Vol. 13 No. 8                                                                                                                                                                       April 2014
Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club News
Member Club of the F.O.H.B.C.

Written by, Allan C. Holden

April, 8th Meeting, & April,12th Antique Bottle Show, Same Week!


    First, I want to apologize for this somewhat brief unedited newsletter. I have moved into my busy time of year at work, and I find that I have to do this newsletter on the fly! I'm hoping to get you this in advance of our meeting! What a week we have coming up! Our meeting is on Tuesday, April 8th, then on Friday April, 11th., we will be hosting our annual Hospitality Suite! I sure do look forward to all the good eats and fellowship. And, of course, the very next day, Saturday April 12th is our 35th annual Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Show!

    As for Friday night, remember friends what you signed up for! If you don't remember, please be at this month's meeting.

Saturday is the Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Show! Saturday April, 12th.

    Yes, we are just a few short days away from the big 35th Annual Kalamazoo Antique Bottle and Glass Show! I hope you are willing to pitch in and help wherever you can.

    Remember club members, Friday evening April, 11th from 7:00 pm to 10:30 pm we will be hosting our annual Hospitality Suite, including a food buffet and beverages at the Best Western Hospitality Inn, 3640 E. Cork Street, Kalamazoo MI. The Hospitality Suite will be located in the Best Western's "Professional Conference Center."

    This is a great chance to meet fellow collectors from all across America!

    Club members please bring your food items in by 6:30! And we will need all hands to set up!

    We have passed around sign-up sheets at the last couple meetings, for both show security detail, and the Friday Hospitality Suite. If you do not remember what you signed up to bring, or if you want to bring a food dish and would like to know what is needed, please be at this meeting, it is important! This is the meeting where we will fine-tune all our plans.

    If for some reason you cannot make it to this meeting, or if you are just some weirdo reading this online, and are looking for someone to talk to at 2 am, give Chuck a call at 269-329-0853 or my cell phone is 269-806-2355.

    I'm going to try and close my shop early on Friday so that I can pack my car for the show during the day. I am going to try and be at the Hospitality Suite early.

    Every winter I look forward to spring, and the Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Show! After a hard winter, such as we just experienced, how can we find a way to describe the value of spring?

    What a monumental winter we just went through! What I have always loved about spring is seeing that "first" Robin and hearing all the birds sing. This year, after the snow melted, I tossed open my door only to find someone outside smoking a cigarette! And, how about those sounds of spring? Well, what I heard was someone's thundering earth-shaking car- stereo. All these are reminders why I don't carry a gun!

   Spring is God's message of "Hope and Change" not to be confused with cheap imitations.

   This Month

    As I mentioned several times already, we are going to fine- tune the show details at this meeting. If you are like  me, you may want to take notes for yourself.

Then, you will never guess? We are going to Bimbo's for PIZZA!

Generally, we do that one month after the show as a reward to ourselves for another great bottle show. But this year we are going to have desert first! Sort of a pre-payment! Also, at the May Meeting, following the show, we will have a apecial speaker! So, this meeting will be at the usual location at 7:00 then around 8:00 or so we will re-convene at Bimbo's Pizza!

Last Meeting!

What a great time we had at the last meeting! And we also had a great turnout! Here are the members who signed in:

Chuck Parker, Vincent Grossi, Ed Nickerson, Scott Hendrichsen, John Winkler, Ron Smith, Bill Drake, Mary Hamilton, Kevin Seigfried, Ethan May, Katie Osborn, Kelsey Ennis, Kelly Bobbitt, Tim Hayes and Al Holden!!

We saw some great bottles at the meeting as usual! I will start with Ethan May, who had a nice Scott's Emulsion bottle. I love these! The embossing shows a fisherman wearing the traditional fisherman's slicker and hat with a large codfish slung over his shoulder.

The way those old New England fisherman's coats and hats repelled water was, they would rub them down in fish fat and fish oil! My grandfather, Max Loebel, was a big time fisherman and he had a sign in his workshop that said, "Old Fishermen Never Die, They Just Smell That Way!"
 I bet they did!

Ethan also found a beautiful "Warner's Safe Cure" in a nice, rich, amber-color. Ethan was helping out a local hog farmer when he noticed the neck of the bottle poking out of the creek bank! Sounds to me like a good place to do more digging!

