Vol. 9 No. 3                                                                                                                            February 2011
Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club News
Member Club F.O.H.B.C.


April 9th Fast Approaching!

    One of the loves of my life is my granddaughter Madison, she is so much fun and you never know what cute thing she is going to say next. Madison is a special needs child because of premature birth and she is a year or two behind other children in her age group. She was only 1 pound 7 ounces at birth and so tiny! Even then, you could see that she would have beautiful red hair! The other day grandma had just shampooed and dried her hair. She came out to set by me and the light hit her hair and it was like looking at a shiny- new penny!

    When she was little we would try to get her excited about her Birthday on October 18th. A couple weeks before the big event my wife would say to her, "Somebody's got a birthday coming right up!"

    Of course that left her puzzled, so when we explained it to her, this great big smile would make her beam with joy! We see her every Wednesday and she stays with us every other weekend. When we picked her up the next time she said, "Grandpa, someone has a birthday coming right up!"

    Maybe there is nothing more boring than reading about someone else's grandchild. Well, I was just on the phone talking with John Pastor and I couldn't help but think, "Somebody has an Antique Bottle Show coming right up!" And that somebody is you!

    John is planning on being at the next club meeting if possible. As I am writing this, Monday the 31st., the weather man is predicting 10 inches of snow on the way. By the time I am finally finishing up this newsletter, we may be buried in snow! But, if you can make it to this next meeting, we need you! We are going to need all hands on deck for planning and staffing this coming bottle show! As it looks right now, if we have everyone step to the plate we will still be a few workers short!

    I told John that I will donate another Fisher F2 Metal Detector again this year for our raffle. I am hoping to set up at the show this year as well. I'm saying that as I seem to be on a peak health wise. There are peaks and valleys! Feeling good is like a roller coaster ride for me! It has been over a year since I finished cancer treatment and I am starting to finally feel a little more like my old self. One of my doctors said that it would take about one year to recover from the cure and he was right!

    If everything goes according to plan, we should have fliers and raffle tickets at this meeting. Remember the Kalamazoo Show is April 9th., 2011 at the Kalamazoo County Fairgrounds, 2900 Lake Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49048. If you need information call John Pastor at 616-581-7005 or Mark McNee at 269-343-8393. John's mailing address is John Pastor, PO Box 227, New Hudson, MI 48165. Johns e-mail is: jpastor@americanglassgallery.com

You can find a link to an online show announcement at the club web site.


    I don't spend as much time working on the club web site as I should, but I hope you check it out from time to time. The online newsletter usually has a little more content then the hard copy. Usually I will add a few pictures. Chuck asked me once why I didn't make our web address with the word "Antique" in it. The reason is that I have learned that if you keep web-addresses and e-mail addresses as short and sweet as possible. it is better for everyone including the search engine web-crawlers.

Last Month!

    We had a great meeting last month, I hope you were there! The following people were present: Mary Hamilton, Scott Hendrichsen, Chuck Parker, Bill Drake, Tim Hayes, Wayne Marvin, Ed Nickerson, Dee Cole and me, Al Holden.

    Will someone remind me to take more pictures at the next meeting? Will someone remind me to bring my camera to the next meeting? Will someone recruit a new member who can take down a few notes for me at the meeting?

    By the time I set down to do the newsletter I have forgotten many things about the last meeting. I do remember that last month I received no word on a meeting theme. I grabbed a bottle from my collection that I really like. It is a 'Back Bar Bottle' that I got from Jack Short as a present. He was driving a nice Honda Accord for a long time, and it was turning into a high mileage car. It was still in beautiful condition and he wanted to keep driving it. The problem was it started to run terrible! He couldn't get it to idle correctly, and it would surge at highway speeds.

    Jack was told by the dealer that he needed a new carburetor and it would cost over $600.00 (actually more as I recall.) It may have been a lot more, I remember it was a stunning amount! Over the years I had rebuilt several carbs and with a over-the-counter kit and it was fairly easy. The product is called "Jiffy Kit" and it includes all of the gaskets and small parts that you will need to replace. Having built and raced several cars over the years rebuilding a carb was a walk in the park . . . or so I thought! I told Jack to leave the car with me and I would fix it.

    I ordered a Jiffy Kit for the car, and as soon as I could, I pulled the car into my shop. When I pulled off the air cleaner, I got my first look at the carb . . . it was overwhelming! It looked like I was staring into a large bowl of spaghetti! There were hoses running everywhere! At that point I should have called Jack and told him that I was 'in-way over-my-head!' But, that evil sin of pride pushed me further into the project.

