KALAMAZOO ANTIQUE BOTTLE
Written By Allan C.
MERRY CHRISTMAS BOTTLE CLUB!
Of course, the most noticeable thing at our last meeting was actually what wasn't noticeable! It was all about who "wasn't" there, our President, Chuck Parker.
Just before our meeting started, Chuck was 'starting' recovery following his second knee replacement surgery. Within hours of this second surgery, Chuck tried to get out of bed unassisted and fell! Chuck's fall caused part of the new knee to shift, requiring more surgery!
At the last meeting, Mary Hamilton mentioned seeing Chuck being wheeled into physical therapy. Mary described Chuck's appearance in a very reassuring way. "He looked like Frankenstein!"
Listening further, suddenly we realized Mary didn't mean Chuck's appearance had improved, she was making reference to all of his doctor's needlework!
We love you, Chuck! Everyone missed you and pizza had nothing to do with it. We all agreed that a trip for pizza wouldn't be the same without you.
Last summer on our vacation, I saw a little Honda Insight hybrid that really made me smile. Stuff like this always happens when my camera is out of reach.
First, you have to know what a 2000 Honda Insight is.
The Insight is a battery- powered car with an auxiliary gasoline lawnmower-sized engine. The car can get nearly 60 MPG on the expressway but the weight limit is 365 pounds . . . which leaves out Jack Spratt and his wife. Also, since it is a two seat car, it is against the law to transport small children.
A friend of mine purchased one off e-Bay for what seemed to be a very, very low price. The sparkle in his eyes dimmed when he found the main battery pack needed to be replaced! Suddenly, he was upside-down in his investment!!!
So, here I am driving up near Grayling, when the dull colored Frankenstein-green Honda Insight goes motoring by me with all the seams painted like they are stitched together! It was really very clever! I figured sooner or later a picture of that car would turn up online, but no-luck. So I sketched one. But, honestly, you had to be there. It sure made me smile!
Chuck called me right after Thanksgiving and he told me he has been making some progress in physical therapy. As of this letter, he is up and tooling around with a walker. Chuck tells me, "Well, it ain't got a back seat or a rear window' but it still gets me where I wanna go."
That is a little Jan and Dean "Surf City" humor.
Chuck wanted to know how the meeting went, and you know me, I cannot tell a lie. Kevin Seigfried worked at keeping the meeting organized, while was in my usual state of mass-confusion. Taking photos and trying to remember details is about as far as I can go. Thank you Kevin!
The sign-in sheet may not be 100% complete because some members arrived late. With terrible downtown parking being late is unavoidable, but please, try to remember to sign in.
Here is my list: Kevin Seigfried, Vincent Grossi, John Winkler, Kelly Bobbit, Mary Hamilton, Ed Nickerson, Ron Smith, Bill Drake, Rob Knolle, Jean Bogard, Al Holden.
They had some sort of stringed-instrument jam session going on in the Van Deusen Room. This event really brings the people out! I stepped into the elevator with my padded metal detector case, which I use to tote bottles and my club stuff when a lady stepped into the elevator behind me with what appeared to be a violin case. She turned to me and asked, "What do you play?"
I told her, "A little brown jug."
She replied, "Oh, that's interesting."
As usual, I have to apologize. When I make web pages, for the club newsletter, and need a background image I usually borrow the photo file off the Internet. For example, when I build a newsletter page during the fall, I might use a background image of colorful fall leaves. In the spring I might use a field of wildflowers.
Then it occurred to me that I could capture some interesting textures from items around me and make my own background images.
I took some closeup photos of the ribs on a bitters bottle and metal work on my antique National cash register. Even a close up shot of a burlap bag can be used to make a pleasing background shot.
So I gave it a try, but at first it didn't work out so well. I had my camera set at a very high resolution, so the huge image file was very slow to load. It was especially bad if when using a phone. It was so slow that you could read half the newsletter before the background image loaded!
With a lowered resolution setting it worked out well. The problem was that I forgot to put the resolution back up before the club meeting! That means that all my pictures of your great bottles were not all that great.
Chuck asked me about the "SSL Certificate" I mentioned in the last newsletter. I said that I would explain that at the meeting and I forgot . I am paying Go-Daddy a small fee for the club's registered domain name: www.kalamazoobottleclub.org
I also purchased a second domain from Go-Daddy, for my personal use, to store online auction photos.
That web domain is www.facesoftreasurehunting.com where I have a back-up of my business site, plus back-up files from the bottle club newsletters.
As most of you know, I conduct a good deal of wintertime business on e-Bay. I like to spend time crafting professional looking auctions made to stand out. It is my hope the potential buyer will feel like they are actually dealing in a person-to-person transaction, and not another Amazon.com seller.
As it turns out, with millions of people uploading photos to e-Bay from all over the world, they started to receive malicious files containing virus attacks and spyware. This computer age has become a playground for criminals!
