Find and Sell Antique Bottles, Glass Insulators and Barbed Wire

Make a profit with a home business finding and selling popular collectibles like old bottles and glass insulators.


| November/December 1972



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With a bit of hunting, you can find valuable old bottles to sell to collectors.


PHOTOS: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

A few years ago my teen-age son, David, became interested in antique bottles when the highway department dug through an area used as a dump by the settlers of a nearby city. Collectors who learned of the discovery turned out in droves and that field was churned and sifted and dug through until it looked like a battleground. Glassware came from the dirt in every variety and color. There were drugstore jars with names and emblems forming a raised design . . . graceful wine bottles and tiny opium vials . . . "punkinseed" whiskey flasks and odd-shaped food and cosmetic containers. All were old and, when David pointed out that all were valuable to collectors, our whole family became interested.

Soon afterward, my parents bought an old home in the Oregon Cascades. When we helped them rototill the back yard for a garden, every churned-up furrow brought to light bits of glass, old bottles and even little porcelain dolls. We checked and, sure enough, collectors again were more than willing to buy our finds.

Collectibles are Big Business

The fascination in collecting anything old seems to grow stronger and appeal to more people every year, all across the country. You can profit, even establish a homestead business, by finding these buried riches and selling them to the folks who want them.

Finding Old Bottles

You don't have to live on an old homestead to take part in this treasure hunt either, as long as you can get permission to explore and dig on private property. When you're biking or hiking, watch for signs of old homesteads, lumber camps, mining towns, railroad stations . . . any place where people gathered and left trash behind. All are potential treasure troves.

Coins and watches sometimes slipped through wooden sidewalks and floors. Children played with silver spoons and left them buried. Banks were few and unreliable, so many people hid their savings . . . then sometimes forgot or were unable to return for the cache. And everywhere, empty bottles were tossed aside . . . where they still wait for you to find them.

Go over these sites with a sharp eye. Watch for bottles, glass insulators, iron toys, buttons, stamps, license plates, old checks, spoons, campaign buttons, even barbed wire. Anything old will attract a buyer.





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