if you go toward the bottom of that page, it does say floats can be found along Atlantic and Caribbean beaches. I imagine it's exceptionally rare, so that's quite a find you have!

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        • Havenhunter
          Havenhunter commented
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          I've also found a couple of Native American stone net weights. One on NC's Outer Banks rolled right out of the surf at my feet. The other I found on the Bay,
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