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ASHA NEWS

Compiled by Blog Editor

Members may be interested in a range of archaeology-related blogs available to access, that can be found no the following link: http://pastthinking.com/links/

Compiled by Blog Editor

There have been no submissions for Artefact of the Month recieved this month (email blog@asha.org.au if you would like to submit for the June edition!) however I've come across a great blog from our North American friends: The American Artifacts Blog!

This blog "is a media outlet featuring artifact-related digital content from U.S. and Canadian archaeologists. [You can use] the blog to search, explore and learn about North American history through material culture." The artefacts featured include both historic and pre-historic time periods, and are provided by archaeologists across the region.

For more see: https://americanartifactsblog.com/

Written by John Prickard

Regarding fencing wire:

About the most wires can usually tell you is that it is post-1788. And you knew that anyway! The earliest Australian record for wire in rural fences I now know of is 1840. A few years earlier than what I published several years ago. (Yes, even I engage in the "my site is older than yours" race.) Galvanised wire was advertised in mid-1850s. Barbed wire may give a more precise date, depending on the type. In general, barbed wire is post mid-1870s, but specific types were patented later, and may help you put brackets on a date of occupation.

Iron and steel fence posts, and steel droppers may also help because most (but certainly not all) were patented. But you must be aware of later re-use of older scavenged components.

Send me some images of your wire / post / dropper, and I may be able to help you. (This sort of advice and help is really expensive: a coffee when I next see you.)

BTW: all of my fence-related papers including my 2010 PhD are on Dropbox as freebies. Help yourselves:  HERE

Copies of the diagrams, images, etc. are available from me, please don't just screen-dump them.

Fencing wire references:

I guess that most of you are aware of Internet Archive (https://archive.org/details/texts), but if you aren't, then you should be.

Internet Archive is a treasure trove of FREE downloadable scanned books on everything from A to Z and beyond. These include hundreds of early mechanical, technological and agricultural encyclopaedias and books that will certainly help you better understand how things were done in 19th and early 20th centuries. If you want to know about just about any form of technology, this is the place to start. Any historical archaeologist worth her salt should have at least some of the zillion books from Internet Archive in her digital bookshelf. However, be warned: Internet Archive can be seriously addictive!

There are also hundreds of early Australian books, and if you are looking for some historical account that is only held in the Rare Books section of some library, then you should always start with Internet Archive. It is truly surprising what you will find.

Many of the titles were scanned by Google, and some appear to require payment to download them. If it looks like this is going to happen, you can bypass it by clicking on the "All files HTTPS" or similar button. This will get you to a page with options of downloading in a range of formats including PDF.

The search function is a bit clunky, and the way the items are described is painful to say the least. You can't distinguish between the same item from different libraries.

Here is one my favourite sources, Holtzapffel. A series of five volumes from mid-19th C. with extensive discussion of materials, and how things were done. The titles are not truly indicative of the encyclopaedic contents, there is considerably more than you might think from the titles. The URLs are to the PDFs (mostly 40 - 70 MB), there are other formats available. Other historical archaeologists will have their own lists of useful titles.

Holtzapffel, C. (1852). Turning and mechanical manipulation. Volume I. Materials; their differences, choice, and preparation; various modes of working them, generally without cutting tools. London, Holtzapffel & Co.

http://www.archive.org/details/turningmechanica01holtuoft  

Holtzapffel, C. (1856). Turning and mechanical manipulation. Intended as a work of general reference and practical instruction on the lathe, and the various mechanical pursuits followed by amateurs. Volume II: The principles of construction, action, and application, of cutting tools used by hand; and also of machines derived from the hand tools. London, Holtzapffel & Co.

http://www.archive.org/details/turningmechanica02holtuoft         

Holtzapffel, C. (1850). Turning and mechanical manipulation. Intended as a work of general reference and practical instruction on the lathe, and the various mechanical pursuits followed by amateurs. Volume III: Abrasive and miscellaneous processes, which cannot be accomplished with cutting tools. London, Holtzapffel & Co.

http://www.archive.org/details/turningmechanica03holtuoft         

Holtzapffel, C. (1881). Turning and mechanical manipulation. Intended as a work of general reference and practical instruction on the lathe, and the various mechanical pursuits followed by amateurs. Volume IV: The principles and practice of hand or simple turning. London, Holtzapffel & Co.

