Vol. 14  Issue 1                                                                                                                                                    September 2014
Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club News
Member Club F.O.H.B.C.          Written by Allan C. Holden

Pizza Party!
Read Details Below
New Season Gets Underway Sept. 9th!

Step Right Up!

    Hi friends! Our summer break is winding down and it is time once again to jump-start the Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club Meetings! I am certain you have been deeply immersed in summer fun, and you never gave a moment's thought to your newsletter writer . . . but I can say each of you was missed on this end!

    I only heard from a couple of you concerning the annual club summer picnic. No, you didn't miss it; it just never happened.

    Let me take you back to the last meeting. . . . we had Mr. Gordy Hubenet, who is a member of the Grand Rapids, West Michigan Antique Bottle Club, as our guest speaker. Gordy rode down with Elmer Ogg and Steve DeBoode for the meeting.

    Well, as always, we had a great time of fun and fellowship. Near the end of the meeting the subject of our summer picnic came up when someone suggested that we have a picnic combining both clubs. I was very excited about that idea!

    We even discussed possible locations for the picnic somewhere between Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. Come to think about it, we even talked about sending out some scouts to the Wayland area! But then I said, "It's too bad we don't know a member up at Sandy Pines."

    Of course, we all know members of the Sandy Pines RV resort . . . Chuck and Connie Parker! I had a funny feeling that when we walked out of the last meeting without a firm plan . . . well, life will always step in the way!

    After the very hard winter, we had a very wet spring! When I wasn't busy at work, I was a servant to my lawn! Like a fool I applied $50.00 worth of weed & feed in early spring . . . that was stupid! I was mowing 3 times a week!

    That was my story. Earlier in the year Chuck had committed to hosting a big Civil War re-enactment out at Sandy Pines, scheduled for July, which I am certain was a giant pile of work!

    I understand the Battle of Sandy Pines was a big success! I had not considered what a huge 'undertaking' a Civil War Battle would present (no pun intended), but I listened as Chuck told of each participant who had pre-registered and I really had not had a clue! There was lots of organizing, that's for sure.

    I did learn that the bragging rights for a successful campaign of this sort is based on how may cannons are going into the mock battle. Chuck had a good number of heavy artillery pieces signed up, but at the final moments he had some Cannoneers go into an early retreat.

    Fortunately the benefit of having a great sign-up list is that if only a fraction of your combatants show up, you are still going to have a good show!

    As Chuck was pulling-up into the battlefield check-in point, the artillery pieces were each waiting in line with one un-registered piece parked off to one side. As Chuck checked in each participant, he quizzed one of the group about the large cannon parked by-the-wayside. "Oh, that guy is somewhat of a maverick. Very often he shows up without registering, hoping that he can participate. He is not one of our group."

    So, when Chuck learned the cannon was a giant 20- pound gun, and a Confederate piece at that, he quickly said, "I want to have that cannon!!"

    Chuck tells me the 20 pound Parrot Gun was the largest piece of field artillery during the Civil War and both sides had them. The cannon turned out to be the surprise in the re-enactment. Chuck had the big gun posted in a nearby woods away from the main fighting.

     As the battle ensued, with the sounds of pistol and musket fire, one by one the onlookers were treated to the loud blasts of cannon fire. Then, at the right moment, the big gun was set-off! The ground shaking thunder of the big gun took everyone buy surprise! The battlefield went silent as everyone turned to look in the direction of the big blast as a black cloud of smoke rose above the tree line!

    The whole event was a big success and plans are already in the works for an even bigger battle next year.

    The bad news is that just before the big event, Chuck's wife Connie had another stroke. Chuck and his family have been very busy caring for Connie and I hope you will join me adding Connie and Chuck to your daily prayers. Also, Chuck reports that Jim and Judy Jesiek have been having some heath issues. My prayer is that the Lord Jesus will meet their every need.

Last Meeting

    We had a lot of fun at our last meeting! The following group of people are my key witnesses to that fact!

    I call to the stand: Vince Grossi, Elmer Ogg, Roger Denslow, Mary Hamilton, Gordon Hubenet, Bill Drake, Ron Smith, John Winkler, Steve DeBoode, Kevin Seigfried, Scott Hendrichsen, Chuck Parker, Ed Nickerson, Paula Taylor and Al Holden.

    Of course, our two lovely Western Students were out of town for the summer. Also, we all missed Dee Cole, who was under the weather on that night, but doing much better now.

    The highlight of our meeting was a presentation by Gordon Hubenet about Hasting's Michigan's patent medicine founder and bottler, Dr. Mixer. The product was sold as Mixer's Cancer & Scrofula Syrup.

    The amount of work Gordy has put into his research of the great Dr. Mixer is truly amazing!

    The whole idea of Gordy offering to present his program, and share his Dr. Mixer's collection, started when Chuck Parker brought in several of his beautiful collection of labeled bottles with contents, which included a Dr. Mixer bottle.

    Gordy heard about Chuck's bottle, and at the West Michigan Antique Bottle Club meeting, he offered to make his presentation to our Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club.

    Gordy spent a good deal of time providing a most interesting presentation, and frankly everyone was glued to his every word. . . it was great!

    As was usually the case, Dr. Mixer was a first class charlatan who was doing his best to capitalize on his own physical misfortunes.

    Dr Mixer actually had a disfiguring disease and he built on that! That is when the lies started to pile up! First of all, he claimed that he was a doctor. Second; he claimed to have created a cure for his ailment. And lastly, he was busy trying to sell his "VERY SINCERE" desire help any poor soul would send in their dollar!

    Gordy passed each club member copies of a collection of Dr. Mixer promotional ads. One of the booklets Dr Mixer would send, by request, was a collection of free testimonials. That booklet closed with the following plea:

"Do you wish to do a Christian act?

