Sunday, April 3, 2011

4/3/11 Report - Flint Strikers & A Method for Preserving Wood Artifacts

Mystery Iron Object Again.

A couple days ago I posted a photo of this iron object. When I picked it up I thought it was a piece of screen, and Bill P. agreeing with that general idea said he thought it was a piece of expanded metal mesh. That might be right, but after I looked at it more, I noticed that one end was evidently constructed to double back and the other four ends, which are now broken off, showed evidence that they were curved in the same shape as the one arm that seems to be unbroken. Where they now end, there are small pieces of metal which look like they are part of the curve and there is a small piece bent back right behind the break, making me think they were could have been shaped like the unbroken arm before they broke off.

I decided to trace the object and add to the apparently broken arms the same shape that is found on the arm that seems to be unbroken. That resulted in the following illustration showing what I believe the object would look like if the other three arms were not broken.

The tracing is far from exact. For one thing it looks like I got the body too long. And the body of the actual object appears to be a bit wider towards the side where both arms were broken off. So maybe the object was not really symmetrical.

How Object Might Have Looked Before Being Broken.

I know how difficult it is to analyze things from a photograph. I encounter that all the time when people send me photos to analyze. Photos are just not nearly as good as seeing the object in person.

Anyhow, this drawing shows the general shape that I believe the object had before it was broken.

One thing I really like about trying to figure out mystery objects, is that even if you don't find out what the object really was, you learn a lot in the process. One thing I learned about this time is flint strikers.

Cortland P., who collects Colonial American artifacts and has contributed good information to this blog before, said,

...I collect colonial American artifacts, and I’ve owned a few flint strikers in my time. Most flint strikers look like this: However, sometimes, the flint strikers were created to look like animals. Yours looks a little bit like a fox or something to that effect. I’ve owned colonial period flint strikers that were formed in the shape of animals, including, if I recall correctly, one that looked like yours. As I understand it, such flint strikers were used throughout Europe, as well as in colonial America.

He also provided this link.

Thanks Cortland!

I said that you always can learn something in the process. I definitely know more about flint strikers now. We'll see where the search leads.

Yesterday I posted a photo of a piece of shipwreck wood that I found. Doug D. emailed me his experience with finding and preserving a wood artifact.

Here is what he said.

About six years ago I dug a Civil War bullet embedded in wood and found an easy way to preserve the wood. I got some Elmer's glue and mixed it 50/50 with water. Then I soaked the wood and bullet in it for two weeks. After that I took it out and let it dry. The glue sealed it up and have not had any deterioration of it since.

Thanks Doug!

It is always good to hear about other people's experiences. It appears that a number of the reader's of this blog have found artifacts from early American history such as the Civil War and Revolutionary War.

I've talked a lot about artifacts the last few days, except for the bit I did a couple of days ago on wading in rough water. That is just what popped up. I'll have more on beach and shallow water hunting in the future.

Forecast and Conditions

The wind picked up on the Treasure Coast this morning about eight o'clock. It is now coming from the northeast at a good angle. Unfortunately the waves are predicted to only go up to about 2.5 feet. The change in angle might do a little good anyhow. It might uncover some of the recently accumulated stuff on the beach fronts.

The sea will remain at about 2.5 feet through Monday, slacken a bit, and then go back to that same level for a few days, if the predictions are correct. That means not much change. It will not be enough to change conditions for hunting cobs much, that is for sure.

Happy hunting,