http://www.archive.org/details/turningmechanica04holtuoft

Holtzapffel, J. J. (1884). Turning and mechanical manipulation. Intended as a work of general reference and practical instruction on the lathe, and the various mechanical pursuits followed by amateurs. Volume V: The principles and practice of ornamental or complex turning. London, Holtzapffel & Co.

https://archive.org/details/HoltzapffelVol5_1884
(Unfortunately this is the only version available and it is a really poor scan, and the PDF is 1.2 GB. Yes, GB, not MB)

Please contact: blog@asha.org.au for John's email address

Written by Dr Christine Williamson, Christine Williamson Heritage Consultants

In 2016 Extent Heritage were engaged by the Department of Parliamentary Services, Parliament of Victoria to undertaken excavations within the grounds of Victoria’s Parliament House. This location includes the site of the former St Peter’s Diocesan Grammar School (H7822-2339), which was constructed in 1849. The excavations yielded a collection of 10122 artefacts, among which were 18 pieces of at least two glass target balls. Unfortunately, these pieces were recovered from unstratified contexts that include materials deposited with nightsoil that was dumped across much of inner Melbourne in the late 19th century and therefore cannot be definitively tied to on-site activities. However, in and of themselves, they are interesting objects.


PLATE 1: Some of the Parliament House target ball fragments (Supplied: Christine Williamson Heritage Consultants).

The target balls are made of cobalt-blue glass, are 65mm in diameter and have a grid pattern on the surface. The items are round, with the exception of a protruding opening (Plate 1 above). They have been created by blowing glass into a 2-piece mould with the rough lip on the opening formed when the glass was broken away from the blowpipe. The raised pattern on the surface of the balls was designed to prevent shot from ricocheting off the smooth ball (Kerr nd). Unlike the complete items illustrated in Plate 2 below, the Parliament House artefacts do not have a maker’s mark. The style of the Parliament House balls is the same as ‘an extremely rare ball’ that was made in Australia (targetballs.com, Plate 3 below). I have not been able to find any information on Australian glass target ball manufacturers, other than Frederick Bolton Hughes of the South Australian Glass Bottle Company. He made glass target balls between 1896 and 1913, but his items are embossed with his initials ( pssatrap.org).


PLATE 2: A collection of glass target balls (peachridgeglass.com).


PLATE 3: Australian-made glass target ball (targetballs.com).

Glass target balls, in a range of bright colours that would be easily visible as they were launched into the sky, were manufactured from about the 1860s until the end of the 19th century, with their main period of use between 1875 and 1885 (antiquebottles.com; glassbottle marks.com; peachridgeglass.com). At the height of their popularity, the Bohemian Glass Works in New York City produced 1.2 million glass target balls in a six-month period, each of which sold for just over a penny (Finch ndb).


PLATE 4: Target ball trap (peachridgeglass.com)


PLATE 5: Target ball trap (targetballs.com)

The ‘invention’ of glass target ball shooting is credited to Charles Portlock of Boston, who organised the first competitive glass target shoots in in 1867 (Kerr nd). The glass balls were hailed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as an invention that ‘supersedes the necessity of inflicting pain and suffering to pigeons hitherto used by marksmen as a medium for obtaining accuracy of aim’ (Henry Berg letter dated 7/8/1876 in Finch nda) and one patent trap was named ‘The Pigeon’s Friend’. The early traps were of limited popularity as they simply threw the ball straight up into the air. However, in 1877 a trap was patented that cast the balls in a 60-foot-long arc and other patents soon followed (Kerr nd, plates 4 and 5 above). By the late 19th century glass target balls were rapidly replaced with clay targets that were considered safer as they did not lead to large amounts of broken glass falling from the sky and scattering across the ground.

However, glass target balls remained popular in shooting competitions, exhibitions, circuses and Wild West shows. The ‘Ira Paines’ Filled Ball’, popularised by shooter Ira Paines, was filled with feathers and powder so that when the ball broke apart it resembled a bird being shot (Kerr nd). Annie Oakley is said to have filled her glass balls with streamers that burst from the item when it broke apart (Meyer 2012). The balls were also used as a solid, curved surface for darning socks on and for teething babies (Finch ndb) and were sometimes repurposed as Christmas decorations (glassbottlemarks.com).


