Vol. 7 No. 4                                                                                                                                          January 2009
Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club News
Member Club of the F.O.H.B.C.


Bottle Theme

          Last month I told you how that farm scene at the beginning of The Wizard of Oz reminded me of my grandparent's house. Last week on one of the cable channels they had a Wizard of Oz marathon and I watched it two times in a row! I'm a 57-year old man and that crazy show still fascinates me! I still remember the first time I saw it back in the 1950's; it wasn't a movie, but an adventure! I say all that before I explain that the newsletter headline was not my idea.

     Our program (family fun) director, Scott Hendrickson, decided that our theme bottles for this month will be any bottle with an animal embossed on it or on the label. I think that Scott must have dug something with an animal on it.

       When I heard that, I went through all my bottles in my mind and I could not think of any with animals on them. If I had to think of my favorite bottle embossing, it is not on a rare bottle, but I think it is just plain cool! That bottle is, perhaps you guessed, the big and beautiful Buffalo Lithia Water bottle. You know, the famous product that was "Nature's Materia Medica." Here is a claim from an ad published around the turn of the century.

      Buffalo Lithia Springs Water: "A natural spring water bottled at the springs. It has been before the public for thirty-five years and is offered upon its record of results accomplished. To those who have tested it there is no need to speak; to those who have not we would like to send medical testimony as to its merits in the treatment of Gout, Rheumatism, Bright's Disease, Albuminuria of Pregnancy, Inflammation of the Bladder and all Uric Acid Trouble. There is no 'Tablet' or other concentrated form of this water - it is sold as it flows from the earth only. Like every article of merit, this water is counterfeited. Buy only of dealers who are above suspicion. Voluminous medical testimony on request. For sale by the general drug and mineral water trade." Buffalo Lithia Springs Water Co. Buffalo Lithia Springs, Virginia.

So, look through your bottles and if you can find any with birds, cats, dogs, or whatever, bring them to the meeting. This may be the most challenging theme bottle yet!

Local Bottle Find!

            We are in a deep freeze here in Michigan! I was at our metal detecting club board meeting on the first Tuesday of January and our club president said that this past December was the best December ever for his snow plowing business! I guess that says it all!

            Despite that grim statement, Chuck and Scott managed to get out and dig some privies in Allegan County. Chuck wouldn't give details of the exact location because the neighbors on both sides of the 1870's home came over and invited them over to dig at their homes as well!

        They found several bottles in the pit they dug, but they were mostly common-- that is, except one. They dug a Grand Rapids Saloon bottle embossed, "E. KALK BRENNER!" They found out that it was a keeper!


          We had a good meeting last month, even though we dealt with mostly club business that needed our attention. Since we are a non-profit club, the State of Michigan has requested a statement of our club bylaws. Of course this is big brother sticking his nose in where it doesn't belong. They couldn't care less about our group, it is the churches whom they want to monitor.

         I told Chuck that we could send them a couple pages out of the phone book and they wouldn't even notice it. I guess our biggest decision was to decide where the club's cash would go if we were to disband. We decided to have the money split between the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission and the Salvation Army. Those are some great choices, I think.

       The great thinkers present at this last meeting of important decision making were as follows: Ernie Lawson, Jack Short, Wayne Marvin, Brent Heighton, Chuck Parker, Tim and Judy Hayes, Mary Hamilton, Mary Hamilton, and Al Holden. We missed some of our bottle collecting friends. We all hope you can make it to this first meeting of 2009!

        Scott wasn't able to make it to the meeting because he was busy working the Christmas rush for U.P.S. They get really busy in December with thousands of presents to damage . . . I mean deliver. We missed you Scooter!

Some Jottings

       Last month I told you about an unusual bottle I purchased from our good friend, Mark McNee. It is a figural bottle of a hand holding a bottle. A guy drove up from Indiana to do some detector business with me. From his comments I could tell he was interested in antique bottles. I thought I would ask if he had any ideas as to what this unusual bottle was. I was surprised at his remark. He told me to contact a fellow named Mark McNee!

      In my quest for information on that bottle I searched through a Kovel's bottle price guide and I found four or five bottles fitting the description of mine. None were clear-- they were all colored. These bottles ranged from around $70.00 to $700.00! What I wanted to see was a picture of one.

      I went to search their web site. You have to sign up to create a user name and password, but it is free. Of course they now have my mailing address and it didn't even take a week for them to mail me something!

      They sent an offer to mail me one of their newsletters for free. And then if I choose I can get 12 newsletters for $24.00. I might just do it. The letter they sent to lure me in was pretty neat. Here is a couple excerpts from Terry Kovel:

       " Perhaps the most thrilling "find" that Ralph and I ever stumbled across was a silver sugar castor we found at a house sale. We didn't know how valuable it really was until later. Turned out it was made by Paul Revere--- not the patriot, but his father! We paid $12.00 for it; today it is worth about $15,000!"

       "One of my favorite stories is about a 7-year-old who bought a mask for 25¢ at a church yard sale. It depicted a blue hawk decorated with red leather eye flaps, a beak and horse hair. The child wore the mask every Halloween. Years later a friend thought it might be an authentic American Indian piece, and took it to an expert. The friend was right. They sold the mask at auction for $45,100.00!"

See you at the meeting January 13th..... meeting is at the main Kalamazoo Library on the third floor in the Van Deusen Room. Meeting starts at 7:00

Questions? Call