Vol. 13 No. 9                                                                                                                                   May 2014
Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club News
Member Club of the F.O.H.B.C.

Written by, Allan C. Holden

Special Speaker Mr. Gordy Hubenet,
Speaks on "Doctor Mixer" Bottles!

It Has Past!

    Happy Spring to you! The winter-of-all-winters is fading quickly in our rear view mirror! May the Good Lord give each of you a blessed and joyous summer! As I write this, my parents are driving their 40 foot + motor home (plus car in-tow) back from Florida. Every year I miss them! Without their company, it makes winter so much longer. But, this last winter I am so glad they were down in Fort Myers, Florida!

    Several years ago I gave my mother her first computer and some basic information on how to work it. Well, she has done pretty darn good! My Step-dad wasn't all that excited about wandering into the digital-age, but when Mom has a upside-down problem, Hod gets dragged into the middle of it . . . reluctantly!

    I have a notion Hod never dreamed he would spend so much time in his senior years in a 'Geek Squad' waiting room!

    Mom really jumped into the smart phone craze, and frankly she dragged me into the texting thing which is not my prefered way to communicate. So, I just got a text message that their motor home, the one with two baths and 4 TV's has no wipers!

    Well, I hope this well deserved summer has you out digging and turning up great historic treasures!

Gordy Hubenet

    Our special presentation this month will be by Mr. Gordy Hubenet, President of the Grand Rapids Bottle Club. Gordy is well versed in a number of antique bottle topics. The presentation will be about the Hastings, MI Doctor Mixer's story.

    Also, I was contacted by someone with bottles for sale. This time Kalamazoo dairy bottles. With dairy bottles I usually contact Steve Deboode with questions. The lady has four dairy bottles. Her letter to me:


I have been trying for over a month now to find out about some Kalamazoo Dairies, I have four milk bottles (Quart size), I have been told that there were no Diaries, by these names, but all four bottles are molded lettering that say Kalamazoo Michigan. One is North Shore Dairy A. L. Carr, Bonnema's Dairy, McCamley Dairy, Klover Gold, which I know was taken over by the Kalamazoo Creamery..

But can you tell me anything about these other three? Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you."

    I know the Bonnema bottle and the Klover Gold bottles are somewhat common, but I didn't know about the Carr or the McCamley bottles. Steve tells me they are very scarce!

    So, I contacted this lady with the good news and I invited her to the club meeting. I think that Steve may be interested in making her an offer on the bottles, or at least looking at them. I understand Steve Deboode, Elmer Ogg, are both riding down with Gordy Hubenet! Hey folks, this should be fun. The lady with the bottles, "Paula" will be about one half hour late, but she plans on attending!

Bottle Show

    I was told that all the final numbers are not yet in, but John Pastor feels the final tally will show us the 35th annual, Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Show was another success!

    My helper, Mike Walker and I, kept an eye on things from our back corner location (which I love our spot) and we didn't see any heavy crowd traffic. . . but it was steady. In past shows it seemed like we would have a flood of people then it would seem like the aisles were near empty. This year it was a steady more managable stream. And I think the stuff for sale was great everywhere!

    Kevin and Ed had the table next to us, and I always enjoy that! Those guys were very busy! Of course Kevin has a nack for finding the most interesting stuff and selling it at a very fair price!

    I have to say, Mark and Marty McNee were very much missed! Marty is the perfect MC for the show! She has become the voice of the Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Show if you ask me! We missed you guys!

    In their stead, President Chuck Parker set up shop right inside the door along with the food table which we moved this year. Since Kevin has been managing much of the hospitality suite the night before, we have been able to feed most of the dealer's at the show! That has been a real blessing!

    I would like to thank each club member for setting up the Hospitality suite, and doing all of your jobs at the show! We as a group can be very proud of what we accomplished!


    I am only guessing when I say that, "Facebook planned this," but the evidence seems overwhelming. Suddenly, across the country we have Facebook groups dedicated to the local history of many cities. The one that holds the most interest for me is "Vanished Otsego." I come from a family who were decendents of some of the early pioneers in Otsego.

    I have been having a great time posting items from my personal collection of Otsego products.

    Thanks to the Antique Bottle Club, and Mark McNee, I am the owner of one of the key historic Otsego collectables! That item is a mint-perfect jar of Stark's Reducine! What a beautiful item it is! The jar itself is a deep cobalt blue and the label is a bright yellow with a red border! The reverse of the label reads:

" A Veterinary Preparation For External Use For Bruises, Cuts, Sprains, Minor Sores, Scratches, Surface Wounds, Stiffness, Sore Muscles from Over-Exertion and Strains, and all conditions of animals for which use of a preparation having a mild counter-irritant action is indicated."

    I was so proud to post a picture of that legandary Otsego product!

