Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club News
New Year Ye Ole Bottle Club!
VOL. 17, NO. 5 Written By Allan C. Holden January 2022
Happy? Who Are You Kidding?
Well folks, we are rolling into a brand new year, what surprises will it hold?
Do you ever wonder; “what would we do different with our lives, if we could read the last page first?”
That is actually one of the reasons some people are attracted to the study of the Bible. We may not learn the details of how we will leave this life, but we can learn about what lies beyond our last breath, going forward.
I knew a large group of kids my age, who were not only in school with me, but were also in Sunday School with me. One of those boys was a good friend named “Rodney.”
Rodney’s father and mother were also very good friends with my mother and father, as well as my step-father, they all grew up together.
At only 16 years old, Rodney lost his life in a drowning accident. It was devastating to me. I remember when my mother took the phone call, on a Sunday morning, when we learned about losing Rodney.
When she hung up the phone, she was choking back tears, as she told me what had happened. It felt like someone turned up the power on gravity! I wanted to collapse to the floor!
We were both 16 at the time. On that Saturday, Rodney drove up-north to visit his girlfriend who was working at a popular Christian camp. That afternoon he went swimming and he swam out to a raft with no problem. But, on his return swim to shore . . . he disappeared. His body was recovered that evening.
About two years earlier, Rodney, his Father, and my future stepfather, (my lifetime friend) Howard, were in a canoe out duck hunting in the Pine Creek backwater just west of Otsego. I don’t remember every detail about how the canoe got up-set. It seems like one side of the canoe climbed a submerged log and they ended up capsizing.
Howard told me he heard one of the shotguns go off. When they surfaced they realized the blast had taken off the lower half of Rodney’s arm.
This happened way before cell phones, and basically the guys were a very long way from help. Rodney’s lower-arm, wrist and hand, were still attached by a few strands of muscle tissue.
They were able to get him to the hospital where doctors were able to re-attach the arm, but essentially it wasn’t ever functional again.
Many more years later, about forty years, Rodney’s father, Don, shared how God used this horrible accident to prepare him for losing his son later.
Some people will distance themselves from God after a tragedy like this, and often they will ask God, “Why would you permit this to happen?”
With Rodney’s parents, they only trusted in God all the more! This tragedy actually brought them closer to God. The same went for Rodney, he struggled with having a paralyzed arm, but the ordeal drew him closer to God. At one of our Church youth meetings he committed himself to one day become a pastor.
My point is; Rodney’s father, Don, told us, that what they had gone though with the hunting accident, had made them stronger in many ways. The accident prepared them for the tragic loss of their son later.
At the funeral I must have looked pretty weak, sitting with Rod’s friends at the grave side. I say that, because our Pastor interrupted the service by asking, “Al, are you alright?” I must have looked pretty well drained! And I was, the grief was heavy.
I like to think the trials of this past last year can make each of us individually stronger if we only turn to God and put our trust in Him.
It has worked for America in the past! May the U.S.A. always be a nation who proclaims, once again, in full honesty, IN GOD WE TRUST! We need Him now more then ever.
Well, all my panic over our low attendance, that I put into the last newsletter, I guess I really stirred the pot! Of course I was hoping it would. . . but my panic was real! Here is the list of sparkling faces we saw at the December meeting.
Scott Hendrichsen, Len Sheaffer, Melissa Hayes, Tim Hayes, Vincent Grossi, Rob Knolle, Ron Smith, Kelly Bobbitt, Greg Stonerock, Al Holden.
Welcome to our new member Melissa Hayes, Tim Hayes' daughter!
Also, my old friend Greg Stonerock is now a full fledged paid member! Greg is a swell guy! He has been a treasure hunter for a very long time, and he is big into advanced model railroading! With the digital world we now live in, these guys can control many aspects of the other guys train set! For real! Maybe next meeting Greg can share some things about the hobby.
It was fun to see our old friend Kelly Bobbitt! Ron Smith was at the meeting after battling some rough health issues! His story sure shows the power of prayer!
