Hunting for Sea Glass and Beach Treasures at Seaham Beach. What to look for

As a starting point, prior to writing this blog, I sorted through my collection of interesting  treasures that I have found at Seaham Beach. I soon assembled numerous piles, notably famed Seaham Sea Glass but also other man-made objects that the North Sea has tumbled and shaped over many years. Over the years I have been able to work out, often with help from other beach combers what they are. I hope this blog helps you identify those mysterious and not so mysterious objects. Happy Hunting !

Sea Pottery

Sea-worn pottery tumbled by the power of the North Sea can be found on Seaham beach. Although, it is not has common as sea glass on the beach at Seaham. Where does it come from ? The source of sea pottery washed up onto most beaches in the United Kingdom is likely to be from Victorian coastal dump sites. Erosion caused by the power of waves can erode the coast line and pottery and shards find their way into the sea.

Codd Marbles

Hiram Codd was an English Engineer (1838-1837). In 1872 he patented a bottle filled with gas under pressure which pushed a marble against a rubber washer in the neck of the bottle and this, therefore, created a perfect seal. This became known as a ‘Codd Bottle’. Codd had two factories in London that solely produced marbles for the Codd bottle. Hiram Codd, (this bit I like !) was one of the first innovators of recycling and encouraged empty bottles to be returned to their original owners via bottle exchanges. Codd’s patented stopper marble is still manufactured in India by the Khandelwal glass works. A Codd marble is usually beautifully spherical despite being tumbled by the North Sea for many years. The larger aqua marble shown at the top of this photograph was found at Whitley Bay beach

Safety Glass

In 1898, Pilkington introduced hexagonal rolled wired cast glass also known as ‘Georgian Glass’ In the Victorian era  safety glass was used as a fire safety feature in construction and also, it’s use in windows was thought to deter burglers and house-breakers. Infact, household insurance premiums were reduced if safety glass was use in downstairs windows. Contrary to popular belief safety glass is actually weaker than unwired glass and can cause more injury when broken due to the irregularity of fractures. Today safety glass is still used widely in construction for fire prevention purposes. Safety glass can withstand heat and the wire prevents glass from falling out of the frame even if it cracks under thermal stress. It’s modern day use can be seen in primarily lift shafts.

Safety glass gets a mixed review and a bit of bad press in the world of Sea Glassers. You either love it, or hate it. I kind of like it!

Find the Rainbow !

Seaham is world famous for it’s beautiful sea glass. It is a fabulous town, friendly and generous local people and situated on the fabulous Durham Heritage coast line. I have been lucky enough to make friends on the beach and  have made friendships with lovely people from Florida.

If you are lucky, you can find the rainbow ! Red and orange sea glass is particularly rare and well worth a ‘happy dance’ if you find a piece.

Vulcanite Bottle Stopper

These black bottle stoppers are made from a material called Ebonite and patented by Charles Goodyear in 1846. Ebonite was made from a mixture of natural rubber, linseed oil and sulphur. The process if ‘vulcanisation’ involved heating the rubber to 115 degress celcius with sulphur and linseed oil. This then converted the rubber into a more durable material. Stoppers often carried company names and trademarks. Unfortunately, the stoppers I have shown do not carry a trademark. This type of stopper was used until the 1970’s. Always a nice find when you’re on the beach !

For Seaham Sea Glass framed art work and gifts