Our meeting theme last month was "Poison Bottles" and that was exactly what Vince showed us first! He has a nice, small, amber rectangular poison with the warning bumps down each corner. Vince also has a neat slug-plate soda with a monogram logo, "WM. H. Earl, Newton N.J." It is a blob-top beer in aqua, one I would guess is from the late 1870's early 80's.Very nice bottle Vince!

Amazing enough, Vince also found a porcelain stopper from the same company, at another time. This porcelain plug would have been from a wire bail-closure from a newer turn-of-the-century bottle, but what a neat addition to his collection!

Vince also loves Victorian-Era Trade Cards, as much as I do! He has a very nice "Moore Co. Boots & Shoes, Newton N.J." trade card. The advertising side reads:

"I.C. Moore Co. Boots, Shoes, Rubbers, Leather, Shoe Findings, Notions, Etc. 10 Spring Street Newton N.J."

Scott Hendrichsen dug another in a long list of keepers!

Professor E.H. Crane, Kalamazoo MI

It is a large embalming fluid bottle! The very thought leaves me feeling drained! The interesting part is that the word "POISON" is in small letters around the neck of the bottle.

Scott also had a small cobalt blue triangular shaped poison bottle and the ever popular Vapo Cresolene Co. Bottle.

Cresolene is a dark liquid with a pungent smell made from coal tar used in the 19th and early 20th century as a disinfectant and to treat various ailments such as colds and measles.

There was also a special 'Vapo-Cresolene Lamp' used to heat the substance so that the fumes could be inhaled. Scott told us the bottle still had a small amount of cresolene in it, and when he went to clean the bottle it stank to the high heavens!

I can remember a couple times when Kevin brought in a Cresolene Lamp! Cool stuff!

Scott also had a nice one- pint historic flask, in a light blue aqua. It is the post-Civil War Clasp Hands Union Flask with the shield design and the American Eagle! What a sparkling beauty!

Kelsey brought in a very old coin she found, I call it a coin. . . . but I am not sure. It is the size of a U.S. Large Cent and it is very corroded. On one side there is a three quarter circle with the letter 'I' in the center and smaller O's on each side of that letter. It also says around that "HONOR AND DUTY" My thinking was it is a Lodge coin like one each of the Mason's carried. I should see if I can clean it up for her enough to ID it.

Chuck also had one of the 'EXCELSIOR PRESERVATIVE' Professor E.H. Crane, Kalamazoo MI embalming fluid bottle! Chuck's bottle is as sparkling clean as the day it was made!

Chuck also has in his vast collection of labeled bottles (with contents) a Eli Lilly, Diamond Antiseptics, Mercury Bichloride bottle. The back panel
"Antiseptics Bernays" "A quickly soluble tablet whose antiseptic value is unimpaired by contact with albuminous liquids as blood, pus, etc."

My stepfather worked at the Michigan Cottage Cheese Company back in the 50's and 60's, back when my grandfather owned the business.

One day when he was at the cheese plant, someone came running in, screaming for help. It so happened the guy who lived in the house, right behind the factory, had tried to take his own life by shooting himself in the stomach . . . with a shotgun! He lived another week in agonizing pain before succumbing to his injury.

I was told that he made a real mess of the place, with blood and human tissue all over the floor and wall.

My stepfather walked over to visit the man's mother the next day, and he found her using a bucket of soapy water and a scrub brush to clean up the blood splatter.

She looked up from her toils and said to him in an angry voice, "My husband did this same damn thing!"

So, here is what I am thinking; this Diamond Antiseptic was intended for this sort of clean-up.

Kevin Seigfried, brought in a 1935 copy of the American Medical Association magazine "Hygeia," which features a article about the Lydia Pinkham's Pure Vegetable Compound. In the article they compare the labels from the product, both 'before' and 'after' the 1907 Pure Food and Drug Act. I must say, it was pretty amazing! Before the new government restrictions, the claims were amazing! The product would fix everything, from your tooth cavities, and remove the rattle in your hub caps! For the most part, the magazine article talks about a piece written by Samuel Hopkins Adams back in 1906 titled "The Great American Fraud"

Somewhere, in our newsletter archives, I have a photo of the cover art for that historic piece done in Colliers Magazine. It shows a man wearing a Sherlock Holmes style detective hat with his signature Holmes' Calabash pipe. He is shining a flashlight-beam down towards the floor in a dark room. His beam of light spotlights several cockroaches with human faces. On each one is written the names of many believed-to-be outlaw patent medicine companies.

