Vol. 13 No. 8                                                                                                                                                March 2016
Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club News
Member Club F.O.H.B.C.

Written By Allan C. Holden

March 1st Meeting!
Show Planning Marches on!

March 1st Meeting!

The dreary winter is already winding to a close . . . thank goodness! Tens of thousands of early glass bottles have been safely kept within the shelter of long forgotten privies all across the land! Soon, it will be time to re-bead that probe- tip, load up those digger's tarps, shovels, and burn off some of that winter fat!

Just before the last meeting, I received a phone call from a fellow who lives near Jackson MI. He shared with me an interesting story. He lives near a small forest which provided him with a very nice place to walk his dog and to simply feel one-with- nature.

One day loggers moved in and removed many of the very finest trees which broke his heart. As time went on, the forest started to recover slowly-but-surely. Then, just as the old wound started to heal, once again, here come the loggers! Frustrated by the entire thing, the man went out and purchased the forest!

Along with the forest, that he was so familiar with, there was a not-so-pleasant surprise, a 30 acre area that is an old bottle dump! Deep piles and piles of old bottles!

As I recall, two Africa-American brothers raised hogs on the land, and they also hauled junk for a living. For whatever reason, they were hoarding all these piles of old glass bottles on the property.

Very likely they had some long term plan to turn them into piles of money and themselves rich! Do you know who these crazy fellows sound like to me? Yep, bottle collectors!

Sort of reminds me of that old tire mountain that was along U.S. 131, by the Wayland exit. Do you remember that? The locals were pretty sure the guy was trying his hand at mosquito farming. Do you think we will ever reach a point where there will be a market for farm raised mosquitos?

I like the idea of re-purposing items. I figured those old tires would have made a nice Gun Lake Casino! The ideal place for re-tired folks who fancy themselves to be high-rollers. I suspect my idea would never get any traction with today's inflation.

The problem with this old Jackson area bottle dump is; the nice fellow, named "Al," who owns the property, wants them gone . . . all gone. They are free, but you can't just show up and just pick out what you want! As of this writing I have no idea how old these bottles are, but if there is one thing I have learned, dairy bottles need not be antique to be valuable!

UPDATE: I just called Al, and it sounds like you don't have to remove all the bottles. He said he doesn't have a problem with people cherry picking, but before too long, all the old bottles are going into a very deep pit! The way he explained things to me is, the bottle dump was easy picking back before the loggers removed the big trees. Now, with that the forest canopy is gone, the buck-brush has taken over so you may have to work for them! He thinks they are machine made and were dumped in the 30's, 40's, and 50's.

Here is Al's contact information: Al McGilvra,

McGilvra Engineering




Well boys and girls this is the last meeting we will have before the bottle show and we are really counting on everyone to step to up to the paper plate.

The very first order of business for our club members is the buffet of food and beverages that we put on for the dealers. This will take place on the Friday before the show (Friday, April 8th) and we need you to be there with your items no later than 6:30 pm! The Hospitality Suite opens to the dealers from 7:00 to 10:30 so we need time to prepare for this event.

The Hospitality Suite buffet will be at the Clarion located at 3640 East Cork Street, Kalamazoo, MI. For those who use G.P.S. or Google Earth for directions, the zip is 49001. We are meeting in the Professional Conference Center. Their phone number is: 269-381-1900.

Also, if you are a dealer, we do have a group rate of only $69.00 for a king bed or $75.99 for 2 Queen Beds. You must make your reservation before Friday, April 1st, and you must let them know that you are with the Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club.

John tells us the Clarion is a AAA Three Diamond, full service hotel. They have clean comfortable rooms as well as a heated indoor pool, sauna, whirlpool, fitness center and high speed Internet access.

The big bottle show all takes place on Saturday, April 9th, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, but we need club members at their posts at 7:15 and no later than 7:30. The dealer set up starts at 8:00. The dealer table contract states that "Absolutely No Entry into the Auditorium, or prior set-up, will be allowed before 8:00." No one, other than dealers or people who have paid for an "Early Bird" admission of $30.00, will be allowed inside before the show opening at 10:00 am.

The Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Show is from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday, April 9th at the Kalamazoo County Fairgrounds / Expo Center, 2900 Lake Street, Kalamazoo MI 49048. Exit 80, Interstate 94 (I-94)

PLEASE NOTE! We ask all dealers to remain set up until 3:00 pm, This is strictly enforced! Violators will not receive a contract or be invited back!

Name Tags must be worn in a visible location in order to gain entry at 8:00 am.Please note: you must furnish your own table covers.

Table covers are no longer provided by the fairgrounds. You must have a table cover!

Exhibits will be limited to: Antique Bottles, Jars, Flasks, and related glass. Also stoneware, advertising and small table-top antiques are permitted. PLEASE no flea-market items, Avon Bottles, new merchandise, Jim Beam bottles, beer cans, etc.

