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  Shell Waste Products

mounds of mussel shells
Mounds of Mussel Shells outside a button factory, 1919 Zoom in on mounds of mussel shells
There was a great amount of wasted shell until machines were improved to create less waste. Companies found new uses for the cutout shells, which were ground up: aquarium gravel, chicken grit, mortar, stucco mix, Go to image of an example of ground shell and even road surfacing.

There was a custom in the early twentieth century to cover mounded graves with shells. Go to image of grave with mussel shell In Liverpool, Illinois, there was even a house totally encrusted with shells.

Millions of pounds of waste shell and unused shells were left on riverbanks when factories closed in 1948. Eventually it was all dispersed or covered over.

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