Vol. 19 Issue 4                                Merry Christmas!                 December 2021 
Written by Allan C. Holden

Last minute News!

              In our  November, newsletter I had reported; John Pastor, had contacted me about our April 2022, Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Show, about having a date change. The change, as you may recall, was because the Rochester, NY Bottle Show had changed their show to our planned date of April, 9th.

            So, to counter that move, John successfully changed our date to April 23rd right down to the Kalamazoo County Expo Center reservation. 
            This is a form of Antique Bottle Show Chess, and we are all after the Queen of  Bitters.

             So now, please don’t be bitter. . . here is the deal; John called me today, (Dec, 3rd) and he is now telling me that the New York show’s organizers  have decided to keep their regular show date after all! So now we are going back to April 9th.   Hey, I am just the messenger!

            John explained that a number of our regular show exhibitors, folks whom we count on, display at the Rochester Show, and this would  cause a considerable conflict.

            In fairness to this,
as news reporting  in the newsletter, we had decided the date change to the 23rd sounded ‘pretty darn good’ at our last club meeting.

          The more we discussed it, the better it sounded to everyone! If for no other reason than to give us more time to recruit help! Because, we are in dire straights! Frankly, if you were at the last club meeting, which most of you weren’t   it was somewhat depressing!

          At the November meeting we had the following people present: Kevin Siegfried, Vincent Grossi, Rob Knolle, Greg Stonerock, Scott Hendrichsen, Len Sheaffer and Al Holden. That is only seven people! And, my dear friend Greg Stonerock is not a member! A club meeting of six people? Not good.

           I have been around this club long enough to know that six club members are in no way going to run the largest antique bottle show in Michigan . . . folks, this is troublesome.

          We learned that Ron Smith is going through some major health issues, John and Lynn Winkler moved to the other side of the state . . . then there are those whom we saw promoted to Heaven.
Those of you who, for one good reason or another, have been missing the meetings, but you still stand in support of the club, Lord knows we need to hear from you! PLEASE!

         Come to the next meeting if for no other reason than to check out our new club digs at the Otsego Historical Society Museum!
          Or better yet, come to support our two wonderful new club leaders, Rob Knolle and Vincent Grossi. Please take time to be at the December meeting. We need your support. This month’s meeting is on December 14th.

            To add to the confusion, I got so wrapped up in my own assorted issues, I lost track of time, and in my mind I was a full one week behind! I was afraid this newsletter was going to show up late or not at all! Finally, someone suggested flipping the calendar one page.

              Of course the most noticeable thing about our last meeting was that there was a last meeting!

             Hi friends! I hope you have  all been  successful at avoiding the Heebie-Jeebies! It sure looks like we are going to be dodging germs for at least a little while longer. As long as a pandemic can be used as a shield to hide election scandal, it will be with us.

            Back, more than ten years ago, I was in the thick of a terrible struggle with cancer. The stuff I had was rarely survivable. The survival rate was 7%! 
I was fortunate to visually spot a strange pillow-shaped lump on my neck. If you can remember the little Chicklet Gum pieces, it looked like one of those buried just under my skin.

            As a teenager I envied the boys who could grow a beard. To this day, I still can’t grow one. However, if I had a beard, I would most certainly be dead today.

            The cancer caused no pain, not even to the touch. It caused no shortness of breath and no swallowing issue. You could not feel it, the only chance you had to discover it was to see it.
           So, Al, get to your point!

             After 6 of the 8  weeks of daily radiation, and four trips to the infusion room for chemotherapy, and after surgery to place a rubber feeding tube in my stomach, a drug port placed below my skin on my chest, and another port to continually drain fluid, my doctor gave me an order that I refused!

             Dr Liepman said, “Al, before you leave, stop at the lab, I ordered a flu shot for you.” 

            Now, I want you to know what this dumb guy, ‘Al,’  said to one of the most respected Oncologist in the U.S.
Oh, thanks but I don’t do flu shots . . . I’m good.

Well, that didn’t stay afloat very long!

           “Al, you shouldn’t be alive right now! You almost slipped away on us twice! I think you are on the home stretch now. But, most assuredly, the flu will take you down for keeps!”

          So, I have been getting the flu shot since, and I stepped up and got the Pfizer two dose, and the third booster vaccine. After having lost five dear un-vaccinated friends to this monster, if you are a senior especially, I pray you will get the shot!
I do not believe this God forsaken government has any right to push you to take anything, but I will ask you because I care about you straight from the heart!

