Volume 16  Issue 6                            Written By Allan C.Holden                                  February 2019      

I Hear That Bottle Show Train A-Comin’!
    The  hot topic this month will be spring bottle show business. Since this is our 40 year show anniversary, we have been trying to come up with something special to do for the occasion.

    Scott knows a fellow who makes signs and you can check out his work at www.aircuda.com

    My feeling on this is that it would be a one-time investment that may or may not even be noticed. I use, for example, the embroidered table cover we had made. When was the last time you saw that? It is nice, but just not memorable. I’m just sharing my thoughts; we need to hear your thoughts. I am just trying to get your wheels turning. If we are going to come up with something, it needs to be soon.

    I have had a dream I shared with Chuck and John Pastor sometime back, but it would take a lot of work. This may be something for next year perhaps.   We should draw someone from our in-house talent pool. I could do this, but it would take a lot of work. Let’s just agree that this is beyond our ability to do this for this year, but  just let me explain this crazy idea.

     What I am thinking about is an old fashioned Medicine Show. The possibilities are endless! It could be as simple as one person in a showman’s suit. Or a complete full blown medicine show with real Indians! But, for sure we would need a pitchman wearing  a  gentleman’s top hat doing some sort of clever entertaining pitch.
      He could actually have some sort of natural remedy to sell for a $1.00 per bottle. Seriously, I am thinking perhaps spring water with a private label. Perhap’s Professor Albert’s Medical Discovery?

      We laughed when we found out that William Radams Microbe Killer, which claims to
  “Cure All Diseases” was 98% water. Well, I think Wm. Radams may have been helping more poor suffering people than even he knew!
Radams made the claim in the following ad in the Lehn & Fink Drug Catalog of 1906...
  “Radams’ Microbe Killer;
A wineglassful of Radams’ Microbe Killer after meals and at bedtime will prevent and cure disease by destroying bacteria, the organic life that causes fermentation and decay of the blood, the tissues and the vital organs.
Radams’ Microbe Killer is the only known antiseptic principle that will destroy the germs of disease in the blood without injury to the tissues. Pleasant to the taste and agreeable to the most delicate stomach. A purely scientific remedy, recognized as a true specific. It Cures!
Wm. Radams was a contemporary of  Pasteur, who believed that all the ailments of the body were a result of microbial infestation of the blood and tissues. He experimented with a variety of chemicals to kill off these terrible bugs and patented his Microbe Killer mixture in 1886.
His product contained sulfur, nitrate of soda, black oxide of manganese, sandalwood, chloride of potash, wine, pink dye and water. However product samples remaining have been  chemically analyzed and discovered to contain mostly water with a touch of lemon!
Think about it. He claimed that his product “cures disease by destroying bacteria, the organic life that causes fermentation and decay of the blood, the tissues and the vital organs.”  
Sounds crazy, but I suggest that it did even more than that; it actually flushed the bad stuff  through the system!
When I was battling throat cancer, I went through hell! They put a hole in my stomach and stuck a rubber hose in so that I could feed myself. I had a line put into my chest so they could put a strong chemotherapy cocktail into my system. Within a few weeks I lost 80 pounds. I was taking daily doses of 20 MG Oxycontin every 8 hours. I was getting heavy radiation treatments every day, except Saturday and Sunday. The machine would laser the tumor 360 degrees, hitting it from every angle.
I received as much radiation as they can give anyone in a lifetime. The tumor mass was on the left side of my neck, but I had burn blisters on the opposite side of my neck! And those burns were from the inside! I was being cooked!
Very early into the treatment, I had to be rushed in because I was slipping away. Thank God my dear wife knew enough to get me in for treatment. Dr. Liepman said, “Boy we had a very close call; we almost lost you there!”
Was it the cancer or cancer treatment that nearly killed me?  Was it all the addictive pain killers? Nope, the problem was dehydration! I almost died from lack of water! I didn’t even want to lift a little finger to save my life. I just wanted to wander off to sleep; there was no fight left in me, I couldn’t even think straight.
 Once you have lost the 15 to 25 percent of your total body weight to fluid depletion, death is likely to occur. The miracle cure was . . . water! A rapid intravenous re-hydration and after a couple bottles of saline, I was off death row and feeling great.
If fluid loss is severe enough, your heart can’t pump enough blood to your body, leading to  hypovolemic shock. Symptoms include pale, cool and clammy skin; a rapid heartbeat; and shallow breathing. You must be taken to a hospital for emergency medical treatment when you are in this stage.You can find yourself in this situation without cancer or even with a simple cold!
From the very time man was removed from the garden of Eden, he has searched for the magic elixir of life. The human body is made up of approximately 60% water, the brain is 75% water and our blood is 83%. We are continually losing water over the day through urine, sweat and in our breath as vapor. This water has to be replaced because the body cannot store water. In fact, the human body can last weeks without food, but only days without water; water is absolutely essential to life.
Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Because your body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it's important to re-hydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water.
Well, you get my point. It would be so easy to put together an entertaining “Step Right Up” presentation with a good pitchman, and, you could send everyone home with a souvenir bottle of “Natures Materia Medica.”
  I know, I have had this idea for several years, and I can’t seem to get my act together. We could put together some fancy backdrops if we really wanted to go all out. Think about the early scene in the Wizard of OZ when Dorothy is running away from home to save her little dog, Toto. She runs into Professor Marvel and his old gypsy wagon which reads PROFESSOR MARVEL, ACCLAIMED BY THE CROWNED HEADS OF EUROPE. 
The possibilities for a old fashion pitchman act would be fun, especially with that stage at our disposal.
Another more realistic idea would be some really cool 40th year anniversary T-Shirts-- something that could feature our mascot Best Bitters bottle but use type-style lettering as used in Scott’s 1897 Invoice.