    However, I knew that in my vast collection, mostly of my grandfather's Michigan Cottage Cheese Company containers, and my Stark's Reducine Jar, there is yet another king of Otsego collectibles, that I don't have, it is an antique mineral water bottle!

    I had heard about the amazing Otsego Mineral Springs water bottle early on, back when Jack Short and Ernie Lawson got me interested in collecting. In fact, another dear friend of mine, Shorty McLeod, had given the guys permission to dig in his old scrap yard along the Kalamazoo River in Otsego. That was just the sort of bottle they were hoping to find.

    When word reached me, a few years back, that John Pastor had an Otsego mineral water bottle, I knew it was high above my price range.

    My understanding is, originally Mark McNee picked up the bottle from a Michigan collector on the east side of the state. At some point the same bottle became the property of Ted & Dick Kinney, then John Pastor.

Mark McNee sent me a beautiful photo of the bottle, which I posted on the Vanished Otsego Facebook page. The photo is stunning!

I actually found a historic government document on the Internet where the product, "FROM THE MAGNETIC and MEDICINAL SPRINGS of C.E. FRANKLIN, OTSEGO MICH." was compared to other mineral waters from other locations in the United States, and for most mineral elements . . . it was somewhat lacking.

As with the celery industry in Kalamazoo, the Otsego Magnetic Mineral Springs, Hotel, Bathhouse and Medicinal Bottled Water was killed by the paper industry sinking deep wells and using tremendous amounts of water!

My thanks to the "Original American Picker," Mark McNee, for the beautiful photo! Also, John Pastor and Scott Hendrichson who helped me chase the photo down. Rare is the bottle where even photos are scarce!

The Flood

    As most of you know, I built a model of Noah's Ark. I have a friend who does an Old Fashioned Summertime Vacation- Bible-School Ministry. When he was getting everything together to tour churches as far away as New York, I built many of his back-drops. He used 7 different themes, and he would do a yearly rotation. For example he uses an Army Theme with the focus on being "In the Lord's Army. Then there is a Fishing Theme as in "I will make you fisher's of men." So, one of the last themes that we did was "The Flood" with a message of God's Mercy, Grace and Judgement.

    So, I told Tim that I would build a large model of Noah's Ark but this was the only prop I put a condition on. I told him that that prop was only on loan, but always available for his use. I knew it was going to be a challenge to build and frankly I didn't even know where to start except as in ship building to lay the keel.

    It was really a lot of fun to build. I thought about taking a picture of my table saw, sort of a before-&- after photo. I had purchased a stack of clean knot-free pine boards, then rip-sawed them into about 300 thin strips. The sawdust pile came up to the saw table!

    Even though I knew the Bible account of the flood, and the Ark itself, from years of Sunday School, I still picked up some books on the subject. What did I learn? Nobody does a better account of the Ark than God did in the Bible! So I studied every detail and even cross referenced the text from the original Hebrew. What I found is, the King James Translation is very accurate to the original writings.

    From that information I just started cutting and gluing until the image I had in my head started to appear. I do not consider myself a good woodworker, and I think that the crudeness of my build really makes the model stunning.

    The first question I am asked is, "How long did it take to build?"

    I never dreamed that question would come up. I wish I had kept track of the time! The second question always is, "Did you build it to scale?"

    My answer was always a very honest "No."

    So when the Ark is not on tour for the summer, every seven years, it ties up at dock in her home port, my shop. I don't think most people see it because I have it on a high shelf. I found out that with all the little animals inside, the kid's first thought is "Playhouse!"

    My Aunt Beverly Watson was the biggest fan of the Ark, she would even bring her friends by to see it, sometimes by the car full. She was always a brillant craft person! She loved to enter her work at the Allegan County Fair. When she first asked me to enter the Ark at the fair, the thought had never crossed my mind, and frankly I had no interest in doing so.

    Aunt Beverly never gave up! That really was a beautiful thing about her! When she set her mind to do something there was no turning back! That was very likely what made her such a great artist! So, her goal was to see the Ark at the fair no matter what! She not only got the entry form, she also filled it out! I finally decided to play-along when she tried to arrange to pick it up!

    My wife and I toted the Ark over to the fair at the appointed time, and my thinking was "That is that!"

    I clearly knew it was on display, but I never gave a thought to things like, "Judging and prize ribbons."

    On the day that we set aside for the fair, I went over with my family and eventually we went into the craft area. I was totally blown away! It had a blue First Place ribbon and a royal- purple "Best of Show" ribbon!

    I still didn't understand it all! The kicker was, my Aunt asked me, "Do you know what the Best of Show award means? it means you are qualified for the Michigan State Fair!"

    Now I have something new to think about, but once again, it was about my chance to see the State Fair, was my interest was not winning anything. Frankly, the long drive up Woodward Avenue was enough to frighten this "Country" boy! Seeing buildings with every window barred- up for miles is kinda spooky!

