Advertisements
Archive | Relics RSS feed for this section

Another British Invasion?

29 Dec

I returned to the spot where I found the gold button from the Royal Army Pay Corps and although I did not find gold again, I did find this curious medal, about the size of  a U.S. dime:

Unfortunately, I broke it into three pieces when I dug it up and I misplaced the third piece but you can see most of the medal. It says: “Queen Elizabeth The Second” and it includes a profile of the queen.

Something brought subjects of the Crown to my beloved city and during their sojourn they dropped some items for me to find later. Now I am really curious as to what else is under that dirt.

I’ll say this again; people who don’t metal detect will never encounter these mysteries and their lives will be duller.

Thank you for stopping by.

Advertisements

So many coins, so little time

3 Nov

Yesterday, I went back to a couple of spots that have been producing coins for me. The first was at the 1884 park where I have an 5′ x 10′ area that won’t stop giving up coins and the second was at another old park (1887) where I pulled a number of old coins this past Summer from an area equally as small.

I didn’t take a picture but I found two wheats from one park and one wheat and two copper pennies from the 70’s from the other. Again, these coins were there every time I hunted those two spots before and I missed them.

Anyway, today at lunch I tried a different park (1886) and as I was detecting, the thought struck me that there hundreds of spots in the old parks where I’ve never ran my detector. The possibilities are endless.

You may think me overly optimistic for no reason but in fact I do have a reason and I am going to tell you about it.
Before the Great Depression, Wichita was a happening place. I don’t mean just a good place to be at; I mean THE place to be at. Wichita was slated to become the next Chicago. Movers and shakers were relocating here in troves. Opportunity flowed through the city streets and anyone with a modicum of spunk could make it big. All these successful and driven people needed a place to be seen and a place to relax after a hard day of getting rich and our city parks were a great place to do just that. That is why I get excited at the thought of all those areas in our old parks I’ve never touched.

Before I had to go back to work, I pursued a faint signal under an old tree among a roar of iron grunts. at the bottom of a nine inch hole sat a spoon:
img_2130

Sometime in the 20’s I would guess, one of those early Wichita dreamers sat near the Arkansas river with his lovely companion to have a pick-nick. Between laughter, drinks, and talk about their bright future, one of them dropped this spoon and forgot all about it.
(Or a hobbo during the Depression ate his hobbo stew with an old spoon he found somewhere). Take your pick. It is still a cool find.

Thank you for stopping by.

O.T.C.

13 May

I am a coinshooter. To a coinshooter, things under the ground are either coins, or Other Than Coin (O.T.C.)

Today at lunch, I took the Blisstool metal detector, Dragomir, to the park I hunted yesterday at lunch, with the hopes of pulling that elusive Seated coin. Alas, it was not meant to be.

Instead I dug O.T.C.

other_than_coins

This is all the OTC I dug up on my lunch hour. Generally, I don’t post about OTC unless it’s a really cool object. I wonder what the cylindrical object is. It is only one half of it. It may have been part of a cigar container. The flat brass object was in the hole with it ***UPDATE…It just occurred to me that this is the end of a pocket knife*** . The bullet case must predate the park, unless it was perfectly OK to shoot your gun at the park in 1884. Bird shot has appeared in my life again. It seems every time I get a new detector and begin to learn its language, I dig a bunch of bird shot. It sounds really good and with the Bliss, I dug those suckers at 5 and 6 inches deep. The square nail and the wire were experimental digs, just to see what the Bliss was telling me. I wonder why they didn’t get caught by the discrimination circuit.

Very early on in Wichita, the Chisholm creek ran a very close to where this park is. Just 2 or 3 blocks away, one of Wichita’s earliest mills was built at the edge of the creek. I imagine that people came hunting around the creek as wild life would have concentrated here. I have found a good number of old bullets at this park, including a large .58 caliber mini ball from a Springfield rifle.

At any rate, I am getting a little better at listening to the signals Dragomir produces. The Seateds are not far behind.

Thank you for stopping by.

Sometimes less is more

27 Jun

On my second day of hunting with the Compadre, I met a fellow hunter at an old park.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t finding very many pull tabs there so I decided to try the Compadre at the spot in the park that has produced 10 silvers and which I know is heavily iron laden. First target was a small piece of old, unidentifiable brass. I was impressed because I’ve covered this spot from every direction and about 100 times with Maurice (my XP Deus detector). Next target was a big and loud signal. Again, I’ve removed all signals from this spot except for the iron so I was one more time surprised. After a minute or two of digging I produced this from the hole:
shield

This little shield pin is about one inch tall by 1/2 inch wide. It is (was) gold plated. The back has no writing of any kind but the gold plating is more obvious there. It looks to be old, I would say pre-1940’s. The pin on the back is missing but the welding is plainly visible.

