Building "Easter Eggs"

semipro Posted By semipro, Feb 3, 2018 at 9:40 PM

  1. semipro

    semipro
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    Jan 12, 2009
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    I found this on one of the rafters of my house recently. I really enjoy discovering the history of a house this way and have been know to leave my own signatures for those that follow.
    Does anyone know of the accepted name for such a thing? I could only think of "Easter Eggs" like those hidden messages in software.

    wumf3O2jzFIscm2CgsmazyO-PE4CoZkTTPv0CFj1Ex-9Jiv1Q_hlVrCNMErcC7K6ncwKDXGpLkb3k1VqmI=w1618-h911-no.jpg
     
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  2. heat seeker

    heat seeker
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    Not in a building, but -

    I used to work building consoles for pipe organs. I used to attach a penny (with the same year as the console was built) inside somewhere, with the thought that someday, years from then, it would be found.

    I also like to date some things when I buy them. (Really? I've had this thing for 5 years already?)
     
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  3. peakbagger

    peakbagger
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    On my house and garage I hand carved some gothic dates in red cedar boards and stuck them up in the peak of the overhang. I signed the back of them with the date they went up. I didn't think I would still be looking at them but one of the has 1987 on it. I expect the boards will be around longer than I am.

    I helped someone build a real timber frame barn once. The tradition was to put some coins down under the base of the first post. We did so. Unfortunately one of the last details before the siding is put on, is to drill a pin in at the base of the columns at a 45 degree angle to prevent the column uplifting. When we drilled the first column we got debris from one of the coins come up with the shavings (it also nicked the blade on very expensive hand auger bit).
     
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  4. semipro

    semipro
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    I've seen pennies embedded in masonry and assumed they marked the build year.
     
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  5. semipro

    semipro
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    The coin thing immediately reminded me of a Looney Tunes cartoon where a frog is let loose from a cornerstone box during demo.
     
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  6. begreen

    begreen
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    It's common. We dated the cement footings in our house and the kids put their handprints in the cement too. I also dated our garage slab when it was poured.
     
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  7. venator260

    venator260
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    In my current house, I've found a bunch of figures behind the walls, and some kids doodles that were probably one of my uncles as the house was being built. My mother signed her name on the wood siding before they put on the aluminum. And she wrote her name in chalk on one of the floor joists in the basement.


    In my old house, I only ever found a footprint inside of the framing between two windows. There was also Roman numerals carved into a partition in the old coal seller. It was 1929, which was odd because the house was built in '34 I didn't open up as many walls in that house though.
     
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  8. peakbagger

    peakbagger
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    Folks were quite frugal during the depression and earlier, homes were routinely sliced and diced and moved to new locations. Odds are the beam dated 1929 came from somewhere else.
     
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  9. sportbikerider78

    sportbikerider78
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    If you have an old house,,,it is worth your while to scan it with a decent metal detector. Never know whats there.

    I do this at our camp, which has been in the family for generations. My house....my mark is my handiwork. I label things (wires, pipes, ect) that no one else labels. Sometimes creatively. :)
     
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  10. peakbagger

    peakbagger
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    I have known of several contractors that open up the wall cavity under the bathroom cabinet in older homes. Frequently there was a slot to get rid of old razor blades and occasion folks would put coins into them. I expect most folks find a pile of rusty razor blades but expect when someone gets bonus they tell their friends.
     
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  11. semipro

    semipro
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    Likewise, upon finding the word "stud" printed on something I built in our bathroom, I smirkily added "Andy is a" preceding it. My wife later saw it and laughed....maybe a bit too hard actually.
     
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  12. johneh

    johneh
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    Many years ago we were restoring the Band Shell in a town close to me .
    Upon disassembly we found a unopened bottle of Rye from the local
    Distillery of the day approx 1850 . It is now displayed in the Town hall
    unopened . When we put the building back together the boss and I
    put a new bottle of whisky hidden inside with a note who we were and
    the date . Don't think I will be around when it is found . My Boss then
    and I are the only people that know about that bottle.
     
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  13. Dobish

    Dobish
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    we have a lot of concrete markings... animal prints, hands prints, years, etc. There used to be a door here, now its just a message to charlie...

    upload_2018-2-8_11-42-13.png
     
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  14. semipro

    semipro
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    Seems a shame. I bet those that may have hidden it were hoping that those that found it would enjoy it.
     
