A late 19th-century household privy, belonging to the Oliver family from 1888 to 1900, was excavated in Albany by Hartgen Archeological Associates. In an attempt to discover whether heavy metals from patent medicines used by the Oliver family could be detected in the privy, nightsoil samples were analysed via heavy metal analysis. The soils contained higher than average quantities of mercury, alimony, and lead, raising doubts about whether patent medicines were the only source. As part of my Scholar’s Research Project, I carried out compositional analysis of soil samples and painted plaster artifacts found in the privy to understand whether post-abandonment material fill could be the source of soil contamination. The project aims to evaluate the efficacy of using elemental analysis, through Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS), on different archaeological materials, while also answering important historical questions.