Ron updated us about the situation with John and Lynn Winkler, who were blind sided with the Covid virus . . . they are slowly returning back into Earth’s orbit!
I also wanted to mention at the last meeting, in our treasurer’s report, the club received $150.00 from the Joldersma & Kline Funeral Home, money that were memorial gifts to the club, in memory of our beloved President and friend, Charles H. Parker, Jr. The donations were from Jason Gaunt and Allan and Debra Holden.
BOTTLES ON PARADE!
We saw a neat selection of vintage glass at the last meeting!
Let me start with one of Kevin Siegfried’s blown-in-the-mold, with applied lip (BIMAL)
J.J. Hiller, Pure Horseradish, Niagra Falls, NY. A small half-pint clear, embossed beauty!
I like to do some on-the-spot research on these, but, I found very little information on this one. Frankly, going into the horseradish business is not that complicated, so there were likely Horseradish canners in most regions working out of their barns!
I’ll tell you who makes a mean horseradish is Kevin! Man, that stuff will ward off any case of Covid better than any booster shot!!
My Grandfather’s, Michigan Cottage Cheese Company’s Otsego plant, processed horseradish. They had to make the product in a separate building across town!
My father and my step father were delivery drivers. They had stops at some Jewish delicatessens in Grand Rapids. The label clearly called for refrigeration, but the deli owners insisted it wasn’t necessary.
Howard told me one store kept the product on a marble-top shelf, and soon the horseradish would start to ferment and weep from under the cap! It would run down the bottle and etch the stone! The store keepers were just fine with that!
My father-in-law, way up in the U.P. keeps a little patch of horseradish. Bob decided to process some in their kitchen, by using a food processor. He told me they had to leave the house for a couple days with the windows open!
Kevin also displayed a clear Washington / Eagle Flask with a screw cap. It is a machine-made vinegar flask that was marketed as a re-usable Vinegar or Oil cruet in 1932.
My favorite salad dressing is vinegar and oil!
This neat bottle has a profile bust of George Washington on one side. Above this, is
"1732 GEORGE WASHINGTON 1932". On the other side is an Eagle with 12 stars around it. It was made for the 200th year, bi-centennial, of President Washington’s birthday. Pretty neat stuff!
Kevin also displayed a neat early, P. Koops Extra Strong Mustard, clear glass jar, with full label!
The “P” stands for Peter, Koops, and the business he started in 1897 is still as strong as this mustard once was!
In 1897, Peter Koops left a successful shipping business in the Netherlands to find fortune and adventure in America. He began with a simple hand-cranked mustard mill.
He developed great tasting mustards. He took his product to market with a horse-drawn cart serving his mustard out by the ladle-full to loyal customers.
Kevin also displayed a very colorful 1940's era can of Dr Hess’ Medicated Powder. Here is yet another old survivor company.
In 1893, Dr. Gilbert Hess, having trained, and received degrees both as a Medical Doctor, as well as a Doctor of Veterinary Sciences, started building a business as an inventor and remedy developer. The company became a instant success due in part to Dr, Hess’ education. The main competition were fly-by-night flem-flam artist with no science background.
That indeed reminds me of the early years for Upjohn. Doctor Hess’ product projected superiority over unscientific medications.
Their early start was with just one salesman named J.L. Clark who worked traveling from town to town with horse and buckboard wagon, leaving free samples with store owners . . . which became later sales.
By 1897, the company had begun building what was to become one of the largest factories in Ohio and by 1915, Hess & Clark, Inc. employed 260 workers and 30 full-time salesmen.
From what I have been able to learn, the company is still out there today making needed anti-virus hand Sanitizer!
Kevin, also displayed a tall, clear, calabash flask which is also embossed with George Washington. If you search for items depicting George Washington, it is really mind boggling! He was almost as popular as our current president, oh whatcha-call-em?
My wife tells a story where as a young girl her parents were trying to recall some guys name, and at some point the phrase “Watcha-call-um” came up. On another time, with the same person, the parents having the same struggle for a name, when my little Debbie told her parents, I remember his name! It is “Whatcha-call-em.”