Christine Williamson Heritage Consultants

Extent Heritage

References
Finch, R. nda Who’s on First? Portlock, Paine, Moreson? www.targetballs.com
Finch, R. ndb. What are Target Balls? www.targetballs.com
Kerr, A. nd. For Fun, Sure as Shooting – Target Balls Hit the Mark. www.traphof.org
Meyer, F. 2012. Target Glass, Glass Made to Be Broken www.peachridgeglass.com

Compiled by Blog Editor

A special edition of the International Journal of Historical Archaeology was published in March 2018, focusing on 'Marvellous Melbourne'. Volume 22, Issue 1 was edited by Susan Lawrence, Peter Davies and Jeremy Smith and can be found here: https://link.springer.com/journal/10761/22/1/page/1. The special issue contains 11 articles, as follows:

Introduction: The Archaeology of “Marvellous Melbourne” – Susan Lawrence, Peter Davies, Jeremy Smith

Bottle Merchants at A’Beckett Street, Melbourne (1875-1914): New Evidence for the Light Industrial Trade of Bottle Washing – Adrienne Ellis, Bronwyn Woff

Salvage Archaeology in Melbourne’s CBD: Reflections upon Documentary Sources and the Role of Prefabricated Buildings in Construction of the “Instant City” of Gold-Rush-Era Melbourne – Geoff Hewitt, Natalie Paynter, Meg Goulding, Sharon Lane, Jodi Turnbull, Bronwyn Woff

Reconstructing Landscape: Archaeological Investigations of the Royal Exhibition Buildings Western Forecourt, Melbourne – Janine Major, Charlotte Smith, Richard Mackay

The City Revealed: Reflections on 25 Years of Archaeology in Melbourne. Lessons from the Past and Future Challenges – Jeremy Smith

Langlands Iron Foundry, Flinders Street, Melbourne - Sarah Myers, Sarah Mirams, Tom Mallett

A Golden Opportunity: Mayor Smith and Melbourne’s Emergence as a Global City - Sarah Hayes

Melbourne: The Archaeology of a World City - Susan Lawrence, Peter Davies

Working-Class Consumer Behavior in “Marvellous Melbourne” and Buenos Aires, The “Paris of South America” – Pamela Ricardi

The Other Side of the Coin: Subsurface Deposits at the Former Royal Melbourne Mint – Ian Travers

Insights of Afro-Latin American Archaeology – Kathryn E Sampeck


Written by Caiti D'Gluyas

The next ASHA reading group is being hosted by Casey and Lowe and will be held on 22nd March. This is a semi-regular (quarterly) opportunity to catch-up with other historical archaeologists and discuss themes of interest.

Topic: Historical Artefacts
Facilitator: Robyn Stocks, Senior Artefact Specialist, Casey and Lowe
Location: Casey and Lowe Offices, 51 Reuss Street, LEICHHARDT NSW 2040
Time: 6pm, Thursday 22nd March 2017

Primary Readings
Davies, P. 2005 ‘Writing Slates and Schooling in Victoria’, Australasian Historical Archaeology 23:63-69.
Gojak, D. & I. Stuart 1999 ‘The Potential for the Archaeological Study of Clay, Tobacco Pipes from Australian Sites’, Australasian Historical Archaeology 17:38-49.
Klippel, W.E. & G.F. Schroedl 1999 ‘African slave craftsmen and single-hole bone discs from Brimstone Hill, St Kitts, West Indies’, Post-Medieval Archaeology 33:22–232.

Secondary Readings
Varman, R.V.J. 1993 Bricks and Nails: Building Materials as Criteria for Dating in Sydney and Environs from 1788, A Documentary Survey and Assessment of Dating Potential, Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Sydney. Available online at https://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/1205

Contact secretary@asha.org.au if you are finding it difficult to find the readings.

The event is free and open to anyone who is interested, however, RSVPs are essential (to secretary@asha.org.au), so please get in touch if you would like to come!




Written by Nadia Bajzelj

Excavations at the Wesley Church precinct were carried out by Dr. Vincent Clark and Associates in 2017, a site which is located between Lonsdale and Little Lonsdale streets in the Melbourne CBD. The residences at Jones Lane were brick houses with bluestone footings, ranging in size from two to four rooms.

This month’s ‘Artefact of the Month’ was found in one of the residences along Jones Lane, which ran between Lonsdale and Little Lonsdale streets. This masonic stickpin, which is a decorative pin used to secure men’s cravats or neck ties. Stickpins generally date from the early 19th century, and though the date for this one is still being pinned down, it is dated to broadly between the late 19th and early 20th century.

