Vol. 11 No. 3                                                                                          November 2012
The Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club News
Member Club of the F.O.H.B.C.

Club meeting is on November 13th

Last Month

        We certainly had a great time at the last club meeting in October! If you missed it you missed a good one! We had two special guests, Kelly Bobbit from Otsego and his grandson Ethan May from Decatur. Young Ethan is in his early teens and very hooked on bottle digging. And he had some great stuff to show us!

        Ethan has not only been digging-- he has been finding some choice spots! I say that because he showed up to the meeting with some great bottles. Ever since I put many of my antique bottles on display, word spread that I am a collector. Now, I have never told anyone that I am an expert because I am not! In fact I am in an awkward position right now. I know just enough to be dangerous!

        But because people have the illusion that I know about antique bottles, they bring in truck loads of old bottles for me to look at. That can be a curse most of the time, and on a very rare occasion, it can be a blessing.

        I can remember when the Kalamazoo Gazette covered a story about antique bottle digging featuring our club founders, Jack Short and Ernie Lawson. The quick thinking duo had the newspaper include their contact information along with an offer for free bottle appraisals. I can remember Jack telling me that was a huge mistake! It is true! You can find yourself looking over the inventory of every landfill in the state.

        One thing that I have learned from looking at hundreds of boxes of old bottles is that, "Rare is Rare because it is Rare."

        Ok, I am getting carried away as usual. Ethan had a box of bottles that were down right interesting! I don't recall seeing anything rare, but I did see some very nice stuff!

        Of the newer machine- made bottles, the ones that are most desirable are the dairy bottles and some soda bottles. The problem that we see with many of the pyro-glazed (painted) dairy bottles that are dug out of a dump, is that the lettering is normally badly faded, scratched or completely gone. Ethan's dairy bottles are coming out of a local swamp and they are beautifully preserved!

Here are just a few of Ethan's bottles. Mind you, he toted a big box of them all the way up to the library's 3rd floor!

Thanks Ethan, you were the man of the hour! We sure enjoyed looking at, and talking about all these great bottles! And for me it is so refreshing to see young people today who are showing an interest in antique bottles and their history.
t orange pyro-glaze "COMMUNITY DAIRY, HOLLAND" It pictures a playful little calf running and jumping exclaiming, "Oh Boy, Do I Feel Fine! Try Community Dairy Milk, I Just Had Mine!"

2. 1 half-pint embossed GOLDEN GUERNSEY DAIRY, BENTON HARBOR. This little bottle is a slug-plate type and the claim made is, "ONE GRADE, THE BEST!"

3. E. P. DIENHART, DAIRY, COLOMA MICH. The graphics are of an old bearded "Father-Time" holding up a glass of milk exclaiming, "MILK ADDS YEARS TO YOUR HEALTH!"



1 quart orange pyro-glaze ROELOF DAIRY, GALESBURG MICHIGAN.

The text reads, "INSPECTED MILK IN STERILIZED GLASS BOTTLES" Also there is a little humanized bottle with arms and legs and a big smile saying, " I BELONG TO ROELOF DAIRY, PLEASE RETURN ME PROMPTLY TO THE DRIVER."

1 quart black pyro-glaze EXNER DAIRY, NILES MICHIGAN. Graphics is of a large sunrise over the farm pasture. Pictured are a large pine tree and a Guernsey milk cow and the words,
<>"Milk and Cream."

8. Half pint fancy soda bottle,


1- slug plate beer or soda, HOLLAND CITY BOTTLING WORKS, F.S. UNDERWOOD, 7 fluid ounce contents, HOLLAND MICHIGAN

10. 1 half pint soda bottle.

This one was somewhat of a mystery because it had no names or any wording at all, but it had an embossed Indian Head on the bottle. It just so happens that I have the same bottle, but mine has more information. I compared the picture that I took with my bottle and it is the same Indian Chief profile and the same paneled soda with textured relief. My bottle reads, BIG CHIEF, COCA COLA BOTTLING COMPANY, FULL ½ PINT. It is a really cool bottle but I don't know how rare it is.

This is a picture of Ethan's bottle which is the same size with the same Chief image but no lettering.

We also saw a nice milk glass "
VELVETINA SKIN BEAUTIFIER- GOODRICH DRUG COMPANY- OMAHA U.S.A." That bottle is 5 1/4" tall (I think I bought it from Ed?)