E-Bay had no choice but to take control of the security on their auction site or else people would be driven away! Today, when you are uploading photos or auction material to e-Bay, it must come from a "Certified Secure" web hosting, unless it is small single photos, which they can filter.
When you are entering a specific web address into your computer's address bar, the computer starts with the letters 'http' which identifies the type of language the computer will be dealing with. http://www, simply means "Hyper Text Transport Protocol" which is computer language.
With most newer computers the "http" is a given, so you can start with just WWW, which is the start of 'address directions' which directs the computer to the 'World Wide Web.' Some of the really up to date computers will even ad the WWW for you and you need to only enter kalamazoobottleclub.org, which is the main actual address.
The '.org' means the address location is assigned to a non-profit org-anization.
.com -- commercial enterprise (e-commerce)
.net -- net infrastructure
.mil -- U.S. military
.gov -- U.S. government
.edu -- educational institution
When an address ends in .UK (United Kingdom), .FR (France)
.DE (Deutschland or Germany)
If you have the Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club web-site book marked on your computer, it will work as it always has, but, when your computer reaches the destination https://www.kalamazoobottleclub.org it will discover the club's web address starts with "https://" and the "S" means the location is now "Secure." Now everything being uploaded, and everything being downloaded, from our club web-site, will now be "Patted-down" and checked for bad stuff!
This didn't cost the club anything additional, because the service was purchased for the domains listed on my business account.
But, step back and think about this; I do not believe we have any idea just how much crime adds to every last person's cost of living!
Another example is the cost of petroleum. The average Joe Voter thinks "It just costs me a little more to get to the bowling alley."
Sorry, Joe! It costs you more to buy meat, bread, pop, ice-cream, shoelaces, underwear - - even that new lice comb!
THE MEETING BOTTLES
We did see some neat antique bottles at the last meeting. Relying on the camera as a secretary didn't work out so well this time. Thankfully I did scribble down a few notes.
Vincent Grossi always has a few nice items to display. One in particular was an aqua-blue iron-pontiled squat soda with a large blob-top. I just love the Civil War era soda bottles.
Another really cool bottle Vince showed is a Michigan pharmacy bottle with paper label and contents. The bottle has one of the early Bakelite caps which makes me think it is pre-1940. Yes it is turpentine from a drug store! When I was a kid, we used the stuff for cleaning paint brushes! Made from the oil of certain pine trees, it was used as medicine, but don't confuse turpentine oil with gum turpentine, which is the resin. Turpentine oil is applied to the skin for joint pain, muscle pain, nerve pain, and toothaches.
A popular old-time favorite medicine which contains turpentine oil , one that I use often, is Vick's Vapo-Rub. I wouldn't want to go on living without my Vick's!
As far as researching Allen's Cut Rate Drugs in Comstock, MI, I had no luck with that. I did discover something interesting, there seemed to be Cut Rate Drug Stores all over the country in the early 1900's. Does anyone know - - was this a popular phrase "Cut Rate" or was there a chain like today's Rite-Aid and Walgreens?
Today if something is "Cut Rate" it generally means lacking in quality! To use it in a sentence, "The bottle club has a cut-rate newsletter."
Vince also displayed an 1800's Mellin's bottle which I have long believed was a malted product. I poked around for further information, and discovered it was a malted powder that was mixed with water to make a formula claimed to be "The Only Genuine Substitute for Mother's Milk..." It was mixed with water or milk, and administered to either the infant or the nursing mother! The product was first produced in England in 1870 by Gustav Mellin and was also recommended for "invalids and adults."
Vince also had one of those wonderful deep olive- green case gin bottles. I love these old gin bottles! Normally these are referred to as Dutch gin bottles, and the reason given for the shape is for stronger and safer packaging, nested in wooden boxes, containing as few as 4 bottles and as many as 24 bottles.
Many of the early case gin bottles were free-blown and finish shaped with a paddle. The later bottles with the smaller base and wider shoulders were blown in a one-piece tapered mold, referred to as a dip mold. With a dip-mold the glass blower would take his blow-pipe, with a gathered-up batch of molten glass, and literally dip into the mold, and blow as he lifted his blow pipe.
The case gin bottles were perfect for this tapered mold, and they were fast and easy to produce. Once the bottle was finished it was easy to lift free of the mold. This dip-mold glass production is ancient! In its earliest stages the mold was nothing more than a hole in the ground!
Some of the early Dutch gin bottles have a corrugated texture. I suspect this texture was made by the trowel used to shape the clay mold. I also think this texture made it easier for the glass to release from the mold, which would have increased the life of the mold and aided in cooling for the glass and the mold.
The case gin bottle belonging to Vince was finished with a tapered collar top. Some of the really early examples were finished with a mushroom flared lip, sometimes referred to as a pig snout!
Vincent also had a jumbo sized snuff bottle. Using snuff was one of the earliest fast paths toward nicotine addiction and it still is! Entering through the nose, it actually enters the bloodsteam through the mucous membranes. My oncologist told me the use of smokeless tobacco is one of its deadliest forms. With cigarettes being shunned in America today, more people are using snuff, both men and women.
