Vol 17 Number  4                                                  Written By  Allan C. Holden                                                    December 2019


  Last Meeting
Merry Christmas!
    Hi my friends! I can’t speak for you, but it never ceases to amaze me, the number of Christmas seasons God has permitted me to be apart of! 

    Speaking of a strange coincidence, that number happens to be the same as my age! How often does that happen? We seem to be living in a time when many sorts of numerically unusual things are happening.

    This reminds me of when every 20 years, Jupiter and Saturn lines up in a rare planetary conjunction. Well, this year Thanksgiving fell on a Thursday! We won’t see that again for nearly a year!

    We had a good turnout for the last meeting. Here is a list of the club members in attendance: Vincent Grossi, John Winkler, Susan Anspaugh, Scott Hendrichsen, Dale Roof, General C.H. Parker, Kevin Siegfried, Ron Smith, Allan Holden.
    It sounds like I had stirred up some emotions with the last newsletter. Yes, your response was refreshing!
     I hope the desire folk seem to have, for seeing the club move forward, isn’t just a flash in the pan. We discussed some ways to get people more excited about coming out to the meetings, as well as ways to stir up  excitement in bottle collecting.

    Also, those little due’s reminder cards that I sent with the last newsletter, helped out a great deal! Chuck was so happy when the due’s money started showing up in his mail box! He called me up very excited! Actually, with tears he confessed it was like his first encounter with the tooth fairy!  That occasion, made such an impact on his life, for the next three Halloweens he went door to door dressed as the tooth fairy.

    The last newsletter was shrouded in doom-and- gloom, I thought this month I would bring some Christmas Cheer!

    When I talked with Chuck, he was actually calling folks to thank them personally for sending in their due’s checks. You have to love that guy!
    I didn’t send him the same note the rest of you received, about sending our mobster friend, Bugsy, to collect the loot as soon as he got out of the joint!

    All kidding aside, thank you, each of you who sent in your dues! Had I known Chuck would be this happy I would have sent him $70.00 a long time ago!

    Speaking of tossing around ideas for future meetings, Chuck contacted Gordy Hubenet, who has agreed to do a talk at the January meeting, weather permitting. Of course, you know, that I will keep you posted.

    Gordy spoke to the club about Hastings, Michigan’s, Dr. Mixer’s famous Cancer & Scrofula Syrup, back in 2014! Can you believe it was that long ago?  Gordy returned in 2015 to give a presentation on Kalamazoo’s own Zoa Phora!
     I enjoy each of Gordy’s talks, and I look forward to hearing him again!

Speaking of weather permitting:

                  I had received a few calls asking me if the last meeting, “was-a-go?”
     The day started out with snow and ice combined with very strong winds. We had been watching the forecast for a couple days leading up to  meeting night, and yes we wondered how bad conditions would actually be by meeting time.
      The day before, Chuck asked me, what I thought about having the meeting or not?  I suggested we wait until noon on the day of the meeting before deciding. I called him the next day and said, “We certainly have seen worse.”

         Frankly, we all worry about Chuck and Mary getting around in the really bad weather. Yet, on the other hand, I do personally invite folks to the meetings all the time, (not that they come).  I think those of us, who can, should come. But, if you don’t feel you can safely get out, I would encourage you to be safe! Nothing is worth taking a risk for . . .  unless it has sausage, mushrooms and black olives.
          What we saw at the last meeting, well it wasn’t always memorable.

For example Kevin Siegfried had a little novel toy that I would describe as a politically incorrect, It reminded me of some Mackinac Island souvenir. You know the stuff that is right near the whoopie-cushions and the fake vomit and dog-poo.
    The item is a little hand- carved wooden, black African image inside of a barrel. When you lift the barrel, you have been immediately blessed by a vintage African, Fertility God sporting his sizable goods. . . . That is about all I can tell you.
     On one hand it is a form of adult humor, but clearly meant for targeting any adult with a 12-year-olds mentality.
            Some of these Black memorabilia can be very collectable, and usually the collectors buying these items are African American. I was able to find one online that was priced at $20.00.

