Dating old clay pipes

It is this original use of roof tiles for drainage purposes which gave later land drains their name: tile-pipes.As a mark of the importance of the government placed on the laying of hollow drainage systems, a statute of 1826 (confirmed in 18) exempted from the duty normally paid between 1784-1850 on bricks and tiles "those bricks made solely for draining wet and marshy land -- provided they are legibly stamped in making with the word DRAIN." The late eighteenth or early nineteenth century methods were expensive, and only rich landowners could afford them.

dating old clay pipes-25

Then, with the start of the period of agricultural depression, no more tile-pipe drainage was laid, virtually until 1939.

Mole-drainage (cheaper, although it had to be renewed) was used instead.

Tobacco farming was introduced to the mainland colonies in the early 17 century by John Rolfe (Hume 1969).

To learn more about Virginia and the rise of tobacco, see Tobacco Production & the Town of Colchester.

The first people to smoke tobacco in pipes were the Native Americans who lived in the eastern woodlands of North America between 500 BCE and 500 CE.

These early smokers burned indigenous tobacco in clay or stone platform pipes, so named for their flat bases.

By the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, however, most available land had already been reclaimed by surface draining of lakes, marshes and fens.

At the same time there came the Industrial Revolution and a steady rise in population.

Thomas Scragg patented a cheaper method of making tile-pipes in 1845; by 1849 a writer in the Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England could describe a machine for making drain tiles operated by one man and three boys, who could turn out nearly 11,000 tiles off 1" bore in ten hours. Once cheap tile-pipes became available, they were widely used. The theory was that the water would be channelled through these so fast it would prevent silting.

In fact the result was the opposite: the pipes were so narrow they silted up.

Lewis Binford later modified and improved Harrington’s method using a statistical formula (Cambridge Archaeology Field Group 2012).

Tags: , ,