Vol. 12  Issue 6                                                                                                                                            June 2013
Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club News
Member Club of the F.O.H.B.C.         Newsletter by Allan C. Holden



Gulp! No horses were harmed making this newsletter!

Hi Gang!

              I hope your summer is off to a good start. I felt like I didn't do a good job of explaining in the last newsletter that we are taking our usual summertime break. There will be no meetings in June, July or August. We will have our next meeting on September 10th, which is the second Tuesday of the month.

Summer Picnic

                    We are planning a 2013 Summer Bottle Club Picnic. Unless we receive lots of negative feedback, we are shooting for a date of July 28th at 1:30. That would be on a sunny summer day in July. The picnic will be at the Oshtemo Township Park, as it was last year.

             Oshtemo Township Park is located behind the Township Hall at 7275 West Main Street. Just take M-43 (West Main) west, past U.S. 131, and continue west past 8th Street. Look for the Oshtemo Fire Dept. and Township Building complex on the south side of M-43.

           The park is behind this building. Watch for a green sign just past this building at the park entrance. I will try my best to get a reminder notice out to you.

           We are planning to do the picnic like we did it last summer. The hamburger, hot dogs, buns, relish, drinks and table service will all be furnished. But, we want you to be thinking about what you can bring. We are looking for club members to bring a salad, (baked beans, potato- salad, cole slaw or veggies) as a dish to pass.

            We would like to know if you are planning on coming or we welcome any feedback. You can reach me by e-mail


or my cell phone is:


Chuck's home phone number is 269-329-0853

Bring your favorite dish-to-pass. Also bring your favorite spouse, significant- other or even grandma!

Web Site Lead

        On a few occasions I have received e-mail from someone who found the club web site by doing a search of some sort on Google. They may have a bottle like one that was mentioned in the club newsletters and they wish to know the value. On several occasions they are looking to buy a bottle that was mentioned in the newsletter.

        Recently I responded to a man who was simply looking for some input from some local collectors about some bottles he needed to sell. The man's brother had passed away and he was living just outside of the Kalamazoo area. He told me that his brother had several old bottles and he wanted to learn their value and perhaps sell them.

        I contacted Chuck because it looked like the location of this house was nearby. The surviving brother and his wife had been making trips all the way from Dallas, Texas, to deal with selling off the estate.

        The man had been single, 64 years old, and a big time railroad collector for many years. His collection pretty much filled a ranch house located on a peaceful country setting, right near a major railroad crossing . . . as planned!

        Chuck told me that he would have a look at the bottles and he called Kevin to go along for support. The guys had a very good time visiting and looking over the collection. Kevin picked up a few items, but the antique bottles were few. However, Chuck picked up a gift for me that is a real treasure. Out of that house full of stuff, Chuck found a cellophane 3-pack of match books from the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper!!!

       When he picked them out, the man, named Jim, asked Chuck, "Do you know anyone who collects Great Lakes Shipping stuff?"

        Of course Chuck knows I love that stuff! I got another e-mail from Jim as soon as he got back home in Texas. He invited me to come out to the house to look at the Maritime collectibles as soon as he returned to the Kalamazoo area.

        I packed Chuck into my little car and we made a trip back out to the house. Somewhere along the way we made a wrong turn. I don't think that was Chuck's fault. He was in a car that is about as small as they come, and the guy behind the wheel made him nervous! It was really very puzzling because we were looking for a 32nd Street and we could only find 31st Street and 33rd Street! We saw a guy working in his front yard so we stopped in and asked directions.

        Can you picture that? Two men who stop and ask a man for directions? Well, the old guy was quick to point and say, "You need to go back that way."

We said, "No, that is 31st Street."

"Well, then you need to go that way to the next street," as he pointed in the other direction.

We said, "No that is 33rd Street."

"Well, go that way anyhow, because, on the corner is the township hall and they will know."

Well they did get us there, and as we pulled in the driveway, Jim and his wife were sitting in the garage taking a break from all their labor.

Chuck had no more than introduced me before my eyes were fixed on this really sweet little red roadster sports car! All I could say was, "WOW!"

And without even thinking about it, Jim said, "Make me an offer."

I really had no idea where to go next so I scanned around the garage to take it all in. The first thing to catch my eye was a couple of metal emblems, which in the Coca- Cola style script read "Kalamazoo" and "Celery City."

I also spotted a tiny little Johnson 2-horse power Seahorse outboard motor. I had to refocus on the mission of looking at the Great Lakes Shipping collection.

I would have loved to have known this guy! Remember the Christmas- time movie, It's a Wonderful Life? George Bailey gets a chance to see what the world would have been like had he never been born. Well, I got a chance to see what my life would have been like had God not provided me with a wife!