    Kevin also displayed a Julius Wile Imported Italian Wine bottle with a woven wicker  basket. The label was dated 1877 which was when the New York Company, Julius Wile & Sons started importing spirits. They had an International Class 33 license for: Alcoholic beverages (except beers). They specialized in Brandy, Cognac, Whiskey, Gin, Rum, Cordials, and Liqueurs.
To give you some idea what a sheltered life I have lead.  I don’t  know what half this stuff is!
    When I was in school and working part-time with a childhood friend of mine at my father’s RV business, our job was to clean up the returning rental trailers, and trade-ins. In one rental trailer, tucked away under a pullout bed we found a full uncapped bottle of wine. It may have been champagne, as I remember the foil-wrapped neck and top.
    It really didn’t matter what it was, it was forbidden fruit and we were excited to experience whatever we had been missing! But, for some reason we felt it should be chilled.
    A thousand times over I heard my Grandmother pray for me saying “Dear Lord, please watch over my little Allan, and please dear Lord protect him, keep him safe.”
    We both knew there were no real options to chill the bottle. We couldn’t sneak it into mom’s refrigerator that was too risky! Not to mention it was near closing time so we needed a quick answer!
    Just then we heard the squeal of the PA system;
 “We need a propane bottle filled, we have a twenty-pound bottle coming back (squeal) . . .  twenty pounder!” 
      We were the professionals in the gas shed. We were highly trained in every safety precaution, and for good reason! But this was the last bottle of the day, and our minds were on having some fun.
    In my haste, I grabbed the guy’s gas bottle, checked the tare-weight, and adjusted the scale. I spun-on the heavy nozzle, opened the tank’s valve, then flipped the pump on. All this was done without  sliding into the protective rubber gloves.
    I knew that this propane went into the bottle super cold. Very often the gas bottle’s valve would turn white with frost. But touching and feeling the cold valve without rubber gloves gave me an idea.
    After the customer had left, and before I locked up the gas shed for the night, I told my friend,  “Bring me that bottle, I have an idea.”
    I placed the bottle on the scale’s platform, turned on the pump, then gave the bottle a quick blast of propane.
The bottle exploded! Actually, a better word would be “Vaporized!”
Liquid Propane is liquid at            -50̊F!! It boils at  -44̊F!! It vaporizes a bottle-full of warm wine on contact!
       I can remember the next time I heard my grandma pray; “Dear Lord, thank you for watching over my little Allan”
   I thought, “Grandma, if only you knew!”
    Another interesting bottle Kevin displayed was a more modern machine-made pyro-glaze ½  gallon water bottle from Saint Petersburg, Florida. It is labeled, “MISTO, 1828 First Avenue, South, Saint Petersburg, Florida.
    My Internet digging turned up a company that was, a water distiller, started in 1924 by a man named, Raymond White.
Mr. White’s Misto company had a class 45 licence which permitted his company to produce and distribute soft drinks and carbonated water.
    Based on what I found, Kevin’s bottle dates to about 1952  I used the single digit exchange, and four digit phone number to reach that approximate date.
    I spent a great deal of time with my grandparents in Fort Myers, FL. They had friends from the Otsego area, who wintered in “Saint Pete,” as my grandmother called it and we would drive up to visit them. .
     If you have ever been to Saint Petersburg, you would know what a stunningly beautiful place it is! Especially if you like tropical beaches!
    St. Pete is on the western end of the beautiful Tampa Bay. It is like heaven to live and work there, of that I am sure, but, fresh water has to be imported! The whole place is like a peninsula of limestone-sand surrounded by saltwater! 
    The actual ‘ Misto’ bottles popular with collectors, are the big heavy 5-gallon demijohn bottles with embossing that is upside down. They are made for use, inverted, in office water coolers. Many of the beautiful Saint Petersburg resorts would have had several on each floor.
    In my mind, I picture; It is 1957, and I am pulling up to the majestic Renaissance Vinoy Resort, driving my new coral pink T-Bird with the wide whites and throaty dual exhaust.
    I left the port hole hardtop in Michigan, and for this trip I am sporting a white rag-top. Did I mention it is the rare F-Code,  supercharged 312 with four speed? I don’t want to forget that! (Today’s value $200,000!)   (Great Christmas Gift Idea)