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  15. Dobish

    Dobish
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    This was a good one

    upload_2018-2-8_11-43-54.png
     
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  16. jeanw

    jeanw
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    what is it shown. but an elec receptacle. something not done right? just curious.
    years ago when he was working Hubby found old valuable beer cans in a dental office crawl space and kept them but gave the owner one.. Later he went back (Hubby) to ask for it back so be a matching pair. Guy said naw you gave it to me..... I" said what did you expect?" Later
    on I sold some of them when he was out of town....LOL
    He know we need to really downsize now. we have to give way most stuff. as people are to cheap to even offer a buck...
    Im the one of course who has too much stuff. wish I could just get 10 on the dollar for stuff. duh. next to me a pile of like new stuff that needs to go and thats just the beginning. I got stuff for free on CL right now. but in this small town hard to get takers. so we drove to next largest town last week to give away a pile of stuff...to Goodwill type place.
    the church in here ... town has a thrift store. they have a shed to drop off stuff. Its filled lots of times when I go by...they have to lock it. the store is open just twice a week...
    we also gave stuff to Habitat.... and more needs to go
    thanks y'all
     
  17. Dobish

    Dobish
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    It was a spur hanging off of the electrical box
     
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  18. Ashful

    Ashful
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    The porridge on the gable end wall in my third floor is signed by the builder, and the first generation of the family that lived in this part of the house, built 1773. Unfortunately, the parents names, which I assume would have been at the top, were removed in a chimney repair more tha 100 years ago.

    On a prior house I owned, built 1870’s, I’d leave notes in walls or floor cavities, as I’d gut and rebuild each room. I’d jot down the known history of the house, things I had found or removed, and a list of repairs made along with the dates they were completed. Some future owner may find them in another 130 years.
     
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  19. Ashful

    Ashful
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    There has been a house here since at least 1738. In fact, I think the 1770’s part of my house is built upon that 1738 structure, which you may have seen in photos showing where I store my wood at the house.

    In any case, I’ve spent some time with a metal detector in the yard, and it’s an exercise in frustration. There’s almost not a single square meter of that yard that doesn’t have some piece of metal in it. So far, nothing but trash. Things like old well pump handles, pipe, gutter hangers, hinge pins and gudgeons, etc. No treasure.

    If there were something of value, it’s unlikely our predecessors would have left it laying in the yard.
     
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  20. Ashful

    Ashful
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    My carriage barn is made from recip-sawn (possibly pit sawn) beams, but the sills were clearly done on a circular saw mill. My best guess is that the barn dates to the 1770’s, same as the latest version of the house, but the sills were replaced sometime after 1826 (hence the circular saw mill). It is also clear that two beams were once posts, in some earlier structure, as they have mortise pockets for knee braces in them. As you said... frugal, they re-used what they could.

    One thing that’s very odd is that my “new” kitchen addition, built 1890’s, has hand-hewn joists. A bit of farmer DIY construction, or re-used from another structure? I’m guessing the latter.
     
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  21. sportbikerider78

    sportbikerider78
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    Same here. My property is scattered with metal. I've found all kinds of crap. TONS of old school nails. Must be from a rotten out barn. I even found some rocks that must have high iron content.
     
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  22. Dobish

    Dobish
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    i think this one might be one of the better ones in my house...

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  23. Ashful

    Ashful
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    A window hiding inside the wall? Of what vintage is the smiley face drawn on it?
     
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  24. Dobish

    Dobish
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    the window was hiding behind the wall from 1986 or so I think? maybe earlier? The smiley face was circa july 2018.

    I may have modified it a little bit....
    6MYdBCulUJ0ZDKn_XKROtgBlAb6UCfdHXvLPYFYV_HdADa7hgtBCiFlslTxv9mmBLcRmcLkh3J9drcOJTax=w834-h625-no.jpg

    qOVso0U6i94kNgMp9GoSkM16HUEEEFkV2tthUV9JSLMaAuJh-_G-9WDgurwuuC9YrMSxWgLp_vqbcVrbBP7=w469-h625-no.jpg
     
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  25. Ashful

    Ashful
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    You gotta wonder why they covered that up?

    I lived in a Victorian-era (late 1870's, as best I could tell) house for 15 years, which anyone who ever stayed there will tell you was very haunted. I'm not the type who is bothered by bumps in the night, but I did have trouble keeping hired help or house sitters, in that place. I spent the first 8 years there tearing open every wall, ceiling, and a few floors, and often toyed with the idea of leaving some fun stuff closed up in the walls or ceilings to spook future residents, but never took the time to actually do anything worth mentioning. I did find one note in a wall from a worker, inserted over 100 years prior. I wrote on the back the altercations I was making, signed my name and date, and put it back where I found it.

    img066.jpg

    Now I live in a house that was already over 100 years old, when that Victorian was built, but it's quiet. No ghosts, here.
     
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