VOL 14 Number 7 ---Feburary 2017                                                                                       Written by: Allan C. Holden                                          



If the word "Spring" doesn't bring a smile to your face, maybe you are not from around here?

Actually, in January we enjoyed some short spurts of mild weather, which kept me busy at my metal detector store. Frankly, now that much of the heavy work is behind me, I am enjoying my new digs!

The moving is done but the settling in will probably take years! People come into the store looking for a little part or perhaps a simple repair and in a flash my brain says "Simple" then, it strikes me, "Where on earth did I put that?"

The 'settling-in' is far and away beyond frustrating! The little voice inside reminds me that my old store may have been in 'total-disarray,' and it took 27 years to make that wonderful giant mess, at least I knew where most stuff was squirreled away . . . . . . well almost!

I was a little arrogant thinking I could run my business from the outer regions of a swamp, and people would still search-me- out and find me. Well, they did to some degree, but I was missing out on the drive-by traffic! I didn't have a clue.

My mother heard about the possible move plan unfolding (where I move up to the front roadside building) and all excited she said, "You will do much more business up front by the road!"

My reply was, "Mom, I am 65. I am not looking for more work!"

She just didn't understand. You have to know my mother to get this! I am the oldest of 8 children; she was 20 when I was born. If you do the simple math, that makes her 85. . . and most people cannot keep up with her!

My mom is the best in the world! If God had handed me a "Mother Order Sheet" before I was conceived, I couldn't have done as well as God did on His own.

Of course, as always, Mom was right! In the old store, I have had customers tell me, "Boy, you are hard to find back here!"

Now I hear, "I have been driving by here for 20 years and didn't know you were here!"

Well, so far, I have been much busier! The moral is "Listen to your mama!"

About the same time, actually just before I moved, my old AM Radio started to wimp out on me. I knew that it just needed a good cleaning of the old analog-tuning pots, but I was so busy fixing other peoples problems, I couldn't find time to fix my own problems! Besides, we are living with new technology, today . . . the Internet!

Today, we can listen to almost any radio station in the world on a computer, or even with a cell phone, without waiting for a good signal or one that fades with the passing hour. Between the hours of 12-noon and 3pm, I usually listen to Rush Limbaugh, who airs on WKMI out of Kalamazoo. When I was in high school in the 60's, WKMI was the local top-forty rock & roll station.

Before that, around 1958 - 1959, I had my first transistor radio! We had to tune into WLS out of Chicago back then.

When we lived in Plainwell, on Cedar Street, I remember lying in bed at night listening to Chuck Berry, Elvis, Bill Haley and his Comets, Jerry Lee Lewis!

At the time, when he wasn't driving a Michigan Cottage Cheese Truck, my dad was driving a 54 Ford Mainline V-8 with dual exhaust! I wanted him to add fender-skirts, mud- flaps and dual radio antennas complete with coon tails!

So, what I do now is go to WKMI's web site, and click on the tab "LISTEN NOW."

The program will "stream" onto your computer. It is on a slight delay from the actual radio, and because this is a developing media, the advertisers they use online are not the same as the ones on-air.

In fact they really didn't have many advertisers at all! When the network show took a commercial break, on the internet feed, they would play some sort of "Public Service" message . . . over and over!

I didn't have the patience for such garbage! When I worked for my father I was sales manager and advertising manager, so I know these guys are losing money on their Internet feed! I called the station and asked, "What would it cost for me to run an ad on your internet feed for the Rush Limbaugh show?"

Frankly I think that hit them out of the blue! They sent one of their advertising salesmen over to show me what they could offer. I picked up a 60 second spot with a banner with a link to my website for just a few bucks for each time it was run during the 3 hour show.

So far so good. But soon it moved into bigger and bigger stuff! Before I knew what was happening to me, I was invited to a "Branding Seminar." Before I knew it, I was on the internet and two radio stations! I have lasted this long with little or no advertising . . . maybe I was better off? Well, I guess I will find out!


    So what does any of that have to do with our Spring Bottle Show . . . next to nothing! Each year before the club raffle tickets are printed, John Pastor calls to see if I am still onboard to donate a metal detector. Well, I am, but this year we are doing a little upgrading!

    Over the last few years the major detector manufactures have been going head-to-head trying to outdo each other in the entry level non-toy detectors priced in the $200.00 to $300.00 area. The Fisher F-2 that we were using for a raffle prize has been a great detector in that entry level.

    Before this battle started, I received all my detectors in plain brown, unmarked boxes. Today, the boxes are covered with pictures and lists of features, as well as alluring photos of TREASURE!

    Why the change in packaging and the harsh competition? They are all trying to get their foot-in-the-door at the big box stores like Gander Mountain, Cabela's, Field and Stream! Now I have even more competition! The Internet was bad enough!

    Metal detectors are still tunable, radio-type devices. In a world where many items have seldom-read manuals, there are mistakes that can be made. In some cases the big-box store customers will think they have a defective detector. My father used to say, "The problem is a loose nut on the end of the handle."

