Written By Allan C. Holden

Vol. 14 N0.3                                                                                                                                                             November 2014


Library is closed on Veteran's Day

This Month Meet at Bimbo's

Hi gang! Things are going to be a little different this month, so please make note:
 If you go to the library, as we usually do, you will find the doors are locked!

So here are the special instructions; "Good morning Mr. Phelps. Your mission, Jim, should you choose to accept it, is to meet at Bimbo's Pizza, located at 338 E Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49007, precisely at 7:00 pm on November 11, 2014.

 The purpose of this mission is to order and eat pizza. You will also spend quality time in fellowship with antique bottle collectors. You are to blend in with this secretive group, and learn they keys to successful digging and collecting of old bottles. We ask that you be on the lookout for anyone appearing to over indulge on great pizza and report that person to the agency.

As always, should any member of your IMF force be caught or killed, the secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck Jim."

So, what is the occasion?

I'm glad you asked! The special occasion for closing the Library is, of course, Veteran's Day. Personally, I think we are a bunch of patriots, and we all love those brave men and women who have defended our freedoms!

As for me, I can see closing our public institutions in honor of our veterans before closing for any other occasion (other than Christmas and Easter.) I hope you don't take that the wrong way, Dr. King.

The pizza party is for members in good standing with the Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club.

Thanksgiving Time

This month we take the time to be thankful for the many blessings we have all enjoyed simply by living in the greatest country on earth. Freedom and Liberty are woven into the very fabric from which this country was formed. We owe some thanks to a people seeking a life where they had the freedom to live as their faith in God would direct them.

Sadly, we have seen some who would unravel this fabric and, like ravenous moths, try to chew holes in areas of America's greatest strength. "We The People" must stand up against this evil corruption at all costs.

The thing that breaks my heart is that I can see the larger picture. We hear all of the arguments of how things should and shouldn't be, especially during an election season, and it is all making me crazy!

It is not a matter of Left vs Right, Republican vs Democrat. The battle we are seeing waged, right before our very eyes is much bigger that . . . bigger than all of us put together.

This battle is a spiritual battle, and before the dust settles the carnage will be unthinkable! The real physical battlefield for this war seems to be playing out in the Middle East. . . as I was always taught it would! The focus of this battle's prize will be in the very heart of Israel. . . in particular an area we call the "Temple Mount."

Just as demonstrated in days of old, the battle belongs to the Lord. The more God's people thought themselves to be great warriors, the worse the outcome. When God's people were weak, it was God who showed them victory through His strength.

It really isn't important how savvy you are as a warrior, what really matters is whose side you are on!

From his prison cell in Rome, around 60 AD, the apostle Paul told the followers at Ephesus:

"We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

Never before have many of these writings been more clearly understood by scholars then they are today. Frankly it is chilling!

America has been blessed beyond measure and we certainly have so much to be thankful for. I hope this Thanksgiving you don't lose sight of the source of all our blessings.

Last Month

We had a great turnout for our last meeting! Don't take my word for it, I was compassed about with a great cloud of witnesses! And I have each of their signatures!

On our sign-in sheet, I see the names of: Ron Smith, Kelly Bobbitt, Tim Hayes, Mary Hamilton, Charles Parker, Vincent Grossi, John Winkler, Kevin Seigfried, Katie Osborn, Kelsey Ennis, Bob Haffner, Ed Nickerson, and Al Holden.

As always we had a great time! Being that it was our October meeting, of course we had to have some candy on hand. The great Trick-or-Treater himself, our own personal rebel- rouser, and president Chuck Parker furnished chocolate for everyone!

As you can no doubt see, I am using a newer Word Perfect program. I started out using Word Perfect back in 1995. At the time I was doing a treasure club newsletter. Moving from an old electric typewriter into a personal computer with a word processor program was like a dream come true!

After a few years, the computers improved and like most people I upgraded so that I could have more hard-drive storage capacity. When it came time to load my Corel Word Perfect Program into the new system, I couldn't locate it! Yes, I lost the software! And, by that time, Corel had updated the program so so the original I had learned was no longer available. So I reluctantly spent big bucks to purchase the new version. I didn't like it at all! It went from being user friendly to nearly impossible to understand.

I put out a S.O.S. to my computer savvy friends, and they tracked down a copy of the original Word Perfect software. I was so happy!

But, time marches-on. Microsoft keeps bringing out new computer systems. Finally in 2013 they stopped supporting their Window's XP version and it was downhill from there!

When I was in the RV business, I had a customer who was a research scientist at Bendix Brakes. He told me that their lab discovered how to make a brake shoe substance out of walnut shells that would last the life of your car, truck or RV. Their excitement turned into frowns when the company owners told the researchers to destroy the formula!

If people no longer needed new brake shoes, on a routine basis, in a very short time, they would be out of business!

So, these new computers go on the market and they leave a trail that the old Window's XP system cannot follow, meaning a slow death!

