Charms found on an archaeological site, need help with dates

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archaeob
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2022 5:52 pm

Charms found on an archaeological site, need help with dates

Post by archaeob »

Hello,

I am an archaeologist working on schoolhouse sites in Virginia and have found four different charms that I have been having trouble pinning down dates for. I know for a fact that one is Cracker Jack (blue duck or goose) b/c it matches with ones online that say "Cracker Jack" on the base, one is not (celluloid lion), and I'm not sure about the other two (cow and gun in holster). My biggest problem is that one of the schools closed in 1951 and the other in 1939 so am trying to figure out if the charms were lost when the school was in use or after they closed. Any help in narrowing down dates would be great.

Duck/Goose and Cow are from a school dating from 1923-1951
Celluloid lion and gun in holster are from a school dating from 1923-1939.

Imgur link to photos: https://imgur.com/a/ENA21Fx

Link to 3D models of cow and lion: https://sketchfab.com/virtualcurationla ... e4185ccb43
Cyndy Boesch
Posts: 342
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:19 am

Re: Charms found on an archaeological site, need help with dates

Post by Cyndy Boesch »

The celluloid piece, partial cow, and gun with holster are not Cracker Jack, so I can't be of any help. The partial duck looks like the common Cracker Jack duck. It was a '60's prize. Post if you need a closer date and I will dig to find it.
archaeob
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2022 5:52 pm

Re: Charms found on an archaeological site, need help with dates

Post by archaeob »

A closer date would be great if at all possible. The site was totally abandoned after 1955, so 1960s would be a big surprise. The only site I could find said that it dated to the 1940s, but had no reference. http://theartiscrackerjack.com/history/ ... orld-war-2
Cyndy Boesch
Posts: 342
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:19 am

Re: Charms found on an archaeological site, need help with dates

Post by Cyndy Boesch »

Having trouble matching up the markings on your duck/goose shard with my Cracker Jack piece (there are quite a few ducks etc.). Can you post a photo of the one that matches? That will help narrow it down. Thanks.
archaeob
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2022 5:52 pm

Re: Charms found on an archaeological site, need help with dates

Post by archaeob »

I found this image on ebay and overlaid the one I have in photoshop. I included both the original and the overlay in the imgur link. I'm fairly certain its this one because the shape matches perfectly, including a bit of the beak still visible in the broken piece.
https://imgur.com/a/gK85pWO
Cyndy Boesch
Posts: 342
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:19 am

Re: Charms found on an archaeological site, need help with dates

Post by Cyndy Boesch »

That helps considerably. Haven't found a date for you yet, but I am digging!
Cyndy Boesch
Posts: 342
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:19 am

Re: Charms found on an archaeological site, need help with dates

Post by Cyndy Boesch »

With help from another collector, I was able to find your duck and it is earlier than I had estimated. It belongs to a set that was issued about 1948. Cracker Jack archives aren't always as definite as we would like: the company wasn't thinking their prizes would ever be "collected" and were more concerned with finding prizes at an affordable price and that a prize made it into every box. Hope this helps you. Best of luck with your excavations!
archaeob
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2022 5:52 pm

Re: Charms found on an archaeological site, need help with dates

Post by archaeob »

Thank you so much, that is greatly helpful!
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