         Well, Chuck asked me to remind you to put your thinking caps on. I said to him, think about what you are saying. Picture in your mind, for example, the faces of each club member at the last meeting: Ron Smith, Susan (Chuck’s daughter), Reverend Leroy Otis Shapiro Parker, Vincent Grossi, Ed Nickerson, John Winkler, Scott Hendrichsen Esq., Kevin Siegfried, Rob Knolle and Allan Holden.  Chuck, there is nobody in this bunch who can afford a thinking cap, let alone the batteries to run one!

          I hope that each one of you was able to survive the Polar Vortex! They say Kalamazoo set a new record low with -18 degrees, breaking the -15 degree record set January 31st  1899! Can you imagine what it was like riding out temperatures like that back in those days? Even a bottle of 80 proof  Zoa~ Phora would have frozen solid!

         I heard one interview on the radio with a heating expert. He said, “Some people, even some with new furnaces, will find out how inadequate their furnace is.”
         He went on to say that an inadequate  furnace will run and run without ever reaching the desired temperature.
       This fall we had our furnace man come in to do a service check and test. He also cleaned the burners and tested our thermostat. Our furnace did plenty of running but she did just fine.
       This “New” furnace is about 10 years old now. When we were married 28 years ago, my wife used money from an air conditioner savings fund to pay for wedding costs. It took several years to save enough to add that air conditioning, but finally we thought we were good to go.
        I called around and felt like Bel-Aire Heating had the system we wanted. They came over and started the install, when they found a slight problem. When they opened up the air exchange plenum they found the burner towers were all cracked! Our house was a poison gas chamber! Every winter we suffered with various health issues and thank God we found the problem!
I am once again Faster than a speeding bullet!  
        As you can imagine, the cost of having that air conditioning went skyward, with needing a new furnace as well. Thank goodness for credit! We also added a April Air humidifier which has been a real blessing, and a new water heater! We like to jump into the deep end of the pool!
    Back in the early 70's, I purchased a slab-built National Home in Kalamazoo. It was a real handyman’s special! I was able to buy it with no money down because it was on the market for far too long and it was in real rough shape!
    These houses were manufactured in Kit form right after World War II by National Homes Corp., in Lafayette, Indiana, beginning in the 1940s. The National units were popular because of their low cost. America was looking for affordable homes, so the country could focus on the greatest of all endeavors, creating us baby boomers! I read where there were over 100,000 were built! 
I believe mine was built in 1957 and was just one of hundreds built around the Kalamazoo area. As a very run down, three-bedroom home with garage, on a nice-sized lot, I paid less than $10.000.00.
    The way the National Home program worked was that future homeowners purchased the plot, poured a concrete slab; then the kit was delivered, and fully  constructed new for $2,000 for a two-bedroom and $2,400 for a three-bedroom in the 1940s. My home on 1919 Buena Vista was built around 1957.  I worked at a company named Wheeler Roll just two blocks down on Factory Street, so the location was perfect for me.