Computer systems are always communicating with the manufacturer when online and they send updates and repair patches, continuing to upgrade the system.

When Microsoft pulled the plug on XP support, each XP system continued to send out a signal looking for updates . . . yet was receiving back no answer.

That really is a big problem which freezes the system up. I finally figured out what was going on, and turned Automatic Update off. That was a big help for the short term, but it wasn't enough to stop the systems planned demise!

Soon safeguards like the internal firewall of the XP is not being updated, leaving it vulnerable to new virus attacks! I can't help but wonder if Microsoft isn't behind some of the attacks! After all who would know its weak points better?

I had no choice but to buy a new computer with a new Windows 8 program. And you probably guessed it, my original Corel Word Perfect isn't even recognized . . . surprise, surprise! The newer version, the one I don't care for, loads onto the new computer . . . but on Windows 8 they left out a key component so it will not save any of your work!

It wasn't just Corel, it was nearly every program I own that is somehow failing by design. Frankly it is corruption on a wide scale! All of these software companies were willing accomplices and they are ready to sell you their newest Windows 8 supported product version!

It reminds me of the story my grandfather told me about selling Michigan Cottage Cheese in the 20's. He could call on just one town in those days, because he could only do so much when he was doing it all himself. From Otsego he had a choice to make, sell the product in Kalamazoo 20 miles to the south, or Grand Rapids to the north. Grand Rapids was twice as far, and a full day's drive, but it was a larger market. He sold his cottage cheese to meat markets and Jewish delicatessens because they were about the only stores with refrigeration. Keep in mind that nobody had invented a "Grocery Store" yet. You went to a meat market for meat, to a dairy for milk and cheese, and a bakery for bread, and the candy store for candy!

So, at least twice a week Grandpa loaded his Studebaker truck with fresh cottage cheese packed into large stoneware crocks, and off he headed for Grand Rapids. The road was little more than a dirt two-track road and usually in very bad condition. In some areas the speed was reduced to a crawl for miles! The road was so bad that night driving was nearly impossible.

He told me about a section of road north of Martin, where the road went through some wet muddy farm land where it could be challenging to say the least. At this location there was a local farmer who would come out and loosen things up with his plow at night! When the motorist would get bogged down in the mud, he would be standing by with a team of horses and for a fee he would pull you out of the mud hole! See, there is nothing new under the sun!

So now, I have $650.00 in a new computer, $160.00 in a new Corel Word Perfect program, $200.00 in a new Quicken, $150.00 in a new File Transfer system (for maintaining a web pages), and it is all junk compared with what I started out with in 1995! And guess what. They are already making plans to make it all obsolete!

I have always used and have received really good service from Hewlett Packard computers and printers. I am thinking that they could not be blamed for all these problems. So my new computer is a H.P. and even that is a total disappointment! The keyboard has all the rigidity of a potato chip and the keys are not the standard distance apart!

See, you really don't have problems! With all that said, I trudge on expecting this whole thing to collapse around me. Ahh, the power of positive thinking!

Great Treasures

We saw some great treasure at our last meeting! Kelly Bobbitt is the owner of a nice Michigan collectible (actually he collects neat Michigan stuff) Or, in this case, Michigan Snuff! Kelly has an early screw- cap sample bottle of GOIKE'S KASHUB SNUFF, manufactured by JOHN A. GOIKE, Detroit Michigan. Kelly's bottle is unopened and has a full label and contents!

Snuff-taking has long been a part of the heritage of the Kashubians, an ethnic subgroup of farmers and fishermen inhabiting Poland's Baltic Coast. When the government banned snuff production, the Kashubs took to growing and processing their own, according to age-old recipes.

As near as I can tell, this product was first produced in Detroit in 1930 and they switched from glass bottles to foil pouches in 1964. Thanks Kelly. It is a beauty for sure!

Chuck brought in a very ancient Shabti of the pharaoh in bronze. A Shabti was placed in the tomb, and in case the deceased was called upon to do labor in the after-life, the Shabti was to perform tasks of a servant. Shabti inscriptions often contain the 6th chapter of the Book of the Dead, translated as:

"Illumine the Osiris [name of the deceased], whose word is truth. Hail, Shabti Figure! If the Osiris [name of the deceased] be decreed to do any of the work which is to be done in Khert-Neter, let everything which standeth in the way be removed from him- whether it be to plough the fields, or to fill the channels with water, or to carry sand from the East to the West. The Shabti Figure replieth: "I will do it, verily I am here when thou callest".

I can only take from this that Pharaoh learned very little from Moses! I felt sure the translation would be, "I should have let those damn people go sooner!"

Chuck also showed of a large stone spear point that he found out bottle digging!

Ron Smith had some neat finds, and I have yet to make him a name tag for my photos.

One of Ron's bottles has an interesting antique bottle historic connection. That bottle is the Haye's Brothers Hutch-Soda from Chicago IL.

