Backyarchaeology: Pencil This In

Part of our renovation is involving a whole bunch of concrete getting poured into a hole dug out deep from under the center our house onto which will be secured additional posts that will brace up under the first floor beams providing mooooooore than enough additional structural support to hold up the new bathtub we’re putting in on the second floor — thus preventing anything resembling the scene in “The Money Pit” wherein the tub crashes through to the first floor leaving Tom Hanks maniacally laughing through the hole where it once stood.

Personally Hanks’ reaction is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, but I certainly wouldn’t be laughing if a similar situation happened to us.

But as usual, my point isn’t about all that.

My point is that in all that excavating that took place, I’ve been itching to get under the house and play amateur backyarchaelogist and see what I might dig up. And today I did. So far, the only thing I found was this fragment of a Dixon Ticonderoga 1386 No. 3 pencil (click to enlarge):


The cool thing is it wasn’t dropped there, yesterday, last year, or even 20 years ago. Turns out via this page at that this particular Dixon Ticonderoga 1386 No. 3 pencil is somewhere in the neighborhood of 64-70 years old. My guess it might have been pitched sometime around 1950 when the place was being divided up into apartments, and its relative preservation can be attributed to the pretty much bone-dry conditions of the soil.

Granted, it’s not a 123-year-old bottle of adhesive, or a spent .357 round, but still… it’s worth a post.

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."