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135-year-old message in a whisky bottle reveals the names of workers from 1887 who had a sense of humor | Tracey Folly

One question remains: Who drank the whisky?

A mother-of-two who learned a faded 135-year-old message in an antique whisky bottle had been hidden under the floorboards of her home was left baffled by the strange note contained within.

Eilidh Stimpson of Edinburgh, Scotland hired a worker to move a radiator in her Victoria-era home last month. Little did she know she was in for an unusual surprise.

When Peter Allan, a plumber, cut through her floorboards, he spotted the unexpected miniature time capsule. In Stimpson’s own words, as quoted by Edinburgh Live:

It’s pretty cool, and so lucky as well because we were meant to be moving a radiator from one side of the wall to the other. The plumber came and started cutting a hole and said it was going to be a bit of a nightmare as there was a floor on top of a floor. Then he came down the stairs going, ‘look at what I just found in the hole I just made!’. It was quite exciting.

Stimpson waited for her partner and her two children to arrive home before attempting to open the bottle. Although they were able to breach the old cork, pulling the note out of the bottle in one piece proved to be more difficult.

After Stimpson and her husband failed to retrieve the brittle note from within the bottle using tweezers, they smashed the bottle to reveal its contents. Inside the bottle, they found the following whimsical message:

James Ritchie and John Grieve laid this floor, but they did not drink the whisky. October 6th 1887. Whoever finds this bottle may think our dust is blowing along the road.

Now, we know who laid the floor 135 years ago, but we may never know who drank the whisky. After nearly one-and-a-half centuries, the whisky bottle is no more. Stimpson explained:

We were desperately trying to get the note out with tweezers and pliers, but it started to rip a little bit. We didn’t want to damage it further, so regrettably had to smash the bottle.

The paper may be torn, and the bottle may be smashed, but Stimpson is thinking about stashing a message of her own beneath the floorboards for some excited future homeowner to find. She told Edinburgh Live:

We’ve just been amazingly lucky, and I’m glad everyone thinks it’s as interesting as we do. It feels quite nice to have a positive news story amid all this doom and gloom that’s around at the moment. Now, I’m thinking we need to preserve the note and replace it with a message of our own for future generations to discover.

Just as the two men who wrote the note predicted, by the time their message was discovered, they were little more than dust in the wind. After more than a century, it would be exciting if their descendants were found.

Have you ever found a time capsule or a message in a bottle? What did you discover? Comments are welcome.

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