Vol. 13 No. 5                                                                                                                                                          April 2016
The Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club
Member F.O.H.B.C.

Written By Allan C. Holden


Mind Boggling!

    That is what comes to mind when I think about this being our 37th Annual Kalamazoo show! Think of all the memories! It occurred to me that we should do more to compile pictures and chronicle the history of the club and that of our Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Show. It would be neat if we could get the word out to all our members, and long time show vendors, to see if people can contribute some show photos and memories from past shows.

    Perhaps when I redesign the club web-site (Lord Willing) I can post a photo archive from the early shows. I can picture in my mind's eye many excited faces of past senior collectors who are no longer with us.

    After my grandfather passed away, it became clear to me that I should have taken time to ask him a million questions that I didn't. So, my dear grandmother paid for it; I piled the questions on her while I still could! Sadly the answers I got often times were "I don't remember."

    Another thought to ponder is that it is not just us, even the old bottles are getting older and older, folks! And guess what . . . they will still be around after we are long gone!

    Well, the show starts only a few days after this month's meeting! Of course I am talking about the April meeting! March came in like a lion and snuffed out our meeting plans! I knew we were in trouble when I saw the snow building up steadily minute by minute! By mid-day I started to load-up my foam-lined meeting case with the very best from my ink bottle collection. Then, by 3 o'clock I started getting calls asking if there would be a meeting. It was about that time when I started hearing on my radio about canceled events and school closings. I started to tell folks to watch to see if they decide to close the Library. Then I called Chuck and he said the same thing. Well, at 5:00 they did just that!

    So, no big deal. Except our plan for the March meeting was to brush up our final bottle show plans. Plus the most important item was that Chuck had just received the show raffle tickets in the mail the day before our canceled meeting!

    I am really hoping you are not hearing this for the first time. We called an emergency meeting! Yes, we did our very best to contact everyone. I sent out a mass e-mail and others were contacted by phone. On Wednesday, March 16th, we held a special meeting at our favorite pizza joint! We had a pretty good turnout and I sure hope it didn't slip by your radar!

    Chuck declared that this special meeting was our spring pizza party that we would have otherwise had after the show. I am hoping to somehow talk him into having another but we all know great pizza is not cheap pizza!

    My metal detector store has started into the busy time. Sometimes when I get home at night, I feel like I am leaving several things undone, which I am sure is age-related. When the special emergency Wednesday meeting time rolled around, I didn't take the time to re-pack my ink bottles. That was no great loss because others brought in some very nice bottles.

    Scott always amazes me; no matter where we meet, or how far away we have to park, he is always willing to lug boxes of bottles to the meeting! You have to remember this guy is hauling U.P.S. packages all day long . . . I get worn out thinking about it!
In this picture you can clearly see where Rev Parker is saying grace for our pizza, and as usual, Eddie is looking around!

Last Month

    Here is the list of names I collected at the March 16th emergency meeting, and for some reason I have a feeling it is not complete:

Vincent Grossi, John Winkler, Kelsey Ennis, Katie Osborn, Dan Hill, Libby Hill, Mary Hamilton,
Rev. Charles Parker
, Kevin Seigfried, Ed Nickerson, Ron Smith and Allan Holden.

    Not only did I forget my ink bottles, I also forgot my camera! I did bring my I-Phone, but the camera has never been properly adjusted. My Mother's phone takes great pictures but most of my pictures turn out horrible. I cannot begin to tell you how disappointed I am with these pictures!

     Vince brought in some very nice ink bottles. One was a clear, screw-capped ink with a pattern that is like a draped curtain. I'm sure the experts have a name for this pattern other than ribbed? I like how it looks like a theater curtain which is opened enough to reveal the area for a label. I do believe it is a Carter's Ink bottle.

    Vince also had a nice Carter's Mucilage bottle with a beautiful full label! I am sure we have club members who are unfamiliar with the term "mucilage." There was a time, back in the land before time, when postage stamps were not peel and stick! Even before they were lick-and-stick, you applied your own stick-em and mucilage was the paper glue of choice!

     I remember back when we were in school we used white paste to build our crafts for mom. Then, in yet another grade, one of our teachers taught us how to make paste! Yes, every time the subject comes up, my wife reminds us that she used to eat paste! I didn't try that, I was too busy eating the crayons! Not to chase rabbits, but my grandmother would tell me to eat my oatmeal because it would stick to my ribs!

    From that first lesson about manufacturing my own paste, and my grandfather teaching me to look for ways to build a better mousetrap . . . I pondered all the possibilities.

    I enjoy detailing used items and try to make them look like new. I have done autos, trucks, boats and RV's. And it is amazing to me the number of natural elements you can find stuck to a surface that will stick better than glue!

    I keep some hard candy in my pocket and I have to be careful not to put them in the same pocket with my damp kleenex! Chuck hates it when I give him a piece of candy with tissue stuck to it!

Back in the day, scrap booking was grandma's girlhood hobby! She would cut out and glue down any picture she liked from newspaper or magazine and add it to her scrapbook story! There were far more uses than to affix that upside-down air-mail postage stamp! Also a bottle of ink was as much a part of your desktop as was a red-rubber tipped mucilage bottle! Some school desks had special holes for each bottle!

I remember when one of my old digging buddies named "Randall" got permission to dig the privies at an old one room school house. . . one that had been converted to a family house. When I asked him what he found, he told me he found several bottles, but to his disappointment they were all machine-made cone inks! I should have known. What else would survive in a schoolhouse privy, all of the used chewing gum was stuck under the desk tops.