    Kevin also had a reproduction EG Booze bottle at the meeting, and I can assure you he wishes it was one of the super rare originals!
    The original E. G. Booz's Old Cabin Whiskey was made for  Edmund G. Booz by the Whitney Glass Works of Glassboro, New Jersey, around 1860. The roof on the cabin shaped bottle says “1840" and nobody is sure why. That may be when Edmund started distilling whiskey and selling the product in smaller batches in stoneware jugs?
    Some say this is the “Crescent Wrench” of Whiskey bottles. Every adjustable wrench is not made by Crescent Tools, but everyone says, “Pass me the Crescent wrench.”
     By the same token, regardless of who made it, every liquor bottle is a “Booze Bottle.”
    An original 19th  Century  E.G. Booz bottle is a rare prize and could bring thousands of dollars!
    In fact that may be the reason so many fakes are out there! I am not sure if  the fakes were intended to deceive buyers, but certainly it had to happen at some point.
        Here is some general information on the fakes:  
1. The Clevenger Repro has no period after the "Y" in Whiskey on the right side looking at the back.
2. The Whitney Booz lacks the period following the word "Whiskey" on the roof.
3. The Clevenger Booz and Whitney Booz bottles both have a diagonal mold seam running to a circular depression on the central base.
4. The Original Booz was made only in amber.
Clevenger made sapphire blue and emerald green Booz bottles sometime in the 1960s.
    Other colors reported include Jersey green, colonial blue, Vaseline, amethyst, and ruby-red. Other glass houses used the Clevenger mold as well, and well into the 1960s.
    There are actually 3 variations of the original bottle.  They were all believed to be made in the same mold and changes resulted from maintaining that mold.
The Mckearin's list three Booz bottles in their book "American Glass"
1. GVII-3 Old Cabin Whiskey bottle with gable roof (straight roof line). Amber
2. GVII-4 has a beveled roof line. Apparently the glass company had difficulty with the peak of the roof breaking at the corners so the bottle mold was modified.
3. GVII-5 Same as the GVII-4 except with a short neck and round band collar rather than a tapered collar.
All three are believed to be blown from the same mold.
    As for Kevin’s bottle, it was made by Armstrong Cork Company of Millville, New Jersey and was produced  to hold "E. G. Booz’s  Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey" The bottle is amber with a paper label. Both roofs have, E.G. BOOZ and then 1840 appearing directly below it. Obverse has "Federal Law Forbids sale or re-use of this bottle" circa 1950-1960.
    Vincent displayed a small amber  Upjohn bottle with a painted label “Mercresin,” it was a breakthrough surgical germicide introduced by Upjohn in 1935.They boasted that if the incision left any fat residue, Mercresin, would melt it away. Do you think this stuff would sting?
     Vince also has a Hutchinson bottle embossed Sullivan & Co. Lansing MI. The Sullivan Co. was a Lansing bottler who was a member of the Michigan State Bottlers Association. The earliest start-up date I could find was in mid 1880's. Around 1917, the company was purchased by Pepsi.
    Vince also has a neat Kalamazoo bottle with paper label. It is a Linseed Oil bottle from Kalamazoo’s Original,
 HOEKSTRA’S HARDWARE (Where There is Something for Everyone.)
The actual bottled product was their No. 103 Floor Varnish. You painters will know what #103 varnish is, right? Varnish is rated by the color, type of application, drying time as well as hardness. As for the type of application, #103 was not a brush-on, it was rag-mopped. 
    When we were in the R.V.  business we could market certain accessories with our own private label. Things like TV antennas, towing mirrors, stake-frame awnings, sewer hoses, water hoses. The brand name we choose was “Camper’s Pride.”
     Some of the products I carry at my metal detector shop are private label items, and named, “Treasure Wise.” these products include headphones, goodie pouches, digging tools, metal detector bags.
    With Hoekstra, they purchased this varnish in bulk from the Adams & Elting Company, Chicago.
They would tell the small town dealer; “You will be able to sell more varnish if you carry the full AD-EL-ITE line, there is one for every purpose.”
    The product was purchased in bulk drums and the Hoekstra store would bottle and label it as their “Quality Store Brand”
Hoekstra’s No.103 they boldly claim “Cost you nothing if it shows not to be all that was claimed and completely hobnail proof!”
    Today we say: “satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.”
    Hoekstra’s hardware just recently closed after 149 years!  Hoekstra Hardware was started in 1867 by Dutch immigrants Jurian and Lucy Hoekstra.
    When I lived over in the Haye’s Park neighborhood, I purchased everything you can think of from Hoekstra! I cannot tell you how much I love an old creaky wood floor hardware.