Not much to talk about other than I found it with the Mighty Compadre at a spot that I thought Maurice and I had thoroughly cleaned. I must say however that this spot continues to produce targets and probably will continue to produce targets in the future.

One last thing; I am using the iPhone ear plugs since the Compadre only has one beep at one volume and fancy headphones are not required. I had forgotten what a royal pain in the behind wires are! I am now in the process of researching some kind of wireless solution for my Compadre. I can’t go back to wires. Don’t ask me.

Thank you for looking!

Number 50 is another Barber dime

11 Oct

I took Maurice down to Riverside park again today at lunch. I decided to return to an area that appears was a pond at one time. The earliest aerial photo I can find, from 1938, shows that the pond was already dry by then. Anyway, I’ve found a few old coins along the erstwhile bank so I thought I would try again.

Not too long into the hunt, I got a deep squeak and I decided it was worth digging. Around the eight inch mark I pulled this, my fiftieth silver coin of the year.

50

It’s another 1899 Barber dime with no mint mark (which means it was minted in Philadelphia). Two things to note here: The coin was laying against rusted iron and the coin was at one time, exposed to water for a considerable time. I thus deduce that this coin was dropped when there was water in the pond. Brilliant, I know.

Before I covered the hole, I scanned it with the pinpointer and I got another hit! Unfortunately, it was a piece of ancient barbed wire (I think) and possibly the piece of rusted iron the dime rested next to.

wire

I did a cursorily cleaning on the coin and this is the best I can do for now:

50clean

After my mandatory 30 minutes, I called the hunt done:

hunt

The half round object near gave me a stroke. It was at the bottom of a 9 inch deep hole and I thought for sure I had a large cent! Alas, it is a piece of a very old pocket watch. It is decorated (it is cool how long ago we even decorated pieces that were not meant to be seen) and the holes and pits you see is where this piece fit with the other parts of the watch. The wheat cent is a 1944 and the square nail is the millionth square nail I have found in our city parks. I will never know for sure why there are soooo many square nails in our city parks.

Now, I only need to find another 50 silver coins between today and New Year’s to meet my goal of 100 silver coins for the year.

Thank you for looking!

Renten Pfennig

30 Jun

I love finding old foreign money. This morning I found this cool Renten Pfennig coin from Germany. It is from 1929 and it’s in very good shape. In size, it is just a tad smaller than a U.S. dime.

1923pfenning2

1923Pfenning

To date I have found coins from China, Israel, France, Canada, Italy, Mexico, and now, Germany. I think it would be extremely cool to find an old silver foreign coin.

Also, in my hunts, I find many, many pieces of old brass and copper that never make it to the blog. This morning I found this odd piece of brass at the park. It was fairly deep so I surmise that it harkens back to the early days of the park. I have no idea what it is but I love how we used to decorate even the smallest pieces of whatever back in the day. This whatsit is about the size of a U.S. quarter.

oldthing

Thank you for looking!

Wednesday Evening V nickel

19 Jun

I had some free time this evening so I headed to the park to continue investigating all the new features on my XP Deus metal detector.

I was specifically looking for pull tab signals hoping for some gold. No gold was found but I did find this cool 1902 V nickel:

1902V

I knew I was in an old spot because after the nickel I found Dr. Scholl Footeazer, patented in July 25, 1905.
The Footeazer is a shoe insert. The picture below shows the underside of it. On the top, the Footeazer had a surface of leather or cloth. The bottom part was supposed to spring as the user walked.

Footeazer

Before my time was up, I found this medal:

SRTmedal

It needs better cleaning but I can see that it is a Wichita Kansas Scottish Rite Temple medal. The reverse is still too encrusted with dirt to see what’s written on it or what emblem is depicted.
From what I can tell, this medal stems from the 20’s and it may have been a visitor’s medal. Here’s what it’s supposed to look like:

srt-medal 2

srt-medal 1

Now, I think my version of the metal may be older because of the style of the name tag. An interesting bit here is that the temple depicted on the medal, shows that the tower in the corner of the building has a copula; when you visit the temple today, the tower has no cupola anymore. I wonder what happened to it? The Scottish Rite Temple depicted in this medal was built in 1887.

I am definitely getting used to the full tones feature of the Deus. Now I need to figure out how to exploit the deeper capabilities of the machine.

Thank you for looking!

Off The Deep End

7 Jun

I stopped at a park on my way home from work last night. The spot I selected to hit with my XP Deus metal detector was a spot I hunted often in the past. I’ve pulled many a keeper from here including old coins, cool relics, and silver and gold jewelry. I’ve hunted it to the point that the high tones are scant.