Most tobacciana experts attribute smokeless tobacco use to the French. There was a time in Russia when it was illegal and the first offence was a fine, second attempt your nose was cut off!
Rob Knolle brought in a Leslie E. Keeley Laboratory bottle. When I was photographing this bottle I had this feeling like, "I am familiar with this one.". . .
I did a Google search on the Dwight, Illinois MD, and, low-and-behold, there is a reference to the May, 2015 issue of the Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club Newsletter!
"Dr. Leslie E. Keeley (1832-1901) was a self-proclaimed Civil War surgeon who came to Dwight, Illinois, after the war and continued his study of alcoholics. His study began among the Union soldiers during the war. In 1879, in a small wooden frame building, the Keeley Institute, was founded with the proclamation by Dr. Leslie E. Keeley that "Drunkenness is a disease and I can cure it."
Dr. Keeley locked horns with the Christian Church when he declared addiction was a disease and thereby curable. The problem, he claimed, had no relationship to a 'sin-choice.'
By 1905 the Food and Drug Administration revealed that most of the Keeley medicines contained high dosages of morphine, cocaine, alcohol and cannabis.
Today, modern day hustlers, looking to make a fast buck from human suffering, still declare addiction is a disease and can be cured. Actually, it is sin and thank God, He is the cure. I have many good friends who can attest to that, of whom I am chief.
Kevin Seigfried showed off some very cool items at the meeting! One was a fairly common insulator, in a very rare color! You have to see it to appreciate it! It is a light aqua color with a hint of robin's egg blue!
Kevin also displayed two items that I have never seen before at a meeting, a steel glassblower's blow-pipe and an iron punty rod.
A 'punty rod' is a metal rod used after a glass vessel has been blown to approximate size and the bottom of the piece has been finished. The punty rod, which is tipped with a wad of hot glass, is attached to the bottom of the vessel to hold it while the top is finalized. It often leaves an irregular or ring-shaped scar on the base when removed called the "pontil mark".
I spoke to Chuck on Tuesday the 5th, and we are a "GO" for a Christmas pizza party. We will meet at the library for a brief meeting, then motor over to Bimbo's. I am not so sure Chuck will meet us at the library or at Bimbo's. He suggested meeting at Bimbo's and skipping the library, but with the number of people following the club online, I figure we need to be at the library first as advertised.
It breaks my heart to see how the hate in America for the 'God of our Father's' has boiled over. For the last few years the life sized manger scene in Kalamazoo's Bronson Park has been protested and frequently vandalized. People claim it is offensive.
As long as I have ink in my pen, I will proclaim the true reason of Christmas.
This is an example my Pastor recently used in his message.
Before the American Civil War, a wealthy northerner was traveling in the south, when he came upon a slave auction. As he worked his way through the crowd, he saw, up on the auction block, a young black girl. As the bidding started, the man could see the young lady's look of hopelessness and deep pain.
He brought the auction to an abrupt end by doubling the amount that had been bid for the slave girl.
The new owner went over to the auction clerk, paid the entire bill and filled out all necessary ownership papers.
After having paid the bill in full, the young lady, who was bound at her wrists, was led by rope over to her new owner. Before anything was said, in anger, she spat in his face as he was unbinding her wrists.
With her hands free, the man signed the ownership papers over to her then handed them to the young slave and said, "You are free."
It took some time for what she had heard to sink in . . . then she asked, "Free? . . . free to say what I want? Free to do what I want . . . . free?"
"Yes, you are set free," replied the man.
Her eyes began to tear up as she asked, "Free to be who I want to be . . . . and free go where I want to go?"
"Yes, you are free to go wherever you desire."
As the man turned and walked away, the young slave girl ran to his side and said, "Please sir, than I want to go with you."
Jesus stepped onto the very earth He created, and His every step was purposely in the direction of the Cross, where He would buy your freedom.
Our pastor included this story in a little 5 minute message after our Baptismal service, just before Thanksgiving, which I thought was a beautiful example of the real meaning of Christmas.
During the winter of AD 56-57, from Corinth, just before setting out for Syria, where he would remain for some time in Ephesus, the Apostle Paul laid out his letter to the Church at Rome.
In his letter, Paul continued with the theme that Jesus spoke of; mankind separated into two basic groups, 'saved and unsaved,' or, the 'wheat from chaff,' the 'sheep from the goats.' Paul brings out a way of contrasting the two groups by using something the Roman people of that day clearly understood . . . . 'servant-hood.'
You are either a servant of sin, a condition we are all born into, or, with repentance and faith in the Gospel of Jesus, we become 'servants of righteousness.'
Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Rom 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
Jesus said, we cannot serve two masters.
Mat 6:24 "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. . . . "
Jesus is God's Christmas Gift . . given freely . . . will you accept His gift?
Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling . . .
Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club
We meet at the main Kalamazoo Library
315 South Rose Street
We meet on the third floor in the conference room.
This meeting is December 12th.
Meeting starts at 7:00