    To be on the safe side I took a few pictures of the carb before I started removing hoses. It was such a tangled mess I had to take about 4 different pictures! Also, I purchased some small adhesive labels to number the parts so that they could be matched up again! I remember looking at the engine when I was holding the carb in my hands and thinking, "What have I done?" It was the same feeling I had after shooting my first deer! I am a bit of an animal lover, and there I was, looking at my own handiwork, a lifeless deer, and there was no way to undo that!

    Things got even worse after I got the carb apart! Not only was it 1000 times more complicated then any carbs that I remembered rebuilding, the kit they sold me was designed to work on a half dozen different models, so I was bound to have parts left over! Well, either the Lord was looking out for me, or Jack, or both!

    I got into the car, when everything was back in place, and turned the key . . . it started right-up and idled so smooth that you could barely tell it was running! I checked for vacuum or fluid leaks and everything was fine! I took it for a test run and it worked like a brand new car!

    When Jack picked up the car I showed him the receipt for the Jiffy Kit and that was about $45.00 . . . that was all I would take! The feeling of accomplishment was reward enough! What did I learn? Did I learn how to rebuild a very complicated low pollution carburetor? No, I learned to never do it again! I had learned why the auto shops that he talked to said that replacing the carb was the only option! Needless to say, Jack was so happy! He told me that he was using less gas and the car ran better then ever!

    The Logan Club Rye bottle was a Christmas present! That beautiful back-bar bottle was a gift from my old pal Jack! He told me that it was from an old Chicago bar. It is pressed glass and it has gold- leaf lettering that says "Logan Club Rye." It has a ground-glass stopper which is not a perfect match, it looks great on the bottle!

    I also brought along a bottle that I had on display at home beside that back-bar bottle, but I grabbed it in haste. I didn't have the one that I thought I had. It looks like an old free-blown black glass onion-style bottle but it wasn't. I didn't realize what it was until Tim Hayes started commenting on it. I had purchased some bottles from a guy who had salvaged them while diving, along with his diving buddies. They had a couple hundred bottles that they had recovered from a couple of 1800's Dutch shipwrecks off the southern coast of Africa.

    He e-mailed me several pictures of beautiful bottles and he was hoping to sell them all together. I only bought a few, and all this took place back in 1999. I do have a free-blown onion style open pontiled bottle and some early embossed case-gins that I will try and bring to the next meeting. One of the Gin bottles is embossed "COSMOPOLIET, J.J. MELCHERS wz, SCHIEDAM" The embossing is around an image of a Dutchman in hat, jacket, walking stick, shoulder pouch and gin bottle in extended drinking position.

    Scott had brought in a bottle that he had cleaned for Dee. It is really a sweet bottle! An antique bottle doesn't have to be worth thousands of dollars to be beautiful! The neat thing is that Dee dug it herself! It is a hobnail cobalt blue pint-sized bottle. I'll try to put a picture of it in the online newsletter.

    In the last newsletter I mentioned a web site that I like called, "I Antique Online. Com." They have a forum called "What did you find?" and there you can post items that you would like to learn more about. It is really cool because all these antique experts are standing by ready to help! I'm even one of those experts! Come to think of it maybe these people are not all that smart after all!

    When I purchased that copper lamp thingy, from Eddie, I also purchased a beautiful painting. Ed had taken it to the Kalamazoo Art Institute and the people who were there oohed and awed over it. They told Ed that in order to tell him much about the painting it would have to be removed from the frame and the artist signature examined. I looked at the painting and Eddie told me that normally he would sell a painting like it for $100.00 but he was hoping to learn more. With my camera I took a picture of the artist's signature then put it on my computer and enlarged it. But, it was just too hard to make it out. I told Eddie that if he couldn't find anyone to pay more than $100.00 for it, I would buy it.

    Well, after a couple weeks past he came back and I paid him for it. I sat it in a back corner, and life went on. One day when business was slow, I took the back off the picture, and removed it from the glass. Anyone of you would have said that the glass was really old! It just had that crude look and feel of glass from the late 1800's. And after the painting was removed from the glass the colors just popped!