If so, after you have read this booklet and profited by it, send or give it to some person who is afflicted, that they too may be cured. Or send us their name and address so that we can write to them."

For the longest time I have wanted to put together a medicine show pitch. I think that would be an awesome thing to present on the stage at our Kalamazoo show! Gordy's program gives me some neat ideas! This whole Dr. Mixer program was pretty inspirational!

We had great fun at the last meeting and yes we saw some awesome bottles! Gordy displayed an amazing collection of Dr Mixer bottles, many with full labels and original contents!

We are talking about a real cancer cure here folks!

Steve DeBoode had a beautiful cobalt blue City Bottling Works Seltzer Bottle with the original nozzle.

Siphon-style seltzer bottles are still used for dispensing carbonated or soda water and they actually date back as early as 1790! The concept of "aerosol propellent" was a French idea with self- pressurized carbonated beverages. Did you know that some mineral waters are naturally carbonated?

As far as this style of man-made carbonation, the modern syphon was created in 1829, when two Frenchmen patented a hollow corkscrew which could be inserted into a soda bottle and, by use of a valve, allowed a portion of the contents to be dispensed while maintaining the pressure on the inside of the bottle . . . preventing the remaining soda from going flat.

I love to drink seltzer water or club soda. It has 0 calories and no caffeine. It is great for settling your stomach and it is not unusual anymore to find it available as a beverage in many restaurants. At home, my wife gave me a Soda Stream system and I just use it to carbonate water without flavoring. I love it!

Scott Hendrichsen had an amazing collection of really cool stuff on display! The first item that I will mention was located with his new metal detector! It is a beautiful 1854 Seated Liberty Half Dime! That is about as cool as it gets for metal detecting if you ask me. It is not a super rare date but what a metal detecting trophy! Scott's coin is in at least VF condition . . . gotta love it! The U.S. Half Dime to dig is the 1802, in VF that tiny coin is about $80,000! That is the neat thing about digging treasure, be-it-bottles-or-coins! What will surface on the next dig?

Scott had a number of cool bottles as well! One was a very sweet open pontil JOHN BULL'S KING OF PAIN, LOUISVILLE KY.

I found an advertising poster online for John Bull's where it was trumpeted:

"The Mighty Conqueror of That Fell Destroyer of Human Life,

Asiatic Cholera."

Most passengers sailing on ships arriving from Europe in the late 1850's were all ordered to take John Bull's great elixir!

Another one of Scott's several bottles was an aqua whiskey flask "TRAVELER'S COMPANION."

Gordy Hubenet had a very cool Kalamazoo bottle. It was a Wheelock's HER-CU-LE-AN OIL! He also had a Wheelock's Druggist bottle from Kalamazoo & Rose Street, Kalamazoo MI.

Paula Taylor was a guest at our meeting. Paula contacted me by e-mail through a link on the

 club's web page. She asked about some dairy bottles she had recently picked up at a garage sale. Not knowing enough about dairy bottles myself, I put the question to the club expert Steve DeBoode. Steve seemed to think some of the bottles were good and one was at least borderline great!

So I reported back to Paula that she had at least a couple good of ones and she wanted to know if someone wanted to buy them? That is when I invited her to the meeting. After the group took turns explaining what each member brought to the meeting, I asked Steve to comment on Paula's bottles.

Steve spoke about each one and even explained that one of the bottles was a variety that is very rare! Then he spoke of the times when he could recall that one bottle would sell for hundreds of dollars!

Then came the rest of the story. Steve told us that the guys who made up that group of big spenders when it came to Kalamazoo (or even Michigan) dairy bottles had all passed on to the pearly gates! The big prices were no longer supported.

Not only did Paula have some super nice ACL dairy bottles from the 40's and 50's, but she even had them in a classic wire milkman's basket! I didn't see very much interest and it was looking like she was disappointed so I said, "Would you take $150.00 for everything?"

Steve spoke up and said he felt that was a very fair price in today's market, so we made a deal!

Well that was three month's ago and I have already forgotten which bottle is rare!

The dairy bottles are all 1-quart size. One has a green- colored label and it is a very familiar Bonnema Dairy bottle. It reads "Pure Rich Milk for Mothers Who Care" Phone 2-6968.

The next bottle has an orange-colored label and it is from the Kalamazoo Creamery and it is Klover Gold Buttermilk! It reads, "Sail to Health with Flake Gold Buttermilk Everyday!"

So, just what is "Flake Gold Buttermilk?" It is a rich buttermilk with tiny flakes of real butter blended in! I understand it was the cat's meow for making buttermilk biscuits and buttermilk pancakes! How about some real maple syrup with those?

How did our forefather's survive such rich and tasty foods? I put that question to my wife and she said, "They worked hard!"

The next bottle as an orange-labeled beauty, and it may be the rare one? It is a McCamley Dairy from Kalamazoo.

And the last one is an embossed slug plate-style which reads L.A. CARR, North Shore Dairy, Kalamazoo.

I checked in with Steve and he tells me the L.A. CARR bottle is the rare Kalamazoo Dairy.


To make up for our lack of a summer picnic, Our most merciful, benevolent leader, Chuck Parker has declared our September meeting a Bimbo's Pizza affair. He did make one stipulation however. The pizza party is for active members in good standing. That means you cannot invite your twice removed second cousin.

We will meet at the Kalamazoo Library at 7:00, have a brief meeting and, from that location, we will move on to Bimbo's Pizza. I warned them on Tuesday the 2nd that we are coming, so they would have time to smoke a fresh batch of anchovies!

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, September 9th.

Meeting starts at 7:00 .

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