    Frustrated, these puzzled owners will call the manufacturer and explain what they think is wrong. At that point, the manufacturer learns this customer needs far more help than is possible over the phone, so they ask, "How far are you from Plainwell?"

    Yes, it is frustrating! I just do what I can to help, hoping the customer will send sales my way.

    Far and away Garrett had taken over the entry level market with two detector models, the Garrett Ace 250 and 350. They are simple, dependable and user friendly. Each year I looked for Whites and Fisher to go after Garrett, but nothing was coming out to compete.

Finally in 2016 Whites introduced two new detectors. They are the Treasure Master and the Treasure Pro. These detectors are really nice! For this 2017 Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Show the top raffle prize will be a:

2017 Whites Treasure Master!

This detector is by far the best detector we have ever offered in one of our raffles!

These new Whites detectors have a nice big screen which is easy to read at arm's length! It has a digital display which features an old-fashioned style 'pointer' to ID targets, yet it is actually digital!


If you had used one of the early,

old-school target- ID machines, they used a needle with a 180% sweep. If you went over a quarter, the meter would sweep up and stop at .25¢

On this machine, the pivot needle is replaced by a arrow- pointer and each target is assigned a number value. In this example a quarter is 82.

This detector is also loaded with 4 pre-programed search modes, which are Coins & Jewelry, Beach, Pinpoint and All Metal.

This detector utilizes a digital processor that is extremely fast! It is able to read the signature on targets accurately as deep as it can detect them! Many detectors will detect targets they cannot identify. Also, this state-of-the-art processor provides a very fast 'recovery speed' after passing over a rejected target. That means that the detector is very effective at finding treasure mixed in with trash!                                                                                                                               Treasure Master Video

Unlike many detectors in this price range, the detector uses an automatic ground cancel technology. Many detectors have the search- coil "de-tuned" or pre-set to an iron-stone mineral sample during assembly. This detector actually samples and tunes the coil for the ground you are searching. That means more depth!

The detector uses a VCO audio (changing pitch audio) in the All-Metal mode, similar to that used in a high end prospecting "nugget hunter" detector.

The relic hunters will like that the detector gives a target ID and number assignment in the All-Metal program!

There is more! The detector has 1 to 4 tone ID; the choice is up to you! With single tone, all targets will sound the same. With 2-tones, the iron targets will give a very low-pitch croaking tone, while a non-ferrous target will give a high-tone.

With 4-tone audio, iron is low, foil trash is slightly higher, pull-tabs are higher, and coins, including the U.S. nickels are a high tone! Unless you are familiar with most tone ID machines, you will not appreciate the tone separation on this machine . . . it is great! This detector uses the VCO (changing pitch audio) for the target pin-point function, which makes locating the target quick and easy! During the pinpointing function, this detector shows

the target's depth making pin-pointing even more precise.    

Here, to me, is the amazing part- 2 AA batteries is all it takes to run this sweet detector and the weight is 2.8 pounds! This raffle detector will also come with headphones with dual volume controls. The total retail value is about $330.00! To someone who has been involved in metal detecting for so long, I can remember when $1,000.00 couldn't buy this much detector!

Spring Showtime

    April is fast approaching! The club has already started with some show planning. That's right, you still have a chance to get involved at the ground level! Kevin has started a list, and quite frankly he is checking it twice! He passed around the hospitality suite food sign-up sheet, and all is starting to take shape. We are hoping we can spread out some of the work load so that Chuck and Kevin won't be so overloaded again this year. If you can make it to this meeting, God bless you! We need more member volunteers for show help . . . we need you! Even if you can only do a small job, that will help spread the load.

The show will be held Saturday, April 8th at the Kalamazoo County Fairgrounds.
This show has become the largest antique bottle and glass show in the nation!
Hey, how about that !!!

    This is your chance to be part of a Really Big Show! Consider the world famous Beatles. They got their start on a "Really Big Show!" Right, Ed?

    Especially for our dealer friends, the club hosts a Hospitality Suite with a generous buffet of food and beverages, between 7:00 and 10:30 at the Clarion located at 3640 E. Cork Street. (Exit 80, off I-94) in the Professional Conference Center.

    The club has also secured a terrific group rate of only $69.99 + tax for a king bed, or $75.99 + tax for 2 queen beds! A fellow couldn't live out of a shopping cart for much less!

    The Clarion, 3640 E. Cork Street, is a short 5 minutes from the show site on Saturday morning.

    To reserve this rate, you must call the hotel prior to Friday, March 31st at phone 269-381-1900. You must tell them you are with the Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club!

    Dealers must leave their display set-up until show closing! This is a very big deal for many show goers!

    Dealer set up is from 8:00 until 10:00, the public will be given access to the show at 10:00.

    Dealers must furnish their own table covers again this year.