            Even as I write this our good friends Lynn and John Winkler are battling the Covid Virus. Please join me in praying for them!

Bottles! We had Bottles!      

          Kevin brought a “BIG” selection of unusual bottles for our viewing! Most of these bottles were a preview from of an upcoming  “KS-Estate Sales” .

         I look at these estate sale previews as quite a privilege for all of us coming to the meetings! Another great reason for everyone to be at the meetings!

          Since I moved into my current store, my bottle display was boxed up and shoved into a basement. You cannot imagine what an impact it has had on me!
         People come into bottle collecting for many personal reasons. Some guys like to dig,  then sell for a profit . . . they are the backbone of the hobby we need them!

         Some collect for their love for history, and they value the chance to connect in-real-time with their past . . . I think that is me.

         Some collect because they are born collectors!! Antique bottle collecting is great because you can gather certain categories of bottles. You can focus on the bottles that interest you, without getting burned out looking for everything.

        Some folks collect as a form of investment which can be on a small scale, or maybe you have a deep wallet! I can assure you, bottles are doing much better than the U.S. dollar right now!

        As soon as my dear friends, Ernie Lawson and Jack Short, two of our club founders, lost their ability to continue digging, their interest changed from bottles to metal detecting! For them it was like flipping a switch!

        As a metal detector dealer, I was like a gift from Heaven for them. Hey, maybe it was a plot!

        Think about it! They kept selling me on the hobby! They freely gave me dozens of antique bottle books, they were inviting me to club meetings, and to the bottle show, and soon the hook was set!

        Yep, they hooked on to a new antique bottle nerd! I was the perfect target for them and they could see that! With my business venture, I had no time to dig and rarely did. So, what next? I am buying boxes of bottles from their digging collections!

      I got the bug so bad I started taking antique bottles as barter for metal detectors, detector bags, diggers, scoops and even detector repair!

      Why, for Jack I rebuilt the carburetor on his Honda Civic after the Honda dealer said “No Way!” They wanted $1500 to replace it! It wasn’t easy, but I got a Historic Flask for the job!

         I would back my truck into our driveway with a truck-bed piled with boxes! The wife would ask, “Are you building your own personal landfill?”

        Now, I find myself with a weakened interest! For me, the joy was sharing my treasures in the form of a public bottle display! That is now gone because of my smaller store.

         I say all this because still have to restrain my self when I see the bottles Kevin brings to show our club! At the last meeting I saw  examples of some very unusual bottles, many I have never seen before!

        Kevin had three little, almost miniature, amber, crown cap soda bottles. They were the very early tooled-crown-tops. I have only seen a few like this. I have one un-embossed olive green color soda, with an unusual tooled crown-top lip.  I dug that one at a ghost town named, Red Rock, in the western UP.  This little tooled top  bottle shares another thing with Kevin’s, it is also a very small 4-ounce size.

        Kevin’s bottles are shaped like a stacked snowman shape with four bulges, each separated by belt-lines which flow up to a tapered neck decorated with a scalloped embossing. Can you picture that? I didn’t think so.

       The product has a Russian background! The product is “Uncle Jo” beverages. The Uncle Jo Bottling Company is named for Jo Glazer (1876-1944).

         Jo and his brother Louis, began bottling soda in St. Louis, Missouri in 1898,  10 years after moving here from Russia.
    When in St. Louis, Jo married, Ida Feldman (1881-1945). Ida had studied with a Viennese chemist in Kansas City, at a bottling company owned by a Jewish family named Rubenstein. That is where she learned to make the formulas that would become the basis for their future livelihood.
    Jo and Ida used a variety of basic extracts to create their own flavored sodas. “Uncle Jo" in brown bottles," was a punch created from a basic herb flavoring extracts.
The company eventually moved into Texas seeking a warmer climate.
    OK, Mr. Tim Hayes, I thought of you! Kevin had some early Whitney Glass Works flasks!
    Also, he displayed a nice Big Rapid’s Michigan Hutch Soda embossed
 “C. Johnson.”
    OK you Kalamazoo collectors, Kevin had the goodies for you! One U.P.&G Co, pre-1902 Upjohn bottle with the embossing on the base.
    Also several Preserve Jars from the Dunkley growers. One was Dunkley Celery Co. Dated 1895 with an original closure. He also had a tiny Dunkley 1/4 pint preserve jar with a value around $100.00!
    For you poison collectors, Kevin had a
 “Eli Lilly” poison bottle! Complete with a flared lip and original cork! The bottle has full label and contents! The coffin shaped pills are each embossed with a skull and crossbones! What a great idea for  Sweetart Candy for Halloween! Hey, I would buy them! This year I went a little overboard with passing out those expensive Tide Pods. 

