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  1. #1
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    Finding Interesting Things While Renovating.

    The last couple of days I've been helping my dad do some renovations to their home. Today we were cutting into the floor of the second level to lay some plumbing for a new bathroom on that level.

    The floor was hardwood/finished on top and base board underneath... but in between we found a newspaper separating the wood. We found parts of two separate newspapers... one was Des Moines Register from May 16th 1935 and the other was part of the local newspaper in town. Pretty cool stuff. We debated ripping the entire hardwood (top coat) up in the corner we were working in to get the whole edition but decided against it. But we took a good hour, hour and a half looking at the news of the time and advertisements, which were by far the best from the stuff we did manage to get out.

    So that got me wondering. Have you ever found anything interesting hidden in the floors/walls/ceilings during a renovation/repair? And what was it?

    We left a newspaper from today's DMR and a picture of us in the wall.
    Edit: Decided we are also going to leave more of a time capsule. Cell phone, 3.5" floppy disk, cd, dollar bill and some coins, maybe some other things... suggestions?


    Last edited by MNCYWX; 04-15-2011 at 06:02 PM.
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    Re: Finding Interesting Things While Renovating.

    I'd always dig around when doing any kind of renovating work. Found some cigarette papers from the 19th century in one house. Beyond that, scraps of newspapers is about all.



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    Re: Finding Interesting Things While Renovating.

    Quote Originally Posted by MNCYWX View Post
    The last couple of days I've been helping my dad do some renovations to their home. Today we were cutting into the floor of the second level to lay some plumbing for a new bathroom on that level.

    The floor was hardwood/finished on top and base board underneath... but in between we found a newspaper separating the wood. We found parts of two separate newspapers... one was Des Moines Register from May 16th 1935 and the other was part of the local newspaper in town. Pretty cool stuff. We debated ripping the entire hardwood (top coat) up in the corner we were working in to get the whole edition but decided against it. But we took a good hour, hour and a half looking at the news of the time and advertisements, which were by far the best from the stuff we did manage to get out.

    So that got me wondering. Have you ever found anything interesting hidden in the floors/walls/ceilings during a renovation/repair? And what was it?

    We left a newspaper from today's DMR and a picture of us in the wall.
    I know while my parents were building their hows about 10 years ago they put a newspaper in the walls somewhere. So maybe one day someone will find it.


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    Re: Finding Interesting Things While Renovating.

    My cousin and his wife found an urn in their basement. I believe that the previous owner had said it was there when he moved-in, and the only identification they've been able to do (via back-tracking and some guesswork) is "some Asian guy". I think the urn is still in its spot on the shelf in their basement since they didn't know what to do with it.

    I haven't ever found anything particularly interesting, although when my dad and I were rewiring our old home we found some amusing tube-and-knob wiring. And by "amusing" I mean we were amazed that the ridiculous splices and whatnot behind a three-switch box never caused a problem.


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    Re: Finding Interesting Things While Renovating.

    Found a child size life jacket stuffed away while tearing out the false ceiling in my basement last year. Wondered if that was a sign that it was there in case the basement flooded

    Like the previous poster said I found some "interesting" wiring behind the paneling I ripped out too. someone just pit 1x2 strips to tack the paneling into and looked like they just drilled holes into the concrete block foundation and put plastic screw anchors in to tack them into. Some of the splices or interesting ways they wired the few outlets that were in the basement made you wonder just how safe the electrical was down there!


    Last edited by CYdTracked; 04-15-2011 at 06:00 PM.
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    Re: Finding Interesting Things While Renovating.

    1. Ripping up old floors in Iowa and found turn of the century Chicago newspapers that had been used as padding under the very old linoleum. Saved some of them. One had a Coca Cola ad with Walter Johnson hawking Coke. Another had an editorial by William Jennings Bryant.

    2. Here in Minnesota I was helping a neighbor demo his old garage. We found newspapers used as insulation in the walls. Found the Star Tribune issue for the day after the Bismarck sunk the HMS Hood. Talk about in-depth coverage; they had complete bios for the captain of each ship. Saved that one.

    3. Demoing in my own house I found an empty Grain Belt can stuck in a wall cavity. Guess one of the carpenters or plaster guys had a beer on the job in 1960 (year the house was built).



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    Re: Finding Interesting Things While Renovating.

    As far as unsafe things.........when my kitchen light went out at my old house, I found quite the interesting wiring job. On one breaker they had:

    Kitchen lights, kitchen south side outlets, all living room outlets, hall light, back room outlets on one wall, upstairs hall light and outlets.