Out-of-the-mouth of babes!
Rob Knoll had a nice dairy bottle from Battle Creek, a clear embossed, one-pint, bottle from the Crown Dairy Co.
Kelly Bobbitt had several treasures, but the one I will focus on is his bottle of Hadacol. This one has got an interesting story.
Dudley LeBlanc. A born entrepreneur, put himself through college in Lafayette, Louisiana by running a clothes pressing business.
LeBlanc sold shoes, tobacco, patent medicine, and funeral insurance. He also ran a funeral home, which benefitted greatly from insurance sales.
LeBlanc served as state senator and in the Louisiana Public Service. In the midst of his political career, he also made millions selling Hadacol.
In the South in the 1940's, in the Bible Belt, there were many “Dry Counties.” With its high alcohol content, many drug stores were selling Hadacol by the shot glass full!
Hadacol was a mixture of vitamins B1, B2, iron, niacin, calcium, phosphorous, honey, and diluted hydrochloric acid in 12% alcohol base. The alcohol content wasn't all that high, but the hydrochloric acid meant it was delivered through the body faster than it would be otherwise with quick joy!
What made Hadacol a success was LeBlanc's advertising ingenuity. He explored ways to promote his product, which in many ways took the public by surprise -and it worked.
He kept supplies low in some pharmacies to create demand. He paid people for their testimonies, which sometimes crossed the line to ridiculous.
Here is a beauty.
"Two months ago I couldn't read nor write. I took four bottles of Hadacol, and now I'm teaching school."
Now folks, that has to be some good stuff!
The product name from the phrase “Happy Day Company”
We could all use a happy day from time to time!
Kelly also brought in a huge collection of Victorian Era Pickle Castors. I am going to sell some on line for him, so I will cover them in an upcoming issue.
Our new member, and my old friend, Greg Stonerock also had some awesome bottles! One amber bottle with full label was Tritipalm, A Genito Urinary Tonic. The product was a fluid extract of saw palmetto. To keep all the ingredients properly suspended and to help the user’s system to absorb its benefits quickly it contained 16% alcohol . . . strictly for medicinal purposes . . . of course.
Another beauty was a Lash’s Bitters with full label! A real beauty!
We saw so many neat items that I simply cannot cover everything. I hope you come out to our next meeting. Hey guys, there were a lot of these treasures that were for sale!
Of course Scott Hendrichsen had many beautiful treasures on display which will be featured on the web site newsletter.
Notes by Vincent Grossi:
1. Melissa Hayes, and Greg Stonerock, joined the club! Welcome!
2. President Robb Knolle announced the club’s Facebook page is up an running! The name is Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club.
3. Our future bottle show of April 9th was the main discussion of the night. Rob will be contacting John Pastor, (Show chairman) about the show before the next meeting. The club had many questions about the show in general.
Hopefully, this communication will result in a face to face meeting with John Pastor and the club in the near future.
4. On February 26th, 2022, West Michigan Antique Bottle Club will present it’s 31th Annual Show and Sale. The show runs from 10:00 to 2:00 at the FONGER AMERICAN LEGION POST, 2327 Wilson, S.W. Grand Rapids, MI.
For the Grandrapids show contact Steve DeBodde 616-667-0214 or Roger Denslow 616-447-9156
5. The Bottle Club would like to thank everyone who brought food and other goodies to the unofficial Christmas Party!
Especially our favorite U.P.S. delivery driver who delivered some hot pizza! Thank you, Scott Hendrichsen!
6. After the meeting, Al Holden gave Vincent Grossi a early Christmas Present! Al found boxes of Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Show records marked from the year 2000 to 2005! But wait! There was much more! Santa Parker hid some surprises! Come to the next meeting, January 11th, 2022 to find out what treasure was unearthed!
The Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club
Will be meeting January 11th at the Otsego area Historical Society Museum
Located at 218 N. Farmer St. Otsego, MI 49078
meeting starts at 7:00