Any irradiated bottles or jars must be clearly marked. The whole purpose of this show is for antique bottles and related glass, so pretend you don't see the guy with the metal detectors!


Speaking of metal detectors, our raffle prize is a new metal detector package again this year!

The top prize in the club raffle is a:

A beautiful 2016 Fisher F2 Visual & Audio Target ID Metal Detector! It is a Versatile Multipurpose High Performance Metal Detector!


* 8-Segment visual target identification and 4-tone audio I.D.

* Fast, sensitive target response

* 2-digit numeric target value

* One-touch pinpoint with numeric depth readout

* Coin depth indicator in motion search mode

* 8" concentric search coil

* Light weight - only 2.6 lbs including batteries

* Ergonomic S-Handle design

* Notch system for accepting or rejecting target categories

* Includes two 9 volt alkaline batteries

* Operating frequency: 5.9 kHz

This would make a great detector for coin hunting, relic hunting, beach hunting and even for shallow water hunting! You don't need to be hesitant to offer tickets for this wonderful detector. It is as a good, professional, high quality, high- powered detector.


I am sure this will be a total shock to many of you, but we didn't discuss a theme bottle for the March meeting. So, Vince Grossi and I put our heads together and decided to go with "Ink Bottles." I do not believe we have ever featured ink bottles before? It should be fun!

As they say at the dragstrip "Run what ya brung!"

Turtle Inks, Igloo Inks, Teapot Inks, Umbrella Inks, Labeled Inks, Master Inks, Common Inks, Colored Inks, Inkwells, Painted Inks, Clay Inks, French Inks, Pottery Inks, Porcelain Inks, Pen Rest Inks, Travelers Inks . . . did you know there are so many varieties? I'm just getting started!

The first valuable bottle that I ever dug came from the only privy ever located at an 1830's farmhouse we owned. I dug several inks from that pit and really knew nothing about them. Being lazy, I carried them together, along with my shovel and probe, into my shop. I remember fumbling a couple of them as I opened the door with one landing on the floor . . . but not breaking.

The very next day, my friends Ernie Lawson and Jack Short stopped by and I showed them what I had found. I remember them both examining the dark olive-green open-pontil sheared-lip umbrella ink saying "Wow! I think you may have something here!"

After researching, I have convinced myself the family that built the house in the 1830's, had brought the little ink bottle with them when they moved to Plainwell from New York State. I never, ever see early open-pontil inks in this dark olive color with the flamed, sheared-lip. I watch the bottle auctions all the time. I have only seen one that even came close, but it had a slight rolled lip.

My bottle is very heavy (for its size) and has very noticeable shelf wear. I guess my question would be, could this bottle date into the 1780's & 90's? Maybe someone will see it who can shed some light unto that question! To think, it could have seen regular use when George Washington was President! That would be cool!

Show Helpers

At the last two meetings Kevin has been in charge of putting together job assignments and food details. Our friend John Winkler stopped by my store to visit. John is the club treasurer for the Southwest Michigan Seek & Search Club. This is the treasure hunting club which meets in Plainwell. That club has always held a special planning meeting on the first Tuesday of each month. While I do not serve as an elected board member, I was attending the meetings at the request of the President as an advisor. Well, since the library fouled up the bottle club meeting night, I haven't been able to attend the board meeting, and John hasn't been able to attend the bottle club's meeting.

John tells me that he wants to help with show security and with bringing items for the hospitality suite, so Kevin, please put John down! Also, he wants to bring what he brought last year (but he forgot what that was?) It seemed to me like it was steamed King Crab Legs and drawn butter?

Concerning this issue of security, I started writing this letter before the awful Kalamazoo Shootings took place. While I don't think we should be in a panic mode, we certainly should be alert at all times. The mind-set of "It could never happen to us" will no longer cut it! So let's all of us, as a team, be ever vigilant .

Last Month

We had a sterling group of highly dignified collectors at the meeting. My list includes the following: Ron Smith, Great Grandpa Chuck Parker, Mary Hamilton, Scott Hendrichsen, Vincent Grossi, Kelsey Ennis, Katie Osborn, Kevin Seigfried, Ed Nickerson, Bill Drake and Al Holden.

We also had a special guest visit us for the meeting, Mark VanBeck! It was neat to see that name come up again at a bottle club meeting! Off and on for many years we have had a VanBeck or two in our club and Mark got us reminiscing about some great old times!

Somewhere I have a bottle (or two) I purchased from Bill VanBeck and a Nazi ashtray he picked up in a German trade deal. I also remember the collection of A.C.L. soda bottles that Bill dug from an old dump site in Hawaii! Bill lost in his battle with cancer, but our memories of him are precious!