    There is an invitation to Exhibit, with cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. $75.00 for first, $50.00 for second, $25.00 for third.


    We had lots of fun at our last meeting. Most of us are no longer interested in skinny dipping; I guess you could say we have mellowed somewhat. So, we got together and enjoyed chatting about a common interest that we all have; admiring our ancestor's trash.    
    My fellow dump and privy find collectors at the last meeting included: the Very Distinguished Mr. Eddie Nickerson, Honorable Vincent Grossi, the Very Esteemed Mr. Tim Hayes, Wildman Mr Bill Drake, The Ever Gracious Mary G. Hamilton, the Most Benevolent Larry and Colleen Cook, Chancellor John Winkler, Professor Ron Smith, Provost Fellow Kevin Siegfried, and Colonel Chuck Parker, and also (I'm afraid there is nothing in that black bag for me) Allan Holden.

As I recall, our meeting theme was "Water Bottles." Kevin brought in a couple of his very cool Galaxy spacemen bottles, Asteroid Commander and Interplanetary Commander. Kevin was telling the group that the bottles were made and colored graphics applied, caps stamped out and printed, then the project was halted before going to market!

Ron Smith showed us an early three-piece mold with the lady's leg in a nice olive green with an applied top. If this bottle had nearly any company name embossed on it, we would be starting at $100.00 and the sky is the limit from there!

But, even without the much- needed embossing needed to put it into a collecting category, it was still a beautiful antique display bottle! I could almost see Sam pull the cork to pour Miss Kitty a drink down at the Long Branch!

Ron also had a labeled "Florida Water" bottle. No it wasn't from the Fountain Of Youth, it was bottled in New York and is 75% alcohol! In all likelihood you would feel young until the next day at best.

Ron had another bottle which seemed more my speed; a stoneware hot-water foot warmer from the Dorchester Pottery Works, Boston, Mass.

I took a photo of a little half-pint dairy bottle, without placing a name card in the photo. But, I am fairly certain it was brought in by Colleen Cook. I thought at first the little bottle may be the bottle I have been looking for!

As most of you know, my grandfather started the Michigan Cottage Cheese Company in the mid-20's. He had been working in a dairy near Detroit, where they learned he could produce a special dry-curd creamed cottage cheese. That dairy was getting rich off Grandpa's work! Eventually he decided he didn't really need them, so he launched off on his own.

His entire relocation plan centered around finding a location rich with milk production . . . Otsego, MI filled the bill. However, he was also wise when it came to having a back-up milk source. That lead to the purchase of the small dairy in Albion, Indiana and also a manufacturing facility in Reed City, MI.

Colleen's bottle is from Albion, MI and she included a very interesting account of the dairy products that were produced in Albion, Michigan. Very neat stuff!

My old buddy Vince got the drop on me! I was going to surprise the group with one of my favorite bottles, "Buffalo Litha Water!" I really love the embossing on it! I have 2 very early large examples. However, Vince brought in the first example I have ever seen with a full beautiful label!

A group of explorers led by William Byrd II in 1798 are believed to have been the discoverers of the springs. Byrd had written in a book that the Buffalo Springs water was "what Adam drank in Paradise... by the help of which we perceived our appetites to mend, our slumbers to sweeten, the stream of life to run cool and peaceably, in our veins, and
"If ever we dreamt of women, they were kind".

The perceived medical benefits of the spring water were that it was "good for the liver, stomach, skin, and 'female complaints'." It continued throughout the Civil War, when Buffalo Springs continued to draw people looking for the medical benefits. It was believed that lithium dissolved uric acid, which was responsible for gout, dyspepsia, rheumatism, eczema, diabetes, Bright's disease, gallstones, fevers, and other things. By 1895, the water, now known as Buffalo Lithium Water was being advertised and distributed in thousands of magazines, pharmacies and grocery stores.

The real beauty was the seated lady pouring water from a pitcher. Even the newspaper art doesn't capture the primitive charm of the lady embossed on the early bottles. If I live long enough, I want to print that image on a t-shirt!

I also see in my photos, a lovely Washington / Eagle half-pint historic flask from Tim Hayes' collection! I really love those early open-pontiled, sheared-lip pocket flasks! Many of our early presidents were forever enshrined on the early historic flasks, but no other to the extent of President Washington. He was a very loved leader!

On that same note, perhaps a founding father who was very loved was Ben Franklin, who also drained a good number of flasks! I would loved to have known these great men.


This month our meeting falls on Valentines Day! What better theme! Bring the bottle you LOVE the most! Maybe the bottle has a special connection to you because of family, or perhaps it just for some reason it speaks to something or someone you care about? Perhaps you have a bottle that says 'Valentine or Love.' Of course we all love to see your latest found treasures!


315 South Rose Street

We meet on the third floor in the conference room.
 This meeting is Tuesday, February 14th

Meeting starts 7:00 pm.

For questions e-mail: prostock@net-link.net

Or call 269-685-1776