Sunday (26-November-2017) — New Jersey

Backyard Archaeology in New Jersey: Silver Spoon

I was out in the backyard using a rototiller to prepare a new section for the expanding wildflower meadow. The land had been a farm years ago, but this section had become overgrown with brush. The brush was cleared last year, and this summer the section was covered with a black tarp to solarize the soil (kill the weeds, especially the invasive “mile-a-minute” vine). The rototiller found lots of rocks, and roots from the brush. At one point, I noticed something silver being thrown back by rototiller. It turned out to be a spoon. The rototiller blades did a bit of damage to the spoon. I brought it inside, and washed it off. The only identification of the spoon was an imprint on the back of the handle “Oneida Silversmiths”. After doing some research online, I think I identified the design of the spool as Oneida silverplate “Clairhill-Fairhill (1978). One site had it on sale for less than eight dollars. So, not an antique 🙁 . The house was built around that time, but how the spoon got 200 feet behind the house is a mystery.

Oneida Silversmiths Spoon. Backyard Archaeology in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens (ISO 200, 105 mm, f/16, 1/3 sec) (David J Mathre)
Oneida Silversmiths Spoon. Backyard Archaeology in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens (ISO 200, 105 mm, f/16, 1/3 sec) (David J Mathre)
Oneida Silversmiths Spoon. Backyard Archaeology in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens (ISO 200, 105 mm, f/16, 1/3 sec) (David J Mathre)
Oneida Silversmiths Spoon. Backyard Archaeology in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens (ISO 200, 105 mm, f/16, 1/3 sec) (David J Mathre)

Author: David Mathre

I am a scientist by training (Eckerd College, BSc; Caltech, Ph.D.). I worked for 27 years as a Chemist in the Pharmaceutical Industry developing processes to manufacture medicines for human and animal health. I now spend my time as a photographer and world traveler. My interests in photography include the natural world, wildlife, landscapes, skyscapes, and seascapes. I have traveled to over 50 countries over the last 10 years, often on Semester at Sea voyages. While at home in New Jersey, I spend time on a home renovation project and expanding my wildflower garden/meadow.

Leave a Reply