Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club News
New Year Ye Ole Bottle
VOL. 17, NO. 5 Written By Allan C. Holden January 2020
Happy? Who Are You Kidding?
Well folks, here we are again, venturing out onto uncharted territory with yet another brand-new year.
I hope each of you have a very blessed New Year!
Our pastor did his famous year-in-review regarding Otsego Baptist Church. He started out listing a number of wonderfully healthy babies born to young families in our membership. Next, he mentioned a list of members who passed on to Glory in 2019 . . . Sometime I have a tendency not to think of life in those terms.
This morning as I write this, my very dear friend, Steve Abbott, 60 years old, passed away. Steve had been struggling long and hard with Leukemia.
Actually, Steve beat me home to Heaven this morning, Jan. 6, 2020 and is basking in Glory's everlasting light. The mist has cleared and eternity welcomes him to fellowship with our Lord Jesus. From this point, we support his beautiful family with our prayers and love.
(So happy for you my brother.)
Steve never preformed a single great task, or did any kind of great charitable work to merit an eternity in Heaven, He simply believed and accepted what his Lord and Master did on his behalf. The path to Heaven is often missed because it is not wide enough for you to bring your baggage, it is narrow and straight and very easily overlooked.
Leading up to the start of this newsletter, I went through the busiest Christmas season ever for my detector business! By late summer and fall, I had been experiencing shortages on my best-selling detector models. These crazy metal detector companies are never prepared for a surge in sales which is so crazy! So, us poor dealers have buyers wanting to buy, and stand empty handed without the wanted product!
I started early to panic, so I doubled-up on my orders! At one point I had so much inventory I started to panic in reverse! The Ghost of Christmas’ past started haunting me, and like Humpty Dumpty . . . was I sitting myself up for a great fall?
I don’t care which political party you support, this is the good stuff Maynard!
Many of the Trump supporters are angry about congress obsessing on Impeachment and with them not getting anything done. Frankly, they don’t see the beauty in Trump’s strategy. The best thing for the American people is to keep those little minds confounded! The less they do, the better for America!
Did you have any recurring dreams when you were growing up? When I was old enough to notice girls, and realized they were noticing back, I kept having this horrible dream; I am standing at my locker in the school hallway, when I realize I forgot to put on my pants! Even to this day I wonder why I didn’t notice that when I was putting on my shoes?
Just as I start running for the exit, I realize I am actually in my bedroom! What a relief! Thank goodness, but it was just a bad dream, only this time without that usual yellow brick nonsense!
Today, as a great-grandfather, I dream that I am sitting down at my computer to create a Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club Newsletter and I cannot think of anything to say! I guess that dream is as old as some of the old bottles I am constantly asked to look at.
I had something that kept grinding at me. It was something that had been tossed into my face (several times) each day in the form of radio advertising.
Now, if this had to do with my very bad dream, I would say “Please bare with me.”
But, because we are moving forward, let me say “Please bear with me.”
I have had a problem whenever I hear of someone using Christianity as a springboard to launch their product. The company I am speaking of, that is currently using this method, has a terrible sounding pitchman who rattles on like a monotone Gatling gun. Honestly, he can take a 60-second spot and make it seem like three hours. In fact, if you trimmed out the dead air, and unnecessary words, it could easily be put into a 30-second time slot.
This guy is no doubt very talented in another field of work, but not in advertising.
The product is Insurance called Media~Share “A Christian Healthcare Service.”
Never mind me, I worked in advertising for several years and certain things drive me crazy!
The explanation they give for their “special advantage” is that instead of being insurance, Media~Share members pay into a pool, and when needed, other members share your medical costs. As a result, there is a big savings to you. If it sounds like they invented a better mousetrap . . . that is actually how all insurance works.
In reality insurance is the widest used, most accepted form of gambling there is.
The benefit that seems most appealing to me is that the member’s pooled funds are not used for the purpose of infanticide or someone’s sexual reassignment surgery.
This may be a very legit product, but I just don’t care for their marketing strategy.
I recall listening to Ernie Lawson, talking about this very problem found within the patent medicine business, and how it had eventually became completely out of control.
In the hands of many unscrupulous profiteers and con- artist, the public confidence was lost in the medicine trade. Some company’s were selling drug combinations that were way overkill, which brings to mind Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup. Complete with 65 mg of morphine, and a full ounce of alcohol, it calmed the teething baby as promised. However, it was poison if handled wrong . . . and often with tragic results. History will remember Mrs. Winslow as a baby killer!
On the other extreme, many con men needed little more than a bottle and a horse trough full of stagnate, dirty water for their product. It didn’t take long before the medicine trade was facing very distrustful public.
In an attempt to regain public trust the con men did what they do best to expand their fraud! To lure in the public into believing the product was safe and honest, they would hitch their wagon to anything or anyone considered honorable to the public.
Hollywood did a very good job of selling the America Indian as a bunch of evil scalp collecting savages. However, in reality, most of our ancestors respected their wisdom in natural medicine remedies. This resulted in many of the snake oil pitchmen traveling from town to town with the famous Indian Medicine Shows!
Another group of people used to fraudulently gain peoples trust were the religious Christian-based people like the Quakers, Shakers, Puritans and the Anabaptist.
I remember an early medicine that Ernie told me about, one that was connected with snake-oil pitchmen was Shaker’s Fluid Extract Valerian. I have a beautiful open-pontiled flared-lip Shakers Valerian. The little bottle is as fragile as an early puff bottle, just as thin as paper! Mark Churchill gave it to me and I truly treasure it!