         The company I worked for was involved in rebuilding what are known as finishing rolls that are used in “Calender” stacks. Dried paper is rolled under high pressure before finishing. These rolls are filled with thousands of sheets of paper pressed together under thousands of tons of pressure. The final stage of rebuilding these rolls is to cut a fine smooth finish. You would never believe the finished product is made of paper, because it looks like hard plastic.
         Over use, thousands of miles of paper will run through the stack and eventually some paper will fold or a foreign object will damage the roll where it needs to be refinished. We had one customer, a wall paper mill from Thunder Bay, Canada. The paper fill on their calender rolls was made from wool. When the old wool paper was cut from the roll, it was bailed up into giant 100 pound bales and one roll would yield about one semi load. The bales were picked up by Lewis C. Howard and recycled somewhere. The boss let me take a couple bales home which I used to insulate my attic with wool! Otherwise these National Homes were very poorly insulated!

          My house  was supposed to have floor duct heat. The plan was that before the concrete slab was poured, they laid heavy 4 inch round cardboard tubing in the floor area. These cardboard forms would become “lifetime” heat runs encased forever in solid cement. I am sure they were thinking ultimately they would have heat runs which would be trouble free and that was that. It sure didn’t work as planned. Over time, with concrete floors, things get damp and soon the cardboard forms collapsed leaving useless plugged-up heat ducts that became Condos for mice!

        The person who owned the house before me ran heat runs to each room, through the attic space. That worked OK, but the house was always a little too cool for my taste. The walls on a National home were all prefab and very thin. Standard construction uses 2X4 wall studs and these were 2X2. I was told a good crew could unload and assemble a National Home in 2 days or less!  Almost every National Home was covered with asbestos siding. I know ours was.

        I purchased some cast pre-formed chimney blocks and some red clay chimney liners and built a nice chimney. Inside I laid-up a red brick base and a partial brick wall surround using the concrete floor as a base. It really looked sharp. Next, I purchased a nice airtight wood stove. This turned that cold damp slab home to a warm and cozy bungalow!
          At the time, my grandparents owned 500 wooded acres west of Otsego. The land had just been logged of old growth hardwood trees, mostly oak. I was allowed to clean up whatever the loggers left behind. I would say I took 10 full cords out of there and didn’t even scratch the surface! And guess what. I was in great shape! You sure wouldn’t know it today. This summer, Lord willing, I am going back to wood heat!

           So what about this Polar Vortex? The “Scientist,” which I lovingly refer to as “Climate Change Hustlers,” came out with a statement saying, “There is no evidence that man-made climate change causes extreme cold.”
     So, is that so? There is no evidence it causes warming either.
    Of course they had to speak up offering an opinion so that we won’t notice the egg on their face! Also it is important for them to keep their foot in the door. To suggest man has power over nature is one more attempt, made by man, to remove God from every possible equation in life.

