Vol. 20 - Issue No. 8                                                                                                                                                                                                                             May  2023
    Written By  Allan  C.  Holden                                                                      Member Club, F.O.H.B.C.

                        THIS MONTH!                                    MARBLE COLLECTING!

Coming Event! Marble Collecting!

          This is were we take you all back to those heated contests on the school playground! Those daring times of “Play-for-keeps” which we all remember from recess time.
Well, maybe not all? 

 Actually, I do remember, and remember very well! We were playing marbles right up until sixth grade at Dix Street Elementary School in Otsego.
     That was a year, 1963, and it was filled with memories! Memories which in some way seem almost unbelievable today.

         Sixth grade was the first year I had individual divided classes with three different teachers . . . that was new and different.

        Another first was having a “Home Room” teacher. Her name was Mrs. Simpson.

Several things were new to me that year in school. I suspect some things were new by design to prepare us for Jr. High and High School. However, now with hindsight,  certain things would change that were unnoticed by us kids.

          For example; this was the last year I would hear a teacher pray in class.
Or, would I see a teacher have a copy of the Bible on their desk. And never again would we recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
         It was also the year, when as young children, would we see true darkness descend on this nation.
         For it was in Mrs. Beach’s English class, right after lunchtime, when we would hear someone knock at the classroom door, Mrs Beach would step out into the hall, and return in tears, President Kennedy had just been shot.

        I cannot remember any marble games, tetherball, or hanging from the monkey bars after that . . . we were all violated by evil. It seemed like a dark cloud had settled in, and in many ways only  scars remained.

       Up until that time, the word “pot” was a marble pot, and a shooter was your favorite marble. I remember having: Clearies, Onion Skins, Cat’s Eyes, Steelies, Aggies, Black Opals, Pearly, Shooters and Boulders.
I certainly have forgot more than I remember!

       Well, you folks want to be at the May meeting of the Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club! Marble Collector, Professor John Wilterding, from the Olivet College will be with us with a presentation on:         MARBLE COLLECTING!

        John has been collecting marbles for about 10 years now. John will be bringing marbles examples to look at, and talk about the major styles and markers, and discuss the challenges in identifying marbles along with some information about the fakes and misleading examples that circulate now quite commonly.

         I am very interested in this collecting category! I would suggest that if you have interesting marbles that you have wondered about, this would be a good night to get an expert’s opinion!   REMEMBER THE PUBLIC IS INVITED!

The 2023 Kalamazoo Bottle Show!
    We actually had an April club meeting since the 2023 bottle show, it is hard for me to grasp that! I haven’t covered this in a newsletter before now.

    At the meeting, it seemed unanimous to all, that the show was a complete success! We all worked hard towards that goal, but, our club president, Rob Knolle, vice president, Vincent Grossi and show director, John Pastor did an amazing job!

        As club treasurer, (which is a violation of my probation) the show deposit was $100.00 higher this year . . .  over that of 2022.
        But, because of smarter decision making, our overall expenses were much lower and we didn’t even have  raffle income! Pretty amazing when you think about it!

    The overall traffic remained strong for the entire show, and the overall feeling of glad tidings were everywhere! You could feel the LOVE!

    I arrived at the fairgrounds early. We shared our day at the Expo Center with the big Flea Market. As I passed the rear  loading area, people were herding massive numbers of fleas into the building! And at 7am, the bottle club members busy arranging tables and chairs.

    We certainly had a great day! I always try to leave with a new treasure. Kevin and Ed were working right across from us, and next to him was a couple with some beautiful bottles. He must have had at least two dozen Warner Safe Bitters with no two alike. His wife said he had been collecting since he was 14!

    I couldn’t help but wonder if one of my friends doesn’t know this guy? One of my friends keeps trying to trade me out of a bottle. He tells me he knows a buyer for one of my dark chocolate amber Warner Safe examples, and I didn’t see that one on his table!
       We had a good discussion at the meeting while the show was still fresh on our minds and it seemed that we all agreed it was a great show!

Vincent’s Notes
(The real news!)
    Hi Club Members!
      I talked to John Wilterding on Thursday, April 20th, 2023. We are all set up for the presentation with John and the Museum. John will bring a guest to the night 's event. Also, a marble collector from Lansing, MI.

       Any questions ? I will see everyone on May 9th, If you have special marble you have always wondered about bring it along so can wonder with you!

      The Bottle Club added three new members to the club since the April 2023 Bottle Show; Myron Reddin from East Lansing, Steve Reddin from Lansing and William Riley  from Kalamazoo.   
The Bottle Club's Presentations Scheduled:
May 9th, 2023 ( Tuesday Evening ): MARBLE COLLECTING by John Wilterding.  LOCATION: Otsego Area Historical Society Museum.      Time: 7:00 PM- 9:00 PM.
August 17th, 2023 ( Thursday Evening ): PRIVY DIGGING by Scott Hendrichsen. LOCATION: Oshtemo Township Hall ( Community Room ).  Time: 7:00 PM- 9:00 PM.