Vince displayed a nice cobalt blue Master Ink, but sadly that is the one picture that blurred badly! Vince also has a nice teal blue and aqua color 'master-inks!'

The only item I brought to the meeting in my meeting tote was a 5-X-8 coil, coil-cover and spare lower rod for Scott's AT Pro! At least I remembered that! The success of that model detector is legendary, but that is another story for another time.

Scott brought some neat bottles to the meeting, as usual!

 One of my all time favorite, early-ink, bottles is the eight-sided Harrison's Columbian Ink and he showed a recently dug beauty!

Honestly, I really need to get a good one! I have a open-pontiled, aqua example in my collection, which I have had for many years. That poor little bottle is pretty beat up! My Harrison's has a chipped lip and a 1-inch crack! I put some dark blue colored water in it, corked-it-up some 20 years back, and it hasn't leaked a drop!

 Scott brought in several more beautiful umbrella inks! Some examples were in aqua, light green, darker teal-green . . some still fresh from the pit. Even my photos that are not blurred are not that good, I am so sorry. I actually have another digital camera that I think I will designate for bottle club use and keep it in my club tote.

Even though I didn't bring my ink bottles to the pizza party, I do have an interesting one with an interesting story.

My friend Bob MacDougall, from Newaygo, gave it to me. He was metal detecting an area where the city was reconstructing a street in town. It can be very rewarding to be on the scene with your metal detector when this sort of construction takes place.

Bob wasn't the first treasure hunter to be down on the scene that day, and it had been raining steadily, so it was very muddy. He spotted a mud-covered square block that someone had placed on the top corner of a dumpster. By the time Bob spotted it after he finished hunting, the rain had rinsed away some of the mud and revealed that it was a 4- pound block of glass! Bob took it home for further inspection. After cleaning it up, Bob could see was a commercial ink well. The good news is that he thought, "I'll bet Al would like that!"

 Boy, was he right! At one time it was lettered with gold leaf "Carter's Fountain Pen Fluid." The gold leaf is gone, but the lettering itself was etched into the glass! I will restore the gold leaf as soon as I can find time! Man, isn't that what friends are for! Sometimes I stop to count my many blessings, and my friends are top-of-the-list!

I have spent many years researching the Allegan County area sniffing out clues for good metal detecting spots. I remember in one area history book I read back in the 1970's, told a story from Otsego that had me dreaming for years. It told about a practice in one of the local festivals that someone would stand on top of the corner bank building and toss hands full of new pennies onto the main, downtown, intersection for the kids to scramble for. At that time, in the 1800's, the road at the main four corners was dirt, an the coins were all new Indian Head pennies!

Back about 15 years ago, they tore up downtown Otsego with the work stretching for two blocks in every direction! Of course I have this business which is sometimes like a ball-and-chain keeping me in my private cell! Each day my friends would come in with pouches full of 1800's coinage and of course I was interested in every detail, but sick that it wasn't me!

One of the interesting things that I picked up on, was how deep many of the coins were. After the old concrete and asphalt was hauled away, along with the curb and sidewalks, naturally the guys found coins. Then the road crews would take another foot of material off the old road bed and many thought it was all over! Well, it wasn't! They were still finding coins that were still deep under the surface that was left!

The great puzzle was, 'How did stuff get so deep?' The mystery is fairly easy to solve. If you are familiar with Otsego you will notice the streets are extremely wide through downtown. Wide enough for over 5 lanes of traffic.

The First Baptist Church where we are members is just one block east of downtown on the main east~west highway "M-89" a.k.a. "Allegan Street" a.k.a. "Lincoln Road." That Baptist Church was the first church in Allegan County dating to 1835.

Back in the mid-1800's the rail depot in Otsego was the main rail hub for shipping cattle by rail to the famous Chicago Cattle Market. So downtown Otsego was the final destination for many cattle drives. As you can well imagine, cattle and wagon wheels going through town during rainy times would leave some very deep ruts, pushing coins down deeply!

Another interesting tidbit was that right at the main intersection, the treasure hunters were finding a bonanza in very nice Indian Head pennies! Well, who would have dreamed? Let's just say, I wasn't surprised!

Before our March meeting, I received a call from my old friend Dan Hill. Dan wanted some details regarding the meeting that was ultimately snowed out. He wanted me to assure him that our bottle theme was going to be "Ink Bottles." Dan was excited because his mother is interested in antique ink bottles! That is pretty neat, if you ask me!

Well, Dan and his mother, Libby, are now official Mouseketeers! Welcome to the club!

This Month Theme Pepper Sauce Bottles!

         This month we will be going over some truly last minute details regarding the Hospitality Suite on Friday, and the big show on Saturday. If you don't remember what you signed up to bring to the dealer fellowship time, you need to be at this meeting. Remember the Hospitality Suite buffet will be held at the Clarion, located at 3640 East Cork Street, Kalamazoo, MI., You need to be at this meeting.

      I was thrilled to have my granddaughter, Madison with me at the Pizza party. She had fun visiting with club members, and Grandpa always has fun being with her! It just occurred to me that I brought her mother to the club meetings when she was that same age or younger.

The Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club

 meets at the main downtown

Kalamazoo Library,

315 South Rose Street.

We meet on the third floor in the conference room.
 This meeting Tuesday, April 5th.

Meeting starts 7:00 pm.

For questions

e-mail: prostock@net-link.net

Or call