Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Artifacts of Spectacle Island

1st Item- Plate of china
I believe the first item I found was a plate from a china set. It could be a dinner plate or tea cup plate. By the aging and engravings the item was probably used during the turn of the century. I think that it was either used by a family or restaraunt in Boston, or possibly on a ship. It probably was in a landfill on Boston and moved to Spectacle when they were creating the island. The china tells me that the person who used it was probably of the more wealthier section of society, or a trading vessel carrieng items. When you throw away your trash it usually goes to a landfill and could sit for possible generations, however due to population growth and migration the landfills are sometimes removed or relocated.

2nd Item- Iron Bolt
The second item I found was a iron bolt. It was probably used in the construction of something, it is possible that it could have been used on a ship due its length. Bolts like these sometimes were used to bore through a mast on a ship. Because of the weight, rust, and shape of the bolt; I would say 19th century. A bolt like this that was created in the modern machine era would have precision cuts and length, however this bolt seems to be hand forged. Trash like this could sit at the bottom the ocean for years and possibly be pushed up to shore during a storm driven tidal surge.

3rd Item- Jug Handle
This item is a handle to a ceramic jug. This item was probably used to carry some type of liquid during 1800's. The ceramic industry was much more prevelant in the 1800's and early 1900's because plastic had not been invented yet. Modern landfills are filled with plastics, but in the past landfills were filled with ceramics,metals, and glass. This jug was probably used in a restaraunt or bar to hold wine or liquor. And if the restaraunt was close to the waterfront possibly port wine.

4th Item- Wheel or Sewing Wheel
This item was one of the more difficult to identify because it was not in one piece. From examing th internet and other sources I have narrowed down the options to either a small cart wheel or a sewing wheel. The item was in poor in codition and their were rusted nails and bands that fixed the contraption together. If it were a sewing wheel the oldest it could be would be 1920's because the invention of the sewing machine eliminated the use of the wheel and foot power. It was probably broken before it got to Spectacle Island. The wheel could have been used in a textile mill that were popular in New England during the 19th and 20th centuries, or could have a been a personal sewing machine used in a house.

5th Item- Brick
This item is the most universally applicable on the list, and because of the modern use of brick it is harder to identify age. However by examining the brick and noticing the grooves had been worn down by sand and tide, the item was probably older than 50 years. The brick was most likely used to build a house or building, and when that building was knocked down and the brick was damaged and could not be reused was probably taken to a landfill. Recycling brick was very popular in industrial era due to a lack of available resources. Items like this get to Spectacle Island probably after the Big Dig when construction was exacavating and removing old structures.

6th Item- Fishing Bobber
This item was the most modern of my exploration. It is essentially a float used as an indicator for a fish bight. This item due to it bright colors was probably no more than 5 years old. It was used by a fisherman to keep his bait at a certain distance from the bottom and indicate a bight. The fisherman probably got a cut off and lost the bobber and ended up on the beach. This trash and alot of waste that ends up in the ocean and rivers moves with the tides and currents and could end up thousands of miles from its original class.

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