    I like to tell the story about when my mother gave me her 1940's pressure cooker, which was passed down from my grandmother. She gave it to me when I started canning my own tomatoes. It needed a replacement rubber seal for the lid and one of  those little pressure cooker float valves.
     I had given up hope of ever finding the parts even before I started looking. I asked at Lowes and Home Depot and I got that funny “Are you crazy?” look.
    I went into Bob’s Hardware in Otsego, and showed the clerk my old gasket.
    He walked over to a wooden hardware cabinet, pulled open a couple wooden drawers, grabbed my parts, tossed them on the counter and said “Two bucks with tax.”
    My friends, please support these small town shops before they are all gone. 
    John Winkler had some neat items to display. Two were 1920's era Upjohn Phenolax Wafer bottles, both embossed and sparkling mint! One is clear and the other amber. Phenolax was the first “candy laxatives.” This was one of Upjohn’s most popular products! With a product like that a good sales line would be “We un-bound to please.”
    Madam, what evidence can you show, proving your child’s candy was drugged? What’s that smell?
    John also had a small Hire’s Root Beer extract bottle, also an embossed rat poison bottle,  and a 1940's Hygeia Duraglas Baby Bottle.
    The baby bottle is also a bonus advertising collectable! It was a free pass-out for customers’ compliments of the Blue Ribbon Diaper Service.  A helpful service if little Jimmy ate your bottle of Phenolax candy wafers.
    Our president, Chuck Parker, had a really nice blob top beer bottle from Sandusky Bottling Company. It is a one- quart, light-aqua with slug-plate.  After checking around online, he wasn’t finding out too much about Sandusky Bottling, so he contacted one of the Ohio clubs. That led him back to Gordy Hubenet! He was told it is a tough one to find, and it may worth $100.00 or thereabouts! 
    Scott Hendrichsen has a little Eaton’s Drugstore Bottle from Otsego MI.
    And how about that Dr. Wood’s Norway Pine Syrup! Scott has a sparkling clear example. Not a rare medicine, but what a treat to read the old testimonials! “Every hour delayed in curing a cold is dangerous.”
Just take it from Mrs. S.E. Little of London Ont. She had a cold set on, one that had her coughing day and night for a week. She had tried everything but she could not find relief!
    Then, a friend gave her a bottle of Dr. Woods Norway Pine Syrup and almost immediately her cough stopped!
    That was part of a newspaper ad dated 1905. I wish I could see the rest of the testimonial. I suspect her totally out of control daughter, who was failing every single class in school, was on the Honor Roll in less than one week of her mom discovering Dr. Woods! That, plus the front door hinge stopped squeaking. There can be no question about how a bad cough can affect everything in your life.
    Another cool bottle with an interesting history was one Scott showed, “CURTICE  BROTHERS PRESERVERS,” Rochester NY.   The Curtice Brothers products were numerous! They started out in the grocery business much like our Kalamazoo’s B. Desenberg, but instead of bottling bitters, they became interested in food preservation.
    They became leaders in canning and bottling products of every sort! Fruit, Vegetables, Salads, Deserts, Jello, Soup, Puddings and Sauces and Dressings. That list doesn’t even scratch the surface! The product that they were most famous for? It was what Scott’s bottle once contained, Blue Label Ketchup!
    The sales volume which resulted from the  popularity of Blue Label Ketchup created a real challenge for the start-up company Heinz. The way Heinz went after the Blue Label product was to attack the Curtice Brother’s use of their preservative, ‘benzoate of soda.’
    The “Blue Label” brand lost market share to Heinz when the company refused to remove the preservative. In the early 1900’s there was a general trend away from food preservatives in the United States which sparked a great debate over the use of benzoate of soda. After a referee board appointed by President Roosevelt supported the use of benzoate of soda as a preservative, Curtice Brothers launched an advertising campaign in the spring of 1909 stating that “Blue Label Ketchup contained only those ingredients recognized and endorsed by the U.S. Government.”
    With my tiny amount of background in the food production industry, I can tell that mankind has greatly benefitted from the use of benzoate of soda!
    Our new member, and my long time friend, Dale Roof, dug some beauties! One is a favorite of mine, Dr. Kilmers Swamp Root Kidney, Liver & Bladder Cure Specific. Not a rare bottle but one every collector should have!
    Another sparkling gem that Dale has found is a perfect OPERA HOUSE PHARMACY, OTSEGO, MI. bottle.  The pharmacy location was on the south east corner of Allegan and Farmer Streets. Today there is a parking lot next to Our Table Restaurant, where the pharmacy was once located.