When Ernie shared the story with me, I figured even the very contents was a fraud. I thought even the name Valerian was the name of some fake miracle concocted medicine.
Recently I did some research on Valerian, and I discovered it is a herbal medicine that has been in use for 3000 years! Valerian is actually from the Valerian plant root, and it can be purchased in stores that stock herbal supplements. It can be purchased as dried root, bulk powder, tablet or caplets.
It is very effective. I tried it! It is helpful for calming and helping to give a tranquil rest. Ever since my chemo treatment, more than 10 years back, I have struggled with getting a good nights sleep. My doctor had me taking Ambian but that stuff can make you very dependent on it. When I decided to stop using Ambian it was not easy!
Another problem with Ambian is it is a prescribed medication, so it is not always readily obtainable. For the last year I have been getting by, but rarely do I get a restful nights sleep.
With Valerian I sleep soundly and even have dreams with multicolored bitters bottles growing on trees and young lovely dancing maidens! As far as sleep medicine goes, this stuff is very affordable! A bottle of 100 Sundown brand 530mg capsules costs $5.00!
I found one of the online stores where they offer dried chopped root for $4,000.00 per ton! Valerian Root is commonly used in bedtime teas, sleep pillows, soups, ointments, and skin care products. It can also be used for foot soaks and baths. Its bittersweet taste makes it a flexible ingredient for many hot beverages and dishes.
I also found it for sale on a off-the-hook mystic weirdo site Witch Craft site, where they supply the ingredients to control those “inner demons.” They claim:
“Valerian is a strong-smelling root with a long magical history. It is used to ward off enemies and to enhance the effects of curses and hexes. Valerian is said to help turn bad into good, to banish guilt and encourage acceptance of the imperfect.”
(Since I started using it, I have been able to tolerate my fellow club members better)
"Valerian is known as "Vandal Root" and may be used to bring misfortune upon an enemy. Ground Valerian is an acceptable substitute for graveyard dirt in formulas calling for such."
Colliers’s Magazine was covering the battle leading up to the Federal Pure Food and Drug Act. One of their magazine covers showed a Sherlock Holmes like figure shining a flashlight toward the floor. On the floor are giant cockroaches with human faces. Each cockroach has the name of a company and the town of origin for each snake oil considered most dangerous.
Out of the 11, nearly half of the roaches were from Kalamazoo! I have this original magazine cover somewhere, and I spent too much time looking for it but without luck. When I find it, I will make note of each company name.
Here is the list of names of those friendly faces (and some grumpy ones) we saw at the last meeting!
General C.H. Parker C.S.A., Susan Anspaugh, Eddie Nickerson, Kelly Bobbit, Kevin Siegfried, John Winkler, Ron Smith, Rob Knolle, Vincent Grossi, Allan Holden, Linda Hamilton.
Just typing out those names gives me a warm fuzzy feeling! Oh, that’s my cat!
We saw a few nice bottles at the meeting, but, the first one that I photographed . . . well, I’m sorry but the picture did not come out well. It was displayed by Kelly Bobbitt and it is a small purse pill bottle.
I think it was for Doan’s Pills. The only part I can read says DOSE 1-to-4. I placed it on my yellow note tablet which was a big mistake.
Remind me not to do that again!
Vincent Grossi displayed a paper-label pint-sized AROMATIC SPIRIT AMMONIA, TRIPP’S DRUG STORE, ALLEGAN MICH.
Another nice bottle was a cobalt blue drugstore’s fountain dispenser bottle BROMO SELTZER. This bottle would have mounted upside down in a holder with a twisting knob type metal dose- dispenser used to add powder into a glass. I remember seeing these at the drugstore soda fountain, when I stopped after school to get my Green River phosphate! Oh they were good!
Another interesting bottle displayed by RON SMITH, was a nice looking paneled medicine, PEPTO-MANGAN GUDE This was a quack medicine that was suppose to build up your blood so that your body could make better use of the energy from iron in your diet.
The actual claim:
“ To provide a direct supply of minerals; to help build hemoglobin in the blood and stimulate the appetite so that more iron is absorbed from food”
The word GUDE is simply “good” in German.
Kevin brought in a neat little book from Kalamazoo Fisheries Inc. I remember this place! I wanted to stop so badly, but I am the only one in our family who likes fish. When I was growing up, I ate a LOT of fish! Now I have to order it when I eat out, but nobody fixes it like grandma did!
Kevin had a little milk glass Flaccus Brothers fruit jar embossed with a steer’s head. I am just learning about these myself! As Chuck often says, I was born in a basement and never brought up. From what I am learning, they were sold with products like mustard. They were made to be reused as custom fruit jars! It is really a beautiful jar. And I might add, I saw where one just sold on e-Bay for $258.00!
We will be meeting at the usual location, at the Kalamazoo Public Library. Remember, if the library closes due to bad weather, the meeting is canceled.
Our theme this month will be, “Your favorite local bottle, or any recent acquisitions.” Perhaps you received a neat bottle for Christmas?
Lord willing, and if the creek is frozen enough to safely cross, and those wolf packs are quite, Gordy Hubenet, has agreed to do a talk at the January meeting, weather permitting. Chuck tells me the topic will be about Dr. Kellogg and a mysterious conspiracy! No, it is not the Tony Tiger Kellogg
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 January 14th.
Meeting starts at 7:00