    OK, this I should save for the Grand Finale! Kevin showed us the Holy Grail of all antique bottles! Frankly it defies description! Open- Pontil, it is like an oversized chestnut swirled-rib pitkin style flask, whose mother was an middle eastern saddle flask . . . with a mouth that defies logic.
    Personally, I think what we have here may actually be of interest to many, as it touches several collecting interests. I think it is a travel urinal used on the   Overland Mail and Express Stagecoach Line running from Boston to Detroit.
    It reminds me of when I went in for a lab test, the nurse held up a small sample bottle from across the room and asked if I could fill it. I replied, “Not from here.”

    Another bottle I thought was really awesome, was a rare
1-quart, slug-plate, clear, embossed “Chapman’s Dairy” 2406 Portage Road, Kalamazoo, Mi.
It looks to me like this dairy was where the Upjohn Nursing Home is now, where Miller Road joins Portage Road.
    We had a beautiful trade card displayed by Vincent Grossi, for Ayer’s Ague Cure.
I really love the Victorian Era Trade Cards!
   The information on the card clearly promises, “If taken occasionally by patients exposed to malaria, it will expel the poison and protect from attack. Travelers can defy the disease!”
    Scott Hendrichsen brought in a very impressive collection of beautiful bottles. One of the early bottles that I always heard talked about by collectors is the Swaim's Panacea. The product was invented by William Swaim in 1820. It was a “celebrated cureall.” And who couldn’t use a bottle or two of that!  In order to thwart his competitors, Swaim began in 1828 to package the tonic in a distinctive round bottle with vertical flutes.
Frankly I think they are beautiful!

    Scott had a complete and very colorful collection of the hobbies most sought after flasks and bitters bottles in miniature! It looks like Wheaton Glass Works are making them. If they were each the real-deal we would be looking at many thousands of dollars . . . but I am seeing them on e-Bay in miniature for under $100 for the full set!
    Rob Knolle found an nice applied colored label quart- size dairy bottle from Manistee. The bottle is “Robert E. Preuss Dairy.”
    Another neat one of Rob’s bottles was a 1-quart dairy bottle. This bottle is a strongly embossed cream-top bottle from Glendale Farms.
    Now, I tried to find information on the Glendale Farm Dairy and I should have asked our friend, Steve DeBoode, but I pester him a lot! Knowing about Glendale MI, I couldn’t find much there. I did see the same bottle pictured from a auction which claimed it was from New Jersey. But honestly half the states in the Union have a Glendale! 
    Rob loves to buy and sell antiques and collectibles and I love hearing his stories! For example he will go to another vendor’s table, buy something for a buck, and in ten minutes put it on his table where someone offers ten bucks! Folks we live in the greatest country on earth! We owe our thanks to God!
    One year (many years ago) At our Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Show, Jack Short was working the metal detector table with me. Jack had spotted a Michigan Cottage Cheese collectable at another dealer’s table. Jack covered for me as I hurried over to that table . . .  and not a soul around. But, the Michigan Cottage Cheese Horseradish bottle was there! So, I picked it up and I waited.
    When the dealer returned I showed him the bottle, flashed the $10.00 price sticker at him as I handed him a crisp clean Hamilton. He took it and smiled and said, “Had you asked, I would have taken much less.”
    I replied, “Had you asked I would have paid $100.00!”
    He said, “I’m happy for you!”
    I love old bottles and I love the people who love old bottles!
    Rob has a collectable vintage 7-UP bottle, a Salute to Notre Dame the Fighting Irish! I hear tell the soda collecting hobby is exploding!

 Historical Happenings
    By, Vincent Grossi
     On Thursday, November 11, 2021, the Otsego Area Historical Society invited our very own Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club member, Scott Hendrichsen, to give a program about Privy Digging at the museum. Scott described the process of locating and investigating the contents of old outhouses. Scott had some great antique bottles and everyday household artifacts from the past on display from his many salvage digs. There was a very lively crowd of about 20-25 in attendance. Scott's mother was in the middle of crowd.
    Vincent Grossi, Vice- President of Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club, passed out old bottle periodicals, club information, pamphlets, and Bottle Show Date of April 23, 2022 information too.
(Thanks Vincent for contributing this article. I know Rob had also planned to be there but had some trouble making it happen. . . .  Thank’s again Vince!)