This stick pin is 76mm in length and is made from copper alloy, delicately shaped in twisted ropes around a clear oval piece of glass. The glass has a thin veneer of shell over the top, cut into the Masonic symbol of a square and compass. The motif is interesting as our background research on the site shows a number of different businesses, but none related to stone masons. The analysis of the artefacts from the site is still in progress, so our knowledge of the site at this stage is still preliminary, but we hope that we can research the inhabitants of this residence and identify any members of the Masonic Lodge.

For more information see: http://vincentclark.com.au/2017/05/jones-lane-historical-archaeology/



Jeanne Harris,Urban Analysts

In 1872 Hiram Codd patented his famous aerated water bottle with its unique internal marble stopper. Once opened the bottle’s ingeniously designed neck kept the marble from obstructing the flow of liquid. But have you ever wondered how a Codd bottle was opened in the first place?

Figure 1 Wooden Codd Bottle Opener (Courtesy: https://www.quora.com/There-was-a-harsh-drink-in-India-with-a-ball-in-the-glass-bottle-that-they-called-Soda-What-is-it)

Most people simple used their finger to push the marble into the bottle, but this necessitated clean hands and often resulted in sore fingers. Fortunately, Codd also developed a bottle opener especially designed to open his bottles. Copied and modified by others, bottle openers for Codd bottles were primarily made from wood, such as boxwood or sycamore (Figure 1) and were more rarely made of glass (Figure 2).

Figure 2 Glass Codd Bottle Opener (Courtesy E. Jeanne Harris)

This type of opener is often referred to as a “codswallop” - a term used to mean nonsense. Wordsmiths suggest that the term is derived from ‘cod’s wallop’, meaning ‘bad beer’, but since the first documented use of codswallop was 1959, it is more probable that it is a term adopted by 20th -century bottle collectors (Chapman, 1992, p.56).

References:
Chapman, Raymond 1992 “One's vocabulary considerably increased”, English Today. Volume 32 October 1992, Cambridge Press, p 56.



Compiled by Blog Editor

Recent excavations of the cellar of a Georgian coffeehouse in Cambridge, UK have uncovered many hundreds of artefacts related to the business and it's customers. The works took place ahead of building works by St John’s College, Cambridge. Archaeologist Craig Cessford, from Cambridge University’s archaeology unit stated that “coffeehouses were important social centres during the 18th century, but relatively few assemblages of archaeological evidence have been recovered and this is the first time that we have been able to study one in such depth" through the artefacts recovered, which ranged from tea and servingware to remnants of calves feet used to make jelly for patrons.

For more information, see: www.theguardian.com/science/



Bronwyn Woff

This month’s Artefact of the Month an interesting looking bulk ink bottle with multiple impressed marks found on its body and base. This bottle was found on a historic excavation in the north of Melbourne’s CBD. It was excavated during works for a multi-story apartment building, from a c1850s+ light industrial site.


The ink bottle is made from stoneware, with a light brown salt glaze, and has an unusual square-shaped finish and spout. It stands 205mm tall, and has a diameter of 90mm. The bottle is well marked, with two makers marks (17 / DOULTON / LAMBETH and 3 / DOULTON / LAMBETH) on the base and on the body near the base respectively, as well as a registration diamond (IV / 28 / 9 Rd V / W) representing 28 March 1876 on the body near the base.

The two Doulton / Lambeth marks on the base and body of the bottle indicate that it was made by Doulton & Co. The company began as a partnership in the early 1800s, and worked from a pottery in Lambeth. From 1854 the company became Doulton and Co, and began using marks similar to those seen on this artefact. The company was granted a Royal Warrant in 1901, and from 1902 began adding ‘Royal’ to their mark, as well as a crown and lion (http://thepotteries.org/allpotters/356.htm).


Registration diamond marks such as these were used to denote that the design of an object, or the design of the decoration (for example, ceramic or textile patterns) were copyrighted to the designer. The diamond itself notes the date that the registration occurred, and therefore marks only a start date for that object. For more information on registration diamonds on ceramics, see A. Brooks An Archaeological Guide to British Ceramics in Australia 1788-1901 2005:74 which was published by The Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology and The La Trobe University Archaeology Program (although out-of-print, the complete book is available as a download for all current ASHA members through the members portal HERE).