Paying It Forward

When attending a Civil War or Native American artifact show, I’ve grown accustom to being one of the youngest people in attendance. At nearly 40-years of age, my dark head of hair contrasts sharply against the sea of “silver foxes” and “cotton-tops” shuffling through the aisles of any given show. And to the eyes of today’s adolescent or teenager, such a scene might be enough to dissuade them from exploring no further than a quick glance up from their device! In my experience however, the welcoming generosity of others has helped usher in a new and younger demographic of collectors into this wonderful hobby. Read more

Brazil National Museum Fire

One of the world’s most expansive anthropology and natural history collections was almost completely destroyed by a raging inferno this past Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Museu Nacional (National Museum) housed nearly 20 million artifacts; including mummified remains, indigenous art and artifacts, frescoes from Pompeii, fossil records, dinosaur bones, and a scientific library. Read more

Choosing Fabric for Display Cases

Wondering what type of fabric is safest for your displayed objects? Of all the factors to consider when selecting a fabric for your display case, fiber content is the most important. Certain fibers, such as silk, are naturally acidic and should never come in direct contact with objects. Other fibers may emit harmful volatiles, such as sulfur compounds. Wool fabrics and felts are an example. Wool is also a food source for pests like clothes moths, carpet beetles, silverfish, and crickets to name just a few. Such fabrics should be avoided altogether. Read more

Preserving Autographs

Everyday I’m reminded of my failure to observe some of the most basic rules for protecting and preserving the items in my collection. Hanging in my office is a framed, autographed Peyton Manning photo, and a list of the records he set in his rookie season. At one time, his signature boldly sprawled from one edge of the photo to the other. Today, it’s barely visible. Read more

DIY Antique Hatchet Restoration

On a recent metal detecting getaway in Augusta, Georgia, I stumbled across a pretty neat plumb hatchet. Okay, I’ll come clean. I wasn’t the first person to find it, as another detectorist had previously unearthed it and tossed it aside as junk. But hey, I have no shame – one man’s junk is another man’s treasure! Based on what I know about the site and the age of objects recovered throughout the day, I suspect the hatchet dates anywhere between 1860 to the early 1900s. Regardless of its age or history, I thought it had a cool look and decided to take it home for a future weekend restoration project. Read more

Jerry Can Blog

In June of 1941, the famed General George S. Patton arrived in Murfreesboro, Tennessee along with 11,000 troops and 2,000 vehicles. In short order, as many as 77,000 troops had converged on Middle Tennessee and were soon divided into opposing Red and Blue Armies that would clash in simulated, but realistic, battles that would continue through 1944. When operations ended in ‘44, more than 800,000 troops had occupied more than 2.25 million acres and 22 counties in Middle Tennessee. Read more

digging into uk us archaeological laws blog

While metal detecting farmland close to his home in Staffordshire, England, Terry Herbert, an unemployed metal detecting enthusiast, stumbled on the largest, most jaw-dropping discovery of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork ever found, anywhere in the world. Read more

Civil War Artillery Shell

As Hurricane Matthew battered the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, it dredged-up a few reminders of a previous and more violent affair. While walking the shoreline on Folly Beach Island, a local resident discovered 16 Civil War artillery shells that washed ashore in the wake of Matthew. News outlets reporting the story used words like “uncovered, discovered, unearthed, and revealed” in their headlines. Sadly, such words only told half the story. Read more

Lead Bale Seals

As a metal detectorist, I often find buttons, thimbles, scissors, and other items related to clothing accessories or production. And from time-to-time, out pops a lead seal. For research purposes, the discovery of lead bale seals can help uncover the lost connections between North American colonial settlements and textile manufacturing in Europe. Read more

Hardee-Jeff-Davis-Hat-Pin

Anita Holcombe of American Digger Magazine recently shared her story of recovering a Jeff Davis Hat Pin from a Civil War site in Belle Plains, Virginia. With Anita’s help, we explore the hat pin, its origins, and the purpose it served. Let’s first start with a little background on where the hat pin was recovered.

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