Friday, February 10, 2012

Old shovel

From: Gregory Anderson

... For several years, I've had an old shovel – real old, iron I think – laying around my property. I pretty much ignored it until recently, when I finally decided to pick it up out of the weeds and give it a closer inspection. The blade is squared, it's cracked, and it's much heavier than a shovel you'd buy today. The two-piece curved part that would normally hold the handle is attached by rivets. There are no obvious manufacturer markings (at least none that I can see), but I would guess it to be of an age that probably makes it either gold-rush or railroad. I can't imagine how else it might have ended up out here. My property in Auburn is located near an old mine (the "Big Giant Quartz Mine") but also is not far from the original rail line. The shovel sits on my front porch now, and since I see it every day, I've gotten more curious about it's origin. Can these old shovels be identified and dated accurately? This area was mostly orchards around the turn of the century, so I suppose it could be just another shovel someone used to plant a tree, but if it's actually a piece of history, I'd really like to know more about it ...

—Greg Anderson


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have seen only three types of shovels on the old grade, these with the manufacturers name on the tang: Charles Crocker Shovel Co., Oakes Ames; and Mark Hopkins. Each of these shovels can still be found on the old grade in Nevada, that said, please observe the Antiquities Act of 1906 and leave them where you find them.
G J Chris Graves, Newcastle,Cal.

2/11/2012 7:41 AM  

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