 September 12th, 2023 ( Tuesday Evening ): INSULATOR COLLECTING by Mike Bruner. LOCATION: Otsego Area Historical Society Museum. Time: 7:00 PM- 9:00 PM.
The Bottle Club's Summer Events Scheduled:
June 13th, Tuesday Evening   BIMBO 's PIZZA NIGHT!
  LOCATION: Downtown Kalamazoo   Time: 6:30 PM - until closing. ( Must be a Kalamazoo Bottle Club Member ! )
July 25th, 2023 ( Tuesday Evening ) COIN CLUB 's EDUCATIONAL NIGHT. LOCATION: VFW Red Arrow Post 1527 ( Next to the Battle Creek/ Kalamazoo Airport ),1920 E. Kilgore Service Road, Kalamazoo, MI. 49002.Time: 7:00 PM- 9:00 PM.
August 17th, 2023 (Thursday Evening ): PRIVY DIGGING by Scott Hendrichsen. LOCATION: Oshtemo Township Hall Community Room ).   Time: 7:00 PM- 9:00 PM.

 Last Month’s meeting!

    I was going to tell you all what a great meeting we had, but would you believe me?
     Well, it was great if you had ask me.
     As I am writing today,  It is April 30th as I work on the newsletter. Twelve hours ago I thought I was done for!
          I have a physical exam scheduled for May 3rd so my doctor gave me a lab order. I had already given  some blood (and other substances) and two days later I had the symptoms of a U.T.I. which seems to follow me through out my life.

         I came home sick as- can-be, early on Saturday. My wife called the doctor and asked him to look at those lab tests.  He called back and said, “Al doesn’t have a U.T.I., he has a . . . RAGING U.T.I.!!!
It was so bad we were ready to head out for the ER.

    I was started right away on Amoxicilln.  So two days I am much better, but I lost some time as your newsletter writer.
    I told a friend at Church that it felt like I was peeing razor blades. He said, “It must be somehow different, I was peeing barbed wire.”
 I responded, “You are a farm boy.”

    Not one time during having a fast spreading  cancer with a 7% survival rate . . . was it so awful! So, now that we got that out of the way.

       Imagine showing up at an event and seeing this bunch of smiling faces. I did, at the last meeting!
    Edward Nickerson, Ron Smith, Kevin Siegfried, Juli Sheaffer, Len Sheaffer, Katie Wages, Brian Wages, Bill Riley, Scott Hendrichsen, Rob Knolle, and Al Holden.
(I couldn’t actually see my own face, that blessing was all yours!)
    But, I did see some very cool bottles!

    It was a delight to see my old buddy, Bill Riley,  join up with our group, Bill goes back to the early days of Kalamazoo area digging! He could share some stories!
     Bill displayed an unusual tall clear-glass tooled-top medicine bottle embossed on the shoulder “DR. COLLIN’S OPIUM HABIT CURED!” LaPorte, Indiana.
      As the story goes, this patent medicine hustler found his secret formula; not through extensive research, or even costly testing, it came to him in a dream. Sounds crazy? It was really not unusual for issues of healing, like this, to be accepted by the public in those days. He was considered a self proclaimed Spirit Healer.
       Native American medicine men were highly trusted by Americans, offering the same credentials.
       After the Civil War the Opium Addition was wide spread and any cure was easy money! So the Quack Doctors came after it like vultures from many angles. Most drug addition cures were little more that the actual drug itself, or one even more addictive.
       Bill also displayed a beautiful pale sea-foam green UNION CLASP HANDS historical flask he dug! Dude! That’s my arm-chair dream!

    Scott Hendrichsen, showed us a wonderful collection of
W.H. Russell, Kalamazoo” bottles. He has a couple squat soda style bottles, a nice quart-sized blob- top, a couple Hutch Sodas (one still has the bail stopper.)  All from W.H. Russell.     
      The history of Kalamazoo Breweries goes back to 1830 and the known records are astonishing! But nowhere can I find Russell listed as a brewer or bottler . . . it was an easy hour long dead end. Maybe you can find something? These bottles are clearly from 1880's to 1900.  
        Another neat find was from a collection of non-bottle privy finds! One that was interesting to me was a hard rubber devise marked “BOOTH’S HYOMEI, BUFFALO, NY. ”
    What Scott dug was a pocket inhaler made from hard black rubber. It was used with a medicine that was sold usually in hard paperboard tubes called HYOMEI which was described as “A purely vegetable antiseptic that destroys the germs and microbes which cause diseases of the respiratory organs.”
    The advertisement says “The air, thoroughly charged with Hyomei, is inhaled through the pocket inhaler at the mouth, and after permeating the minutest air cells is slowly exhaled through the nose. It is aromatic, delightful to inhale, inexpensive and gives immediate relief. It stops all spasmodic coughing instantly and clears the voice, expands the lungs and increases breathing capacity!
  The Pocket Inhaler Outfit, including a deodorized hard rubber polished inhaler, bottle of Hyomei, a dropper and full instructions SEND $1.00.
    Every personal recommendation was from a man of the cloth! Or a school principle.