W. H. Hutchinson opened a small Chicago bottling plant in a dwelling on West Randolph, between Clinton and Jefferson Streets, in 1848. "Hutchinson & Company's" first bottled products included spruce and lemon beers, cider, soda, and mineral water. Oak barrels full of fresh water for carbonating were hauled by wagon from Lake Michigan. The beers and cider were put up in 10 and 12 sided stoneware bottles with brown glazing.

As most collectors know W.H. Hutchinson invented the "Patent Spring Stopper" in 1879. The bottling plant was located west of the business district and devastated by the great Chicago fire of 1871. One of the fire's major casualties was Chicago's post office. The Hutchinsons responded by donating thousands of wooden soda delivery cases that were used for sorting mail at a makeshift post office.

In 1882, Hutchinson's bottling operations were sold to the Hayes Brothers who were Chicago soda bottlers since 1871. That date is actually embossed on the bottle within the image of a horseshoe!

Ron also has a screw cap bottle with a nickle-plated cap from the Cleveland Leather Goods Company, which we guessed was for leather wax or saddle soap. In my days as a professional gun slinger, waxing my holster was a matter of life and death!

We also saw an interesting bottle from Indianapolis, Indiana. It may be fairly rare because the name of the company was changed after just one year of production. It is a crown cap Rich Lieber & Company. The bottle is embossed with a cross which implies the product was Ginger Ale. On July 12, 1933, they changed the name to the Richard Lieber Brewing Corp.

On May 1, 1934, the name was changed to Lieber Brewing Company.

Another bottle we saw was an amber slug-plate Maumee Brewing Company beer bottle from Toledo, Ohio.

Tim Hayes had some neat items. One was a large glass egg in an egg-shell white color. It reminded me of a couple of glass starter eggs that I have, but it is the size of an ostrich egg!

Tim also displayed a nice sample Drambuie Scotch Whisky bottle. I am not a drinker but I did hear something interesting on the radio. For the first time in centuries nobody is making above average Scotch Whiskey in Scotland. I heard this on a P.B.S. show. The finest scotch whiskey in the world comes from Japan and a bottle cost $160.00. I love the old whiskey flasks, but buying the stuff to me is about as smart as investing in fireworks.

Speaking of fireworks, I also heard that a company named "Heavens Above Fireworks" will pack the cremation ashes of your loved ones into skyrockets so you can spread their ashes over the sewage treatment plant in style. Talk about smog! Yuck!

Tim also had a beautiful historic flask but I am afraid I didn't note the variety . . . sorry! I put too much trust in my photos. I go

 into each meeting intending to do better. Tim also has a nice sheared-lip deep aqua-green pocket flask!

Vincent Grossi brought in a beautiful collection of vintage antique bottle books. I know that some of the hard cover collector's guide series are highly sought after today.

Kevin Siegfried had a surprise that he had covered up, hiding under the table. It was one of those things where you don't really know if you should say OOOH or OH! It was someone's way of saving a treasure, one that you wish you owned it before it was saved! It started out life in 1826 as an Ovoid Stoneware Crock, very likely from New England. It has the date and maker's mark in cobalt blue. I found a couple similar examples for sale ranging from $2,000 to $3,000!!! The bad news is that it was made into a lamp with what looked like a lamp kit from China!

Kevin guessed that someone had it outside for a yard or porch decoration where it got some water inside and froze and broke.

I think that someone else saw the beauty in the old vessel and tried their best to preserve it. I'm glad they didn't toss it out.

American Glass Gallery had an auction start the day after our last meeting. I showed everyone my beautiful catalog. I started following the auction from day one. There was one bottle I was interested in and several that I knew were too rich for my blood. I learned my lesson some time back about waiting too late to bid. With the automatic bid process I decided to pass my best bid in early and hope that it was enough.

It was a Benjamin Franklin historic flask and my bid was the first one at $300.00 but it started at the entry amount of $180.00. It stayed at that amount for the first few days, but soon I received an e-mail saying that I had been out bid! Rats!

I am a big fan of Ben Franklin and I really had myself pumped about buying that flask! Now I am thinking that my usual technique of last minute bidding is what I should have stuck with. By placing an early bid, I was in a way bidding against myself.

When the new high bid was at $325.00, I thought I would go up another $50.00, but I decided to bide my time and move in for the kill in the closing seconds.

Just before the close of the auction, (during the 3rd inning of the World Series) my Charter cable went out! No TV, no internet, even my cell phone was acting up because my WiFI was out! So the guy who outbid me won the Franklin flask for $325.00! He got off easy!

<> I also had a bid in on an engraved whiskey flask that could be from as early as the 1700's. That one I won because I was the only bidder.
 I hope it arrives before the Pizza Party!

                                                                                                        The Reverend Parker in his new cap!


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 month we will meet at Bimbo's Pizza

 338 E Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Phone:(269) 349-3134

 This meeting is Tuesday, November 11th.
Meeting starts

at 7:00 pm.

For questions

e-mail prostock@net-link.net

PHONE 269-685-1776
Return to Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club Home