Knowing that the high tones were all but gone, I decided to do something I’ve threatened to do for a long time and that is I decided to hunt the iron grunts. Yes, you heard me right. I went after the signal practically every other hunter works hard to avoid.

Right off I want to tell you that hunting iron grunts is not something you should do often. It will drive you mad. Nonetheless, there I was, digging the old rusted iron.

My protocol was simple: dig any grunt with a shape, that is, any grunt that repeated from all angles:

iron

 

Not pictured here are about 12 pieces of amorphous rusted iron that included many pieces of iron foil. From left to right you are looking at a spatula handle that was about a foot deep, two open pocket knives, a complete harmonica reed and a few nails. I was surprised that I didn’t dig any more nails.

I also dug up any wrap-around iron signal I came across with surprising results:

not-iron

 

The “pin” is something I’ve dug elsewhere in Wichita and I don’t know what it is. It has a logo but as in the past, I can’t quite make it out.  The small button-like round objects are all lead.

So there you have it. Even though it is not something I recommend you do often, I do recommend you do it at least once but only at a very old site so that at least you can end up with some interesting junk.

Thank you for looking!

Thrash By Any Other Name…

30 May

…could be something cool!

What do you consider trash when metal detecting? Pull tabs? Foil? Zinc Lincoln cents?

The reason why I want to split hairs here is that I have read many, many posts out on the Web, whereas some wizened detectorist tells noobies that if the VDI jumps all over the place and the audio is a mix of mid tones, high tones, and iron grunts, that the target is likely to be trash.

Not too long ago, I would have accepted that assertion as gospel but now that I have put away childish things, I am looking at that kind of signal in a different way.

Let me repeat something someone smarter than me said: “There is no such thing as an iffy signal, only iffy analysis”. So when you run into a signal as the one described above, you could be leaving a keeper in the ground if you don’t spend some time looking at it with a critical eye.

Just yesterday, I ran into one such signal. What got my attention was the fact that the depth kept changing with each VDI shown in the screen. The audio changed accordingly. I asked myself, “Am I looking at an amorphous piece of aluminum can, or am I looking at several targets in close proximity here?” I walked around the target and tightened my swing to try to separate each sound. Eventually I could isolate the high tone and it came in somewhere below where a copper penny would be at 12KHz. If I moved the coil just a tad bit more, the mid tones and iron grunts would pipe in, at different depths.

It was then time to dig it to see if I was right. I was right. In the hole, there were: One piece of aluminum can (can slaw), a piece of rusted iron, and a 1996 clad dime. Sure, it was just a clad dime but it could have been anything in the coin range, even silver. The VDI was a bit off because of the other objects near the dime.

I am not suggesting you dig every signal of this nature. I am only suggesting that you spend a little more time evaluating them. It may pay off for you to do so.

And by the way, I no longer consider pull tabs and bottle caps trash. Their signals are so unique and consistent that I think of them as relics. Another thing I don’t consider trash is rusted iron, especially nails. In fact, square nails now are kind of sweet to me, especially if they are whole. In my hate list there are only two things (in order of hate)

1) Empty holes, or holes to nowhere as I like to call them.

2) Foil.

Unfortunately, given the way I run my detector and the nature of the signals I hunt, I dig more holes to nowhere than I should. And foil, well, foil may eventually grow on me and move over to the category of relic as well.

Thank you for looking!

Old Timey Relics

7 May

I met Stevouke from the Wheat State Treasure Hunter group after lunch work to hunt a lot located in an old part of town. We both experienced heavy EMI so it was tough hunting.

For my part, I ended with three cool relics:

Pella

This is a 1922 commemorative token from Pella Iowa. I saw that one sold online for $18.  They are supposed to be rare.

The interesting thing about this token is the Latin inscription; ‘In Des Spes Nostra et Refugium’ translates to ‘In God our Hope and refuge’. Every where I looked however, the Latin for that phrase was ‘In Deo Est Spes Nostra et Refugium’. I wonder if they really misspelled the Latin word for God. Please if you know Latin, weigh in.

new-method

This tag is from New Method Bood Bindery from Jacksonville Illinois. The company was founded in 1920 and their motto was ‘ These books are bound to stay bound’

sherry

The last relic is definitely local. I couldn’t find any information about it online. I have no idea who Sherry Peter Turley was. Most of the Turleys that came up on my search were from Hutchinson, Ks.  Skateland of course, is a skating rink. I don’t know if they are still open in Wichita.

Besides these cool relics, I found a Bell jar lid with the glass insert still intact plus some clad. No old coins.

Thank you for looking.