As my stepfather would say, “Send me in coach, I don’t smoke!

        Bill Riley had a bottle for me to drool over! It is a Vaughn's Vegetable Lithontriptic Mixture Buffalo NY.  An old advertisement states:
“General treatise on the nature and cause of disease in the human body together with proofs of the efficacy of Vaughn's vegetable lithontriptic mixture: as a general restorer of the system, and purifier of the blood : with numerous testimonials of the most remarkable cures, in cases of dropsy, gravel, liver complaint, scrofula, scurvy, leprosy, bleeding at the lungs, finor albus, piles, putrid sore throat, erysipelas, consumption!
 This is one sparkling beauty for sure!  It is square with beveled corners, medium-greenish ice blue. It has a beautiful applied sloping collared mouth - iron pontil mark. This is an example of beautiful mid-1800's glass that is really art!

    Kevin Siegfried displayed a beautiful piece of Victorian Advertising from Carter’s Little Liver Pills. I believe it is a 32 page book which is filled with advertising for Carter’s Little Pills! These booklets were shipped to drug stores carrying the product, with a ad in the book recommending that druggist. How on earth did this little booklet survived for 120 plus years is amazing!
                                               Erie L. Hackley


   Each year at the bottle show, I keep an eye out for my old friend Les Smith (TokenSmith). Some of you old bottle dealers know Les, he wanders about searching for Michigan Trade Tokens. He usually wears a shirt that says “Token Smith” in the form of a “Good For 5¢ In Trade.” 
I made those shirts for him many moons back!

    I met Les at my shop and invited him to our metal detecting club meetings, because our treasure hunting group tend to find trade tokens!  Like most coin dealers, the tokens are not hard for a collector to find that spent years in grandpa’s dresser drawer so,
 “Dug” tokens are not the most appealing.

        But, our guys find stuff that was otherwise unknown. That gets his attention every time! Even if he can’t make a deal, he will record the embossing, the thickness, diameter and weight and material or metal. Yes some are even wood.

       Les is one of the most respected experts on tokens nationally! When a large publication on Tokens is being prepared for publication, Les receives a copy for editing!

       Yes, he is that good! I remember when a person he was using for research in the Chicago area passed away, this fellow had a huge collection of 1800's Gazetteers. I am talking a real library of grand proportion! Les purchased the entire collection!
      With the detecting club, we get a little restless in the middle of the winter, so we try to bring in speakers of interest. Les suggested contacting on of the top Michigan Trade Token experts, author, Paul A. Cunningham. He was happy to come speak with us and it was very interesting!

    He closed the presentation talking about the Holy Grail of Michigan Tokens.

    Charles Hackley was Muskegon’s most famous citizen. Muskegon Schools, Parks, Streets and Hospitals bare his name to this day. The Cable TV Presentation called “Search For Confederate Gold,” involving Allegan’s Brigadier General Benjamin Pritchard, and Charles Hackley, were main players in that adventure of great intrigue!
      Hackley was one of Michigan’s wealthiest men, he  made most of his wealth as a lumber baron. His adopted daughter Erie Hackley was the namesake of this little 79 foot ferry.  The Erie Hackley was a valuable ship working across Muskegon Lake during the boom of the Lumber Trade. The tokens were good for “ONE FARE, NORTH MUSKEGON FERRY LINE. The reverse reads SETH  LEE, PROPRIETOR” And the token is embossed with the ferry Erie L. Hackley.

    I took one on trade! I still cannot believe it!
        I have no current update on rarity, if someone finds a box of them . . . they stop being rare! And I don't have any idea of value.
Twenty years back they were ‘known to exist’ but only in photos and mention.

Rumor was the tokens went down with the ship in Green Bay area.
      When she sank in 1903.  Only 8 of her 19 passengers and crew survived.

       In 1981 divers located the ship, reporting several skeletons in the sunken ship.
        In May of 1986 after failed attempts of raising the ship, the remains of two victims were buried in Green Bay.

       Another rumor suggested that the remaining tokens were dumped into Muskegon Lake. Mine was found by a metal detecting customer.  

The Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club
Meets At the
 Otsego Historic Society
Meeting date is
  May 9th
 at 7:00 pm
The Museum is located at
 218 N. Farmer St. Otsego, MI 49078
Meeting starts at 7:00

Phone 269-685-1776
    Web Address