Bottles on Parade!

We saw more bottles at the February meeting than Carter has pills! Dr. Charles Parker sure knows how to stir the club pot when he starts talking Medicines! Well, step right up folks! We have a sure-fire cure for what ails you!

But before I get started; what stole-the-show, in my humble opinion, was Kelsey Ennis' new engagement ring! Congratulations Kelsey! Some young fellow is very blessed, and that ring is a classic beauty! Oh, how quickly our little diggers grow up!

Vince Grossi brought in some beautiful medicines with labels in the original boxes! One that I found interesting is a:


Use as an aid in the treatment of disorders of the human scalp such as dandruff scales, loss of hair, eczema, itching, sores and parasites.

127 & 129 24th Street

New York

Price 65 Cents


The great German Remedy

For Throat & Lung Diseases

Price 25 Cents



Contains 7% Alcohol

Contains No Opiates or other harmful drugs and my be safely used by both old and young.



Price 30 Cents

Ron Smith had some neat items. One was an antique medicine bottle with paper label:


                                                                  ROOT & HERB COMPOUND

A scientific compound for diseases of the stomach, liver and Kidneys

Hal A. Curtis

Chicago Ill.

Another interesting bottle Ron has is a machine made bottle with the image of Pinocchio embossed on the bottom. We all agreed that it was very likely a juice drink bottle. We all remember Pinocchio was that little wooden puppet who had a nose that would grow ever- longer when he told a lie. Remember how bad the economy got during President Jimmy Carter's presidential term? Remember where someone created the "Misery Index."

President Obama's opponents gauge his speeches using the 'liars gauge' known as the Pinocchio Index! When he fudges the truth a little, he may get "1-Pinocchio" When he really tells a whopper, he is awarded "4 Pinocchio's." If he could hang them all on the wall the Whitehouse would have new wallpaper!

So, I did an Internet search on Ron's bottle by searching "Pinocchio Bottle" and I learned there is a wooden wine bottle made in Europe for aging wine! And get this; It is called a "Pinocchio Barrique." I'm not lying!"

Ron also had one of my favorite little medicine bottles:



A cure for inflammatory diseases.

These little bottles are not rare, because I believe, it was a popular product. Also, they are survivors! I found a very early 1800's farm dump on a Kalamazoo River bank. Many of the broken bottle chards were identifiable as mid-1800's bottles, but the dump was loaded with field stones! I thought, "Once I get under the stone pile, I might find some survivors." I did! ONE! It was a little A.Trask's Magnetic Compound!

Dr. A. Trask, as the story is told in early advertising, searched his entire life for that special magical cure-all, and at age 70 he finally discovered it! He mixed up a blend of vegetable extracts with a magnetic, electric ointment! How could you continue in your suffering when a proven product like Trask's Ointment is around? In his newspaper advertising it reads,

" No patient ever need die of disease where the magnetic ointment can be obtained, it never fails." (Pinocchio Overload) Ron also displayed a robin's egg blue, pontiled, flower vase.

Mr. Eddie Nickerson brought in a classic, honey amber;

Warner's Safe Kidney & Liver Cure, Rochester, NY

Also, Ed showed a beautiful, yet simple, aqua pepper sauce bottle with a tooled top. I purchased the Warner's bottle and I should have made an offer on the pepper sauce!

Kevin Seigfried always has some neat items! One was a:

Warner's Safe Dictionary!

"Comprising of over five thousand words and definitions and pronunciations carefully selected from the best authorities and embracing all the more difficult words in general use."

Also Kevin had some cool paper label Kalamazoo prescription bottles. They are:


Corner of Michigan & Edwards.


"Just what the doctor ordered."

Westnedge Ave.,

Upjohn Salicin Waffers,

Johnson Drug Store

owner, Alva L. Summerlott

Burdick & Dalton Street

Another interesting item was a bottle-top oil spout lid embossed


Kalamazoo, Michigan

Chuck Parker brought in one of my favorite bottles from his collection, a beautiful and colorful:


I'm finishing up the newsletter during the winter storm of Wednesday, February 24th and I am sick as a dog! This is the very stuff I need right now! I am telling you all about my suffering to serve as a warning, do not handle this envelope or newsletter it is crawling with germs!

Scott Henderichsen wowed us all with an overwhelming assortment of beautiful antique bottles that he has dug! I pictured them as a group, but one of my favorites is:


A reliable remedy discovered by Dr. L.E. Keeley.

Scott has also been metal detecting with his Garrett A.T.Pro and finding some awesome treasures! I especially love a Victorian era pin knife with the name "Ada." He displayed an amazing amount of old coins and relics!


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, March 1st.

Meeting starts 7:00 pm.

For questions:

e-mail: prostock@net-link.net

PHONE 269-685-1776