In the living room Jim and his wife pointed out two large living room chairs that they found under all the stuff! It wasn't dirty like some of the the stuff that you see on the Hoarders TV shows, but it was lots of stuff! I settled on buying 6 boxes of Great Lakes Shipping books, the outboard motor, the Kalamazoo emblems and a radiator grill shell off from a '29 Nash.

We had no more than left for home and it started raining hard! I mean it was coming down in buckets! I could hardly see past the hood and we were still somewhat turned around after being lost before!

When I finally pulled into Chuck's driveway he said, "Good, you got me home!"

That little sports car was etched onto my brain. I finally called Jim and asked him once again about the little car. I wasn't even sure of the year. Once I knew the year and model, I started my research. It is a 1976 MG Midget. When Chuck and I looked it over originally, we noticed some rust on the rear quarter panel and a little on the front fenders.

I found out that it isn't a real high-dollar sports car because they are unibody- construction and "prone to rust." On one hand, that didn't sound too good, but then again, it sounded like, maybe I could afford this! So I went back to take a better look.

Jim told us the car had a broken rear spring, but there were two new ones in the trunk. Also, his brother had collected 3 boxes of extra parts and the upholstery was in amazing condition! I popped the trunk open to look at the extra springs and I found a trunk that looked like brand new!

I had my wife with me and we picked out a few of the better ship books. Then I made Jim an offer for the bundle, including the MG, which he accepted.

I called to tell Chuck and I promised him a ride. He said, "How am I going to ever get into that thing?"

I won't be able to pick the little car up until Jim and his wife return to Michigan in mid July. I didn't even look into the other building where there is a 1951 MG and a 1940's Nash. I hear the Nash is a driver. I must not look!


At our last meeting we had a big turnout! Of course I must also add that we had some great pizza! On my sign-in sheet we have listed: Kelly Bobbitt, Chuck Parker, Mary Hamilton, Dee Cole, Scott Hendrichsen, Joe McAllister, John Winkler, Kevin "Ziggy" Seigfried, Ed Nickerson, Tim Hayes, Vince Grossi and Al Holden.

The guys discussed the bottle show display winners with me and I am still not up to speed on them all.

I did get a chance to meet Joe McAllister who took third place with his display titled, "This Bottle Not To Be Sold!" If you didn't see that display it was really neat!

Bruce Heckman won two categories, 'Dealer's Choice' and 'Most Educational' for his display titled "Different Closures." That was a very impressive display!

And, as always, our very own Scott Hendrichsen won 'People's Choice' for his display titled "Blood Sweat and Tears." It was awesome! It could have fit right in as any museum history display!

How many of you have been following John Pastor's American Glass Gallery Auctions? If you haven't been watching them, you are missing a treat! Having messed around with E-Bay since 1998, I can tell you even on that small scale, where a good deal of it is handled for the seller, it is not easy money.

With the American Glass Gallery Auctions, the catalogs are a thing of beauty! It has to be a lot of work to put them together! Each catalog contains amazing photos of the bottles. I can't seem to be able to take good pictures of bottles so that leaves me in wonderment!

And another thing is the cost of printing those full color catalogs! Plus, there is maintaining a auction style web site with all the bidder login information and keeping track of all the bids, not to mention the call backs, billing, boxing and shipping! Then the work is only starting!

I have been trying to control my buying, and running out of money is helping with that! But at the last American Glass Gallery Auction, Auction #10, there was a beautiful barber bottle that I wanted really bad!

It is from about 1890 and it is a beauty! It is a Bay Rum Barber Bottle in a deep amethyst color with a Mary Gregory style white enameled decoration.

We just had one of the top Kalamazoo area historians of our time, Tom Dietz, speak to our treasure hunting club about the area's early Grist Mills and that is exactly the scene painted on this bottle. Tom has also spoke to the bottle club and we hope to invite him back again soon. Tom has been the Curator of Research at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum since 1992 and is such a pleasure to listen to.

Well folks, we are headed out on vacation at the end of this month, Lord willing. It will be really nice if you could spot me some gas money. Last year the gas was about $800.00 and the new timing gears were about the same amount. It has to go better this year. . . right?

This was a beautiful pressed glass perfume bottle that Kevin displayed!

This was a neat oil can funnel opener that Kevin displayed.

This is a Highrock Congress Spring Bottle that Scott Dug!!!

Here is a prize! Scott dug the Warner's Safe Nervine! First one I have held!

Dr. Crook's Wine of Tar! My wife and mother go to Dr. Crook! Not sure if it is the same one?

Tim Hayes had two of the Union Clasp Hands Flasks which are awesome!

So Folks! Remember: no meetings until September 10th.

Please keep Sunday, July 28 open for the club picnic. With a start time of 1:30, you should have time for your Sunday Church Service.


Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club Newsletter written by Allan C. Holden, Kalamazoo MI.