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Modern Mysteries

13,000 Victorian jam jars unearthed in London

By T.K. Randall
January 12, 2017 · Comment icon 13 comments

Crosse and Blackwell pickles. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Boston Public Library
The unexpected haul was discovered beneath a former nightclub during a recent construction project.
A total of more than 13,000 pots and jars were recovered from what is believed to be an old vault in which Crosse and Blackwell, which had maintained a factory at the site until 1921, was thought to have once dumped large quantities of its unwanted stock.

Described by The Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) as "remarkable", the discovery includes everything from jars of jam and marmalade to pots of Piccalilli and Mushroom Catsup.
The items were found inside a large cistern beneath the site where the Elizabeth line station in Tottenham Court Road is currently being constructed.

"Excavations on Crosse and Blackwell's Soho factory produced a large and diverse collection of pottery and glass related to their products, with one cistern alone containing nearly three tons of Newcastle made marmalade jars with stoneware bottles and jars," said archaeologist Nigel Jeffries.

"We think this is the biggest collection of pottery ever discovered in a single feature from an archaeological site in London."

Source: BBC News | Comments (13)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by PersonFromPorlock 8 years ago
Finally, jam today! Crosse & Blackwell Marmalade was a fixture in my parents' house sixty years ago; very tart and unlike 'modern' sweet marmalades. Ruined me for the newer stuff.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Manfred von Dreidecker 8 years ago
Why did they dump so many? Were they all rejects? They must have had some very stringent standards. Couldn't they have re-used them?
Comment icon #6 Posted by ouija ouija 8 years ago
Maybe it wasn't so much dumping as storing. When I was at Primary school in the 1950s, we were regularly asked to bring empty jam jars in so that the school could sell them. There was a lot of competition between classes and individuals to see who could bring the most in. All children walked to school then and you'd see them staggering along the road with paper bags or cardboard boxes with the bottoms about to give way, full of glass jars. Eventually, of course, it was deemed too dangerous and was stopped.
Comment icon #7 Posted by freetoroam 8 years ago
Seems with people making their own, there was no need for so many: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=KEG8DQAAQBAJ&pg=PP20&lpg=PP20&dq=money+for+jam+jars+Crosse+%26+Blackwell&source=bl&ots=cVgPpNjvNm&sig=guqJaFeDaMu13qa4GLDH4C_rHmg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjmkrLm4bzRAhViD5oKHUe0CQkQ6AEIRzAH#v=onepage&q=money for jam jars Crosse %26 Blackwell&f=false    
Comment icon #8 Posted by Black Monk 8 years ago
Maybe most were unusable.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Bump in the Night123456 8 years ago
Num num num, that's lot of jam
Comment icon #10 Posted by South Alabam 8 years ago
Well, people do "jam" at nightclubs.
Comment icon #11 Posted by TruckerNate 8 years ago
Looks like she's holding heinz green ketchup in the pic above^^^
Comment icon #12 Posted by kobolds 8 years ago
is the jam still editable ?
Comment icon #13 Posted by MDagger 8 years ago
How do you edit jam? Ohh... edible...Most of the jars look broken so what remained in the jars if anything was consumed by critters or turned into dust.

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