Sunday, May 29, 2011

One Man's Trash

You know how the saying goes, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." Well, when you live in a house that is nearly 100 years old that is literally the case. As mentioned previously, we are in the middle of the world's longest bathroom remodel (I kid, I kid) which if you've ever had the pleasure of enduring you know that around month three your patience is wearing pretty thin and the novelty of plaster and lathing has completely worn off. You just want the thing done. Well, yesterday we were given a little glimpse into the past life of our house that made all of this worth it. Conan was just passing through the bathroom, checking on the progress of the shower when something caught his eye sitting beneath the staircase to the attic (which, is now exposed because the bathroom wall is gone). He went to pick it up and lo and behold it was a little bottle of "Colgate's Brillantene"! He later told me that he thought about just showing me the bottle, having a laugh and then giving up but thankfully, something told him to grab a piece of the aforementioned lath and poke around under the stairs. And what followed was this:

A treausre trove of trash. Apparently, what we thought was a laundry shoot in the hallway was actually where they threw their trash. Makeup containers, gum wrappers, dry cleaning tickets, mentholatum lids, whatever, if they were done using it, it went in the wall. My favorites are of course the makeup containers, especially the Oriental Cream (which is recommended to be put on with a velvet sponge - ooh la la!) but the best part is definitely the can of tobacco. A worker found one of these once before while installing our heating ducts but this one is far better, and here's why: on the top of the can is a date March, 1919. If you've ever lived in an old house and been unable to positively identify when the house was actually built it is like stumbling on the Holy Grail. Something that helps to date your house! Well, needless to say I will definitely be displaying these treasures somewhere special. Probably our new, shiny, glorious bathroom when it is finished. I highly recommend looking at the larger size of that picture up there and reading the fine print on the bottles, it's a blast from the past.


  1. Awesome! My grandmother used to have one of those round powder tins in the same design. I love the bottles!

  2. Yeah, it was pretty fun to pull of that stuff out of the wall, and kind of nice to have these things that belonged to the people that knew our house when it was brand spankin' new. I hope they'd be happy with what we're doing to it if they could see it now.


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