What is interesting about that cover art is, out of ten of the cockroaches pictured, over half are from New York and Chicago and the other half are from Kalamazoo MI!

One doctor made the statistical claim that "more alcohol is consumed in this country in patent medicines than is dispensed in a legal way by licensed liquor vendors."

Others products had morphine, opium, cocaine, heroin, cannabis, or even actanilide, a precursor of acetaminophen. All contained strange combinations of natural ingredients that managed to impart a distinctive smell and taste to each brand of potion.

Dr. Pierce's Favorite Prescription, for example, contained lady's slipper root, black cohosh root, unicorn root, blue cohosh root, oregon grape root, and viburnum.

I thought for a moment as I wrote this, "Maybe I can find a photo of a higher quality, then the one I have, of that cover, if I simply search online."

So, I Googled in the title "Great America Fraud" and then, I did a image search. Guess what came up? No kidding, pictures of America's first black President! Hey, I am just reporting! One political cartoon showed a young George Washington beside a fallen cherry tree with the caption "I cannot tell a lie." The other panel . . . . well you figure it out.

Tim Hayes showed up a little late, but we were happy to see him! Tim had a beautiful amber strap side flask with a double ring collar. Also, a very cool pair of teal-green swirl-pattern whiskey glasses, a small "Ear of Corn" whiskey nip with a ground-top and metal screw-cap.

My favorite of Tim's bottles was a pontiled sheared- lip, 1-pint, aqua, whiskey flask with striations which looked like wisps of smoke! It gets even better! It is crude as can be! It has air bubbles and pot stones, and it leans to one side! It has the look of EARLY 1800's American glass like you will rarely see! I love it!

Tim also displayed a neat pumpkin-seed flask with a hay-mow pattern on the top half and it is embossed "The Dandy."

Another bottle that Tim has is a small amber "W.H. Comstock, Morses Indian Root Pills!"

At the February meeting I mentioned that I would display an antique light bulb that our dear friend Ernie Lawson entrusted to my care. Just before the meeting, I got the old bulb and voltage transformer out, thinking I had everything needed to show the old Edison Bulb glowing. But, I did not have a lamp to screw it in to, so I found the perfect desk lamp on sale at Lowes, it looks the same era as the 1905 bulb!

The way this all started was, the photo that I printed on the envelope of the February Newsletter was a picture taken at the first Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club Show. In that picture, It showed Ernie Lawson, Duane Nickerson, and Mark McNee looking at an antique light bulb.

I called Ernie after our last meeting and told him about the fun we had with the old bulb. As it turns out, I didn't have the story 100% correct. It was Duane Nickerson who dug a whole case of old light bulbs when they were digging an early Kalamazoo City Dump.

I loved to listen to Jack and Ernie talk about the old dump digging days! I understand that when these old Edison light bulbs were first discovered, they decided to divie them up. It was soon discovered that if the bulbs were lit in a upright position, the element was too large to support its own weight . . . in a flash they were gone! Thankfully the guys figured that out before they were all destroyed!

In other words the bulbs are made to be used hanging down from the lamp's electrical socket.

I have no idea how many of these beauties survived, but I am glad this one did! Ernie had the bulb safely nestled in an old camera lens case, no doubt one of Jack's old lens cases, and packed in tissue paper. I made a soft foam-liner for the case, because the tissue was starting to compress too much.

I wanted to be a little more informed about the old bulb, so I did a little research on-line and it was amazing what one can learn! Based on the way they looped the filament, the bulb can be identified as one manufactured by Edison and the year has to be 1905!

One of our metal detector club members was at the meeting, Ron Smith. Ron stopped over to my shop to show me some more modern light bulbs he has, where the element in one is shaped like a Christmas Tree, and another like a Peace Sign!

This old Edison bulb has a deep, rich, soft glow that is very pleasant and relaxing to look at. I think of it as an 18- Karat Glow. Being in my business, I see a lot of gold rings, and when I see a 18-K gold ring, I can tell it is not 10-K or 14-K at a glance! It is all in that deep, rich, glow!

Before we got started Mark McNee stopped by to donate a beautiful, green, one- fifth antique whiskey bottle for a drawing prize. Thank you Mark!

Remember the theme this month is show details and Bimbo's Pizza!

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 months meeting is Tuesday, April 8th. Meeting starts

at 7:00 pm.

For questions

e-mail prostock@net-link.net

Or call 269-685-1776