    I took a few pictures and posted them on that web site. Before that I had a pretty good idea the first name was Andrew and it was the last name that had me stumped. I had got myself bogged- down in a mind-set thinking the last name started with the letter "A." Everyone on I-Antique- Online liked the painting, which is an elk standing in a forest with mountains in the background. However, I wasn't learning much until one person said that the last name looked like "Gunderson."

    There are some 'artist signature web sites' that can be helpful, but you need to have some clue! But now I have a new name to research, 'Andrew Gunderson.' Bingo! This beautiful painting is a pastel and that is what Andrew Gunderson was, a pastel artist! Once I found the artist it was easy to find examples of his work online. In fact, his work shows up on e-bay from time to time.

    On one web-site there is a nice article written by Gunderson's granddaughter. According to her he only used his first inital and often only his last name but he never did any work that he didn't sign. Here is what I learned:

    "He was born June 16, 1888, In Wallingford, Iowa, and died September 4, 1964, in Monee, Illinois, where he had lived for most of his adult life. He married Ada Waldo (born December 5, 1891, in Lamar, Colorado; died March 20, 1965, in Monee, Illinois) on October 12, 1910. His father and mother were both of Norwegian descent.

    He had minimal formal schooling, and was completely self-taught in art. He was a professional artist in Chicago at age 15, and had his own studio at age 18. He also had an art store in Chicago (the A. Gunderson Art Company). In 1915, he moved to Monee, Illinois, a small farming town south of Chicago, where he set up a studio in his home. He retired in the late 1950s, although he never stopped completely. He intentionally priced his pictures low because he thought everyone needed beauty in their lives.

    Andy did not find either the colors or the texture of commercial pastels to be adequate, so he made his own. He mixed the colors himself, and created the pastels, which are softer than commercial pastels; the formula is only known to members of his immediate family. He also coated thin paperboard with a paste and grit mixture to produce the right texture.

    Most of Andrew's pictures are landscapes, some seascapes and still life. These pictures are not of places that actually exist, but were drawn from his imagination. There is almost always water in these pictures, and trees (often white birch), and quite often a dirt road. There is also a feeling of serenity in his work, which is hard to describe.

    Many older pictures are signed "A GUNDERSON"; later pictures are signed "GUNDERSON", although sometimes it looks like "Gundarson". There are no unsigned pastels by Andy, since he always signed the picture when it was finished. I can remember drawing pictures on his back porch when I was very young; Andy would not look at it until it was signed. If it wasn't signed, it either wasn't finished, or it wasn't art."

         So what is it worth? I think I will hang onto it! I think that it is a very early Gunderson work and by far his most beautiful! All of his paintings are really neat and so soothing to look at. He did many winter scenes with log cabin, moonlight, campfires and outdoor scenes that take you right into the moment!

         This one has notes on the back of the mounting board that I think were proudly placed there by a young artist. One says, "King of the forest" also, "Summer in Colorado." I think if someone collected Gunderson paintings they would pay richly for this one. If I sell it, I'll give Eddie a finder's fee! I'll post some pictures in the online newsletter.

This was an item that Scott had at the meeting. I took the picture to see what I could learn about it. So far I know that they will not let you sell this on e-Bay and the eagle is the one for the German police.

Next Month

    As I mentioned, we are going to focus on getting things in order for the show. We will no doubt will have sign-up sheets for the hospitality suite-snacks and other things like security jobs at the show. We really need everyone to show-up for this meeting please!

    Our meeting theme is Patent Medicine! That covers about 80 % of my collection! I love everything about the old patent medicine business! The traveling medicine show was a very big deal back after the Civil War right up to the 1950's! I just wish I had more time to write about it. The Kickapoo Indian Sagwa was a product that was sold at traveling shows throughout the Kalamazoo area.

    Of course nobody can write about Patent medicine without bringing up the name, Kalamazoo! Did you ever try Creamed Celery or Celery on Toast? Get a Full two pound can of canned celery! The Kalamazoo Canned Celery! Full directions on each can! Delicious and healthful! Each can contains enough celery for a family of twelve persons! Or try the Kalamazoo Pickled Celery! A delicious crisp celery pickle, the only healthful pickle made! Sold in a beautiful package, prepared from our choicest celery! Ask your grocer for them!

    This was from an ad placed in a New York newspaper in 1893 for the Dunkley Celery Compound.

These are pictures that Jack Short gave me. I think they are from 2008

John Pastor, Chuck Parker,  Scott Hendrichsen

Kevin Seigrfried, Ed Nickerson


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