What’s the Coolest Thing You’ve Discovered in Your House?

This automobile ad was discovered while working in the attic

While re-insulating the attic of our house earlier this year, the automobile ad fragment above was  discovered. It was originally attached to one of the outer walls, being held on with some of the tar that covered the bricks. Needless to say, it has been through a lot — exposed to heat, cold, and paper eating insects.

After doing some digging, I was able to find the original ad (image below). What I find particularly interesting is that the ad dates to 1916, the year my house was built. Taking into consideration that my row of homes was the first complete row in Park View to include attached garages, it additionally emphasizes the increasing impact that automobiles were having on society at the time.

Considering that many of us live in homes that have already seen a couple of generations pass before us, what’s the most interesting thing you’ve found that was left from a previous time or owner?

This ad was one of a series advertising Abbott-Detroit automobiles that appeared in the Literary Digest in 1916


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3 Comments on “What’s the Coolest Thing You’ve Discovered in Your House?”

  1. Lyn Says:

    Inside my original gas fireplace fixture, I found a pocket-watch sized toy that appears to be a roulette-wheel game and a tin that held tooth powder. Don’t know how old they are, but I’m assuming 1916-ish. (The mouse corpse might have been more recent.)

    I think my basement was originally finished in 1946. When I moved in, I went into the furnace room, took a flashlight, and looked into the foot-wide space between the finished wall and the party wall. I found a paper bag with an unopened fifth of gin wrapped in newspaper (1977, I think) and a one lady’s white high-heeled shoe.

  2. Brett Brunk Says:


    Nice discovery and detective work. I love reading all the cool things you discover about the neighborhood. Sadly my house was gutted and poorly re-built in the 80’s. We have little of the original.

  3. Jay Says:

    Sorry to come late to this post, but wanted to say how great it was. I admire your investigation into its origins in relation to your house.

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