    All on one breaker.

    The kitchen light, being closest to the breaker, went poof. All the insulation was burned off of them, and some of the wires too.



  8. #8
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    Re: Finding Interesting Things While Renovating.

    Here is something you would really like to find.....old booze!

    Minneapolis remodelers turn up old hoard of hooch | StarTribune.com



  9. #9
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    Re: Finding Interesting Things While Renovating.

    Ace & TJ Show : The Stupid News with Yankee Pete : A Couple in Wisconsin Find a Live Korean War Missile In Their Bathroom Wall
    Last week, 70-year-old William Wittman of St. Francis, Wisconsin was remodeling his bathroom and went into the wall to pull out some old insulation. While he was in there, he found . . . A MISSILE.

    And not just any missile. A LIVE, 20-inch missile from the Korean War era.


    Asteroids are nature's way of asking "How's that space program going?"

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    Re: Finding Interesting Things While Renovating.

    When my Dad was young, he lived in an old stone house for a few years. They found a really old shot gun wrapped in newspaper somewhere in the house. As he likes to tell the story, that wasn't a hunting gun ;)



  11. #11
    Hugs4ISU
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    Re: Finding Interesting Things While Renovating.

    Quote Originally Posted by MNCYWX View Post
    We left a newspaper from today's DMR and a picture of us in the wall.
    Edit: Decided we are also going to leave more of a time capsule. Cell phone, 3.5" floppy disk, cd, dollar bill and some coins, maybe some other things... suggestions?
    An SD card (such as for a camera) with some pictures on it. Would likely hold the data longer than a floppy disk.



  12. #12
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    Re: Finding Interesting Things While Renovating.

    Quote Originally Posted by MNCYWX View Post
    The last couple of days I've been helping my dad do some renovations to their home. Today we were cutting into the floor of the second level to lay some plumbing for a new bathroom on that level.

    The floor was hardwood/finished on top and base board underneath... but in between we found a newspaper separating the wood. We found parts of two separate newspapers... one was Des Moines Register from May 16th 1935 and the other was part of the local newspaper in town. Pretty cool stuff. We debated ripping the entire hardwood (top coat) up in the corner we were working in to get the whole edition but decided against it. But we took a good hour, hour and a half looking at the news of the time and advertisements, which were by far the best from the stuff we did manage to get out.

    So that got me wondering. Have you ever found anything interesting hidden in the floors/walls/ceilings during a renovation/repair? And what was it?

    We left a newspaper from today's DMR and a picture of us in the wall.
    Edit: Decided we are also going to leave more of a time capsule. Cell phone, 3.5" floppy disk, cd, dollar bill and some coins, maybe some other things... suggestions?
    When cleaning and fixing a malfunctioning bottom kitchen drawer in a home we purchased from a dead friends estate, saw some papers at the back of the the base that the cabinet sat on. It had four drawers in the cabinet, kind of a bill paying area at the end of the kitchen. Turned out to be some old newspaper articles she must have saved for some reason and 3 ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR BILLS. She was dead and gone, so they were mine. Often wondered how she might have never hunted for them as I am sure she should have known she put them in a drawer in this cabinet, and they overflowed to the bottom and got lost. Wasn't hard to see them once you pulled the drawer completly out.

    Long since spent by me.


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  13. #13
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    Re: Finding Interesting Things While Renovating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugs4ISU View Post
    An SD card (such as for a camera) with some pictures on it. Would likely hold the data longer than a floppy disk.
    Problem with that is that in 10 years, there probably won't be anything that can read the data!


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  14. #14
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    Re: Finding Interesting Things While Renovating.

    When I was little, my dad built us a new house right behind the old house that we'd lived in on the property. When they tore down the old house, they found snakes, big ones (3+ feet long), living in the walls. I was 4-5 years old at the time.




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    Re: Finding Interesting Things While Renovating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugs4ISU View Post
    An SD card (such as for a camera) with some pictures on it. Would likely hold the data longer than a floppy disk.


    archiving - What would be the down side(s) to backup archival via SD cards? - Super User

    NAND flash doesn't hold its charge forever. The electrons trapped in the floating gate slowly leak out. How long it remain readable depends on the density of the flash. The 3xnm flash found in most SD cards today has a retention time of around 5 years. The 2xnm flash that is starting to show up now has a retention time a bit lower than that. How much lower I don't not know exactly. 4 years or something like that I supect.


    Asteroids are nature's way of asking "How's that space program going?"

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