Merry Christmas my friends! 
   Some of you cannot make the meeting, and we would like you to know that we truly do wish you a very, richly blessed, Holiday Season.

    Some of you will face this time alone, and I know that isn’t easy, I have been in your place.

    Jesus never commanded His followers to remember His birth, but we do, Christmas is an expression of gratitude to God for the greatest gift to mankind ever. . . Himself.

A month back I was thinking about the pure genius of the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life. In that movie George Baily innocently runs into terrible and overwhelming trouble which stood to threaten his honor, his family, and the entire community, right at Christmas.

     In a moment of despair, he wishes that he had never been born. From that point he is given the chance to see what the world would have been like without him.

    In his life he was caring, generous, loving and very quick to put others ahead of himself. His life had a huge impact for good on the entire community.  It really is a great lesson for all of us.

    My plan was to write a short piece for the Christmas newsletter about, “What would this world be like without God.”  
    Let me save you the  trouble, it is completely impossible.

          First you have to begin after the beginning! Now follow me on this, the reference to WORD here is Jesus of Christmas. The gospel of John explains:
    “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”
    Then, John goes on to identify the “Word” as Jesus.
    “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

    The entire Christmas story was the fulfillment of a rescue mission planned even before creation. God was never surprised by man’s fall, he was prepared for it from the very start.
    Almost everyone is familiar with the verse John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

      He goes on to say: “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

    However, not everyone will be saved; Like pure gold, God has a purification process that brings our sin to the surface and we are given a glimpse of our life sinful and deeply flawed.  God’s purification requires a stirring within, which brings repentance then faith.
    Jesus continues:
    “He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
    Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."

    Without God there  no natural beauty, no fields of flowers, no birds to sing. There would be no standards of right and wrong.
         The prophet Isaiah spoke of Jesus long before His birth:
    “He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. We hid our faces from Him. He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
Surely He hath borne our griefs,
and carried our sorrows:
yet we did esteem Him stricken,
smitten of God, and afflicted.
    But, He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with his stripes we are healed.
    All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord hath laid on HIM the iniquity of us all."

We were all guilty and He took our guilt and shame upon Himself. His gift is forgiveness.
    Receive it by faith.
That my friends is the true meaning of Christmas.

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 is December 10th.
 Meeting starts at 7:00



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