             That reminds me of the joke-- maybe you heard this.
         At a major world science convention, scientists decided they would challenge God on His greatest a creation, making man.
       The scientist walked up to God and said, “God, we've decided that we no longer need You. We're at the point where we can clone people and do many miraculous things. We don't need you here anymore. you can just go your way.
    God listened very patiently and kindly to the men. After the scientist finished speaking, God said, "Very well, how about this? Let's say we have a man-making contest?"
    To which the scientist replied, "Okay, great!"
    But God added, "Now, we're going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam."
    The scientist said, "Sure, no problem," and then he bent down and grabbed  a handful of dirt.
    God looked at him and said, get your own dirt!”
    Honestly, we live in a world I no longer recognize. Are we foolish making God our enemy? 
          Well, if you missed it, our last month’s meeting had an interesting twist! At the last minute, we were bumped out of our meeting room! I honestly do not understand how or why it happened but, it frustrated me, to put it mildly. It all happened at short notice.
          We did have a meeting at Bimbo’s Pizza.  You all know I love Bimbo’s, but it is really hard to have a meeting where something different was going on at three different tables. Even at the regular meeting location, it got a little chaotic.
          I have been trying to understand why we got bumped, and I think it was because we went directly to Bimbo’s for the December meeting and completely bypassed the library. I also think calling down to the library in search of Mary may have reached the wrong ears. It was one of the library staff who signed up her group at what appeared to be a board room vacancy.
          I suspect she thought, “Hey if they are not going to use it, I will just pen in our Book Reading Club!”
        For crying out loud! What business does a book reading club have in a library in the first place?
       This problem instantly generated talk about finding another meeting spot, and I think once we get the bottle show behind us, that may be a fair topic to look into. Lord knows we could use something with better parking.
       Chuck was able to get a call through to Ryan Wieber, the Kalamazoo Library Director, to see if this schedule problem could be untangled. When I think about doing Ryan’s job, or the job of a Pastor . . . well, no thanks! It is like living a life of walking around on broken glass!
        But Ryan, being the leader that he is, has moved us into the Van Deusen Room which is on the same floor.  Just go past the Board Room down to the end of the hall.
           Yes, I know what you are thinking, “Isn’t that where the guitar pickers have their jam session?”
           You are right, but Ryan told Chuck that the room partition is sound proofed! Well, if it isn’t, we will have Kevin practice his Norwegian yodeling at the top of his lungs . . . that will teach them!! 

          Well, we need to see beyond these little problems. It is time to be about club business this month. I hope as many of you who can, will come out for this month’s important meeting.
          I was leafing through the latest issue of Antique Bottle and Glass Collector and a giant full page ad for the Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club’s 40th annual show jumped right out at me!  That is our starter pistol! We need to get this thing underway-- no time to lose!
 Kevin called and told me he has show flyers and duty sign-up sheets at this meeting. . . please come! 
    Remember, if the weather is bad, listen to the radio. If the library is closed, there will be no meeting.
Last Meeting

