Category: Uncategorized

Digging and Diving Podcast

This is a telephone interview that my daughter Annie did with me, for her media marketing project at college.  She is the one responsible for the creation of this blog. Scroll down for the link to the interview! Created by Annie Hepburn, interviewing Bram…

The Bottle King by Salt Institute for Documentary Studies

https://beta.prx.org/stories/4691

Quincy takes to the water!

If I’m lucky enough, my son Quincy come with me digging,  and has just started doing some river snorkeling with me over the past year or two.  He is braver than I was at his age.  You couldn’t have got me to snorkel in…

CHANGING HORSES IN MID-STREAM – PUTTING DOWN THE CHEF KNIFE AND PICKING UP THE GAVEL

I met a guy once who referred to himself as “one of the undesirable unemployables.” I had no idea why he would call himself that; he was a charming guy with a good reputation and was a hard-working entrepreneur. But in the late 2000s,…

EBAY HAS CHANGED THE FACE OF BOTTLE COLLECTING (JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER COLLECTIBLE)

For those of us who have been collecting enthusiasts for more than 30-plus years, the advent of eBay was a colossal game-changer. In my specialty—collecting antique American bottles—it has certainly been the case. In the 1970 and ’80s, someone who bought and sold bottles—or…

NEWS ON THE WIRE: GLASS TELEGRAPH INSULATORS OFFER COLLECTIBLE CASH

Something you see for sale at almost any flea market or tag sale are antique telegraph insulators. These are the heavy glass fittings found at the top of telephone poles, about the size of a softball, that hold and insulate electric wires from the…

READ MY LIPS… THERE’S TREASURE IN YOUR BACK YARD!

Almost any time I mention to someone that I dig for antique bottles, the first words out of their mouths is something along the lines of: “… you’re kidding! Well, as a matter of fact, one time we were digging a hole for a…

DIGGING ON ANTIQUE BOTTLE: START YOUR COLLECTION WITH GLASS INK POTS

Many advanced collectors of early American glass bottles will tell you the category they first started collecting was ink bottles. Their diminutive size and alluring colors and shapes catch the eye of anyone with an appreciation for detail and a fascination with the early…

ANCHORS, HARPOONS AND BRASS SHIP’S FITTINGS ARE MARITIME TREASURE WAITING IN THE MUD

Here in New England, if you look carefully with a “pickers” eye, you may be lucky enough to come across artifacts from one of its signature touchstones from its historical past—fishing and whaling. These maritime treasures are sought after by collectors, and the demand…

A HOLY GRAIL OF NEW ENGLAND BOTTLES, A ‘STODDARD FLAG FLASK,’ FOUND

Yes, that headline is correct, and I’d love to be able to say I was the one who found it. I didn’t, but the next best thing is for a friend of mine to have dug it up. He did, and I was able…

VICTORIAN TRASH FOR CHRISTMAS: A FINE PIN CUSHION DOLL

For almost 40 years, I have been on my hands and knees, digging through trash. It is to the point where more people know me by my “a.k.a.” name—The Downeast Digger—than by my actual name. It started innocently enough, as my older brother towed…

COLLECTIBLE MATCHBOX CARS: HOPE YOU SAVED THE BOX!

I am 54 years old. So if my math is correct, it would have been about 46 years ago (the late 1960s). Now, I’ll sound more like I’m 80 years old when I tell you that my dearly departed Mother would occasionally take me…