          When I run beyond 4 pages, I like to end up with an even number so that I am not sending out any blank paper.
          In each December newsletter I like to write something about Christmas. This I wrote in 2011.
 I do this for two reasons.
Number 1: It is sort of like a payment that I take for doing the newsletter. The next newsletter for January,  will be the start of volume 20, or my 20th year and the 220th issue. How time flies! "Tempus Fugit."
Number 2: It is my cheap way of sending you a Christmas card!

         If anyone out there thinks that they have the corner on the "I'm hated game," you better start opening your eyes and ears. Christmas is under attack now like it never has been before!

         Whatever happened to the America that I love? I cannot believe the hatred aimed towards God today! I'm not talking about Allah, Mohammed, Buddha, or any of the other gods men have made.
I am talking about the God who made men, the "God of Christmas."

         This God, took it upon himself to come behind the enemy lines to rescue man. He arrived on the scene as a vulnerable tiny baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. He didn't send an angel on this dangerous mission; the objective was too important to risk any possibility of failure.
So God came Himself, to be certain that His perfect plan came to a perfect ending.

         I'm talking about the God who left the glory, splendor, and beauty of heaven, to be born in one of the dirtiest places of that day-- an animal stable!

        Would it have mattered if Mary and Joseph had found room at the Inn? This after all, is God's plan! It may have been a smelly, dirty stable, but do we know what dangers awaited this tiny family in the Inn?
The "God of Christmas" knew!

    From the very start of the Christ Child's life, the enemy stalked His every move-- just waiting for a chance to destroy him.
      It is a historical fact that King Herod had every male child who was 2 years and under destroyed in and around Bethlehem. Very likely thousands of children were slaughtered, as their parents helplessly looked on in horror. The enemy tried, at every opportunity, to destroy the
 "God of Christmas."
         One cannot help but notice in the Gospel's, and in the secular historian's accounts, the huge amount of demonic activity in and around any area where Jesus ministered.

       The enemy was out in full force and all of his demon warriors were concentrated in this area! Their mission was to destroy God's plan. Even the hearts of the religious leaders of that day were bent to destroy the    "God of Christmas."

    Finally when His time had come, and right after an illegal trial and severe beatings, they marched him by spear point to his place of execution. The Roman soldiers felt as if they were in total control, but the "God of Christmas" was in control every step of the way. They could have put down those spears and simply walked away and the outcome would not have changed! The soldiers controlled nothing at this bloody scene.
    You ask, "If He was in control, why would He allow them to nail Him to that cross?"

    This was part of His perfect plan. Remember, God knows everything. He knows and loves what you see when you look in the mirror each day. He knows the faces around your family's supper table and those at your job --- and He loves what He sees.

        That's the part that is hard for me to understand! Why would anyone love me with all my flaws--- let alone the
"God of Christmas" --- but I know He does.

             The only way for Him to win the victory, for you and for me, a victory that we could never win for ourselves, a sinless man had to be sacrificed-- this is what it would take! He was the only one who could qualify.

          The god of the suicide bombers, that we are learning so much about lately, instructs his followers to hate and kill the infidel (unbeliever). This (little g) god sends his sons to die that scores of others might die!

          The "God of Christmas" sent His only Son to die . . . that others might live!

         Now, just think about this! If we had some sort of painting of that hateful god's likeness, you could likely have it hung on a school wall, or put on a postage stamp . . . no problem!
            The "God of Christmas" instructs his followers by saying;
          " Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."

            Try to hang His picture on a school wall or post His likeness on a postage stamp! There are so many who want, and are doing their very best, to wipe out any sign of the "God of Christmas".

             I present you with all this evil unfounded hatred as evidence of His very reality!

            They say that the three Kings in the Christmas story, who brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the Christ Child, started the tradition of giving  gifts at Christmas, but they are wrong.

    It was the "God of Christmas" who started the tradition of gift giving!

    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."
This was God's gift given to us on the very first Christmas.
    May the  "God of Christmas" bless you!

Have a Merry Christmas!
Our theme this month is Christmas Collectibles
 Bottles, Lights, Candles, Advertising Items, Santa Items!

The Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club
 Will be meeting December,14th at the  Otsego area Historical Society Museum at 7:00, located at 218 N. Farmer St. Otsego, MI 49078
meeting starts at
7:00 pm.
    Or call 269-685-1776