    As I mentioned, the last meeting was switched at the very last minute to Bimbo’s Pizza. Nonetheless, we saw a bunch of really neat bottles. I suggested having a night featuring embossed soda bottles  because I received a beauty for Christmas. I had no clue what a big hit that would be!
    Collecting embossed crown cap sodas or painted label sodas is really the new frontier in bottle collecting because it is still fairly affordable! If you like the early 19th century inks, medicines, bitters, flasks etc., you need deep pockets!
    Rob Knolle brought in a nice collection of early soda bottles. The most interesting was a Hutchinson bottle with a slug plate “No 5 BO-DE.” I checked in with Steve DeBoode on this one. He told me this bottle had been mistakenly thought from Bodie CA. But it is actually a Chicago Beer bottle. Steve tells me, “Chicago makes more sense because they turn up often in lower southwest Michigan and are fairly common.”
     I really love the old script number “5" – it is just cool!
    Rob displayed a nice “Modern Beverage Company” soda from Kalamazoo. Another was “Electro Pure Beverage”. The earliest mention of Electro Pure that I found was from a Empire Bottling Works. They had bottling companies in several locations, reaching as far south as El Paso, TX. This bottle likely came from a Cleveland, OH, plant. Electro Pure was sold as table water that came in fruit flavors, such as grape and orange, and pale dry ginger ale.
    Another Hutch Bottle was Thos Burger, South Bend, IN. It was an embossed slug plate.
    Another soda was a DRINK PAUL’S from Muskegon, MI., which was being bottled from 1917 to 1960. Ironically the next bottle Rob displayed was a “SUN RISE SODA” applied color label soda from Muskegon, MI. I found out the Sunrise product replaced the PAUL’S at the same plant.
A heavy, very ornate soda bottle from Saint Joseph, MI, is the FAMOUS beverage bottle. They used enough glass in one of these soda bottles to make a six pack today. Nobody ever survived getting clubbed in the head with this one!
    Kevin Siegfried  brought in some real treasures! One item was a sparkling, light aqua, one- quart wax seal, canning jar, embossed with the letter “K” on the base.
    According to my friend Douglas M. Leybourne, Jr., this bottle was very likely from Kearns & CO / Kearns, Herdman & Gorsuch, Zanesville, OH.
From what I can find out this bottle, by itself, is worth enough to retire on.
    How about that! I just caused two heart attacks! One was Kevin, who sold it cheaply to Chuck, and Chuck who bought it cheaply from Kevin.
Hey guys, I don’t know what it is actually worth, but it sure is a beauty! But I just had $20.00 worth of fun!
    Kevin also had some cool small metal items. Two were antique shoe button hooks. One was for Vaughan Shoes Grand Rapids, MI. The other was Hamilton Brown Shoes, Saint Louis, Mo. The Hamilton Brown Shoe Company was once the largest shoe manufacturer in the entire country. They started in 1888 and were producing up to 1939. I saw pictures of some of their products and they really looked sharp!
    Kevin showed two small metal toy ships. One was a 1900's Barclay German Navy S.M.S. EMDEN. This was what is known as a slush mold lead toy. Barclay Manufacturing was formed in about 1922. The name of the company came from Barclay Street in Hoboken, New Jersey. During the 1930s, the company was later based in North Bergen, New Jersey.
  In its heyday, Barclay produced 500,000 toys a week, making them the largest toy soldier manufacturer at that time in the United States. As Barclay Manoil toy ships go, the S.M.S. Emden is about the rarest. But, with dime store toys . . . rare doesn’t mean scarce.
    If pre-war metal toys are rare at all, rare isn’t about production numbers. It is about wartime melt-down numbers. America was strongly ‘united’ for WW II. A boy was giving up his toy soldier to load the gun of a real soldier, thereby making them both victors! Today, we spinelessly find ways to accept evil instead of defend against it.
    Scott brought in several cool items, but the best was the B.Desenburg Company Delivery Invoice. He also had several neat bottles and crocks. The Desenburg Invoice is hard to read. It appears the product was sold to the F.H. Green store in Allegan. They purchased one box of A & H, 1 case canned cereal, 1 case coconuts, 2 heavy 5 foot braided rope, 12 Brewsters Cocoa. The bill was paid December 1897.


The West Michigan Antique Bottle Club
is having their 28th annual show and sale
 Saturday, February, 23!
Fonger American Legion Post
 2327 Wilson, S.W.,
 Grand Rapids, MI.

 For information contact:
 STEVE DeBOODE, 616-667-0214


  The Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club
We meet at the main Kalamazoo Library,
 315 South Rose Street.
 We meet on the third floor in the Van Deusen Room
   This meeting is February 12th. Meeting starts at 7:00

e-mail:  prostock@net-link.net  
    Phone 269-685-1776
    Web Address

The Meeting theme is Valentine’s Day “LOVE!”
But let’s focus on show business.