    After dropping off the Ark I drove back home and we didn't go back until the following weekend. The Ark was a big hit! It won second place at the State level! A few of the fair volunteers told me that they felt it was the first place entry, but standing with them as they offered congradulations, they all agreed that it was impossible for a Bible theme entry to get a First Place blue ribbon because of the judges. They told me that the Ark was so nice, that the judges had to give it second place to avoid looking foolish! The day I dropped it off for the State Fair I was asked the question of 'Scale' once again. So I measure it up. Based on the Bible's measurements from

 Genesis Chapter 6:13

6:13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

14: Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

15: And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.

    So, I based my math on a cubit being 18 inches, which is generally accepted, and the model is to the exact scale of 1 inch = 1 cubit.

    Last year our dear friend and antique bottle club founder, Ernie Lawson asked me to show Noah's Ark at Friendship Village. So, how do you say no to Ernie? I contacted the activities director and she put me down for April 16th. I can tell you that Ernie was excited! Our plan was to show the Ark and answer some basic questions about the construction and to give a little background on the Bible account of the flood.

    My buddy Ernie would check in with me from time to time to make sure everything was still a go. I started to sense a little concern it his voice. I already knew that many of the folks living are Friendship Village are highly educated retired professionals and Ernie warned that some of the people may not be in agreement with anything found within the pages of scripture. I assured Ernie that I am capable of handling opposing viewpoints, and after all I am just showing people a model of Noah's Ark!

    About two weeks before the presentation somebody came up to me and said, "Hey, I read in the paper that you are giving a talk at Freindship Village about the flood of the Bible!"

    That was when I decided that I may want to make some notes!

    Well, we had a good turnout and I was very pleased with the entire event. I even picked up something new in my study of the Flood that I had missed for so many years. If you read the Bible account of the flood and start your reading in Chapter 5, you will see the name mentioned of the oldest man who ever lived, Methuselah. Methuselah lived to be 969 years old. The name Methuselah means, "When his is dead, it shall be sent."

    Methuselah did not live as long as he did because of his healthy diet and lifestyle! His life was prolonged because of God's great mercy and long suffering.

      Some little event which will seem fairly meaningless in the eyes of the world, will once again trigger God's judgement . . . I'm am so ready. Once God closes the door, there will be no coming on board.

Last Month

    We had a Pizza Party last month and we had a abbreviated meeting. We sure had a great time! My sign up sheet shows the following names: Scott Hendrichsen, John Winkler, Ron Smith, Kevin Siegfried, Bill Drake, Mary Hamilton and her daughter Linda, Kelsey Ennis, Katie Osborn, Tim Hayes, Kelly Bobbitt, Charles Parker, Ed Nickerson, Al Holden. Vincent Grossi joined us at Bimbo's where I think we polished off five amazing pizzas!

    After we got our April meeting underway, the very first item of business was about a phone call Chuck had received from the Library. It turns out our November meeting falls on Veteran's day and the Library will be closed. So Chuck asked the question, "Can anyone read my mind?"

    Frankly I was puzzled when I tried to read Chuck's mind. It was like every bad dream I have ever had all in one location. Then someone spoke up, "Bimbo's Pizza!"

    We were just minutes away from going to Bimbo's Pizza, and Chuck was already planning our next visit!

    I like how that boy thinks!

    At the meeting we saw a few great finds!

    Kevin Siegfried had a very cool Cornacopia-Urn Flask in a deep blood-red color (that is how it looks in my photo) As I recall, we decided it is a Wheaton Glass Works bottle.

    Scott Hendrichsen showed us a fantastic Michigan bottle that he just dug! Warner's White Wine and Tar Syrup, Reading Michigan.

Scott just upgraded his metal detector to the new Garrett AT Pro and he used it in the yard they dug. He found: 1905 Indian Head Cent, 1849 U.S. Large Cent, 1854 U.S. Large Cent and two 1857 Flying Eagle Cents! How do you tear yourself away to dig bottles?

Scott also found a 150 year old chicken egg unhatched! He has it in an incubator and he are hoping for the best!

Ron Smith had a really neat glass laboratory beaker that is very old and very cool!


All of these item were great, but one of Kevin
Siegfried's items was just cool beyond words! He showed us an old book from 1846 called "A History of Inventions, Discoveries and Origins.

Imagine, a book about what mattered to the world in 1846! Look at the titles of the many chapters.

If you do a Google search on some of these topics the reseach will turn up this very book!

The Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club
 meets at the main downtown Kalamazoo Library,
 located at 315 South Rose Street.
We meet on the third floor in the conference room.

This meeting is Tuesday, May 13th.

Meeting starts 

at 7:00 pm.

For questions

e-mail prostock@net-link.net