Not an Antique, likely 1940's or 50's but a very colorful lable in great condition! Great for a storegoods collector. This was one of Kevin's finds.

Here are some rare flavored syrup bottles. The bottles were produced and the product was never made, I was told. I think this was suppose to flavor snow-cones. These were also from Kevin's treasures!

Also, Ed found a nice old Indian Arrowhead collection at an estate sale. I purchased the collection for a fair price, but there remains some uncertainty about the legality of selling such items . . . at least in Michigan. It is clearly a very old collection. That is why I wasn't afraid to buy it. I also purchased a beautiful 1870's wax sealer fruit jar. And one more item that I picked up with the arrowhead package was a blue- glazed bullet-shaped insulator.

Do you have any information on this to share? I would love to hear from you!

This was a prize in the arrow head package
(play on Crackerjack) It is a a blue glazed stoneware.
Do you have any information on this to share? I would love to hear from you!


This Kalamazoo bottle is on here because the owner would like to know if it is rare and what is it worth.

Do you have any information on this to share? I would love to hear from you!

Our theme for October was "GIFT BOTTLE" and this beauty was given to our president Chuck Parker as a gift! It is a beautiful Snuff bottle complete with wire enclosure! Chuck let each of us enjoy a pinch or two!

At the meeting we saw the following smiling faces: Kelly Bobbit, Ethan May, Chuck Parker, Tim Hayes, Vincent Grossi, Dee Cole, Ed Nickerson, Mary Hamilton and Scott Hendricksen and Allan Holden.

This Month

        The meeting this month falls on Tuesday, November 13th at our usual location at the main downtown Kalamazoo library. The meeting starts at 7:00. We meet in the Conference Room which is on the third floor. The address is Kalamazoo Public Library, 315 South Rose Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

        Our president suggested we have a different type of theme this month, "Kalamazoo Go-With items." To explain; this would be items that would be related to Kalamazoo bottles, such as product advertising, etc.. I have a newspaper advertising plate for Zoa-Phora and I will try and find it.

        I have heard little bit and pieces of some local digging stories. The one that I find most interesting is about some digging which took place recently at the locations of two matching buildings. They were clearly old storefront locations in the 1800's

        If I remember the story correctly, the property had been dug before, but it had not been probed with an extra long probe rod. (It makes me wonder how often that has happened to me.) So with a 6-1/2 foot probe, another pit was located, but it was found at a depth of over 6 feet! I am 100% sure that I would have missed it! It turned out to be a very good pit, yielding over 60 or 70 old bottles!

        The part I like was that the old pit yielded evidence of the original business! I love the history part of this hobby! Don't you love it! The archeologist hates to see this stuff happen, but you never see them out looking!

        At first the pit started yielding scraps of leather, then an old shoe heel, then another and another. Soon more scraps of leather and the sole of a boot and more leather. Then one after another the guys started finding Bixby Boot Black bottles! Sure enough, they found the old cobbler's shop!

        I think many collectors have put the old Bixby bottles in the ink bottle category or in the glue bottle or 'mucilage' bottle category. I added one to my collection several years ago that I got from Jack Short. It had the cork stopper with the wire and the little cloth applicator!

        I have a nice collection of hand blown glass syringes that were dug out of an old 1860's pit in Allegan. Some research revealed the location was the office of one of Allegan's first veterinarians!

        Doing this newsletter frequently will jog my memory! As I recall, I was showing Mark Churchill my prize bottles (he was schooling me) and he could see that I really liked that little polish bottle a bunch. Maybe one week, later I dropped that bottle and it shattered into a hundred pieces. About one month after Mark heard about the tragedy, he dug one and gave it to me as a gift! I don't know if Mark remembers that, but I will never forget it.

        On this month when we set aside time to be thankful, I am so very thankful for so many good friends that I have made in the antique bottle hobby. When I started working on this newsletter, America was about to have a presidential election which did not turn out as I had hoped it would. The truth is I was stunned and perplexed. I cannot change the result but I rest in knowing God is in charge and as His plan unfolds, I plan on trusting in Him. I have learned after years of falling on my face to not lean on my own understanding but find peace in trusting Him. Thank you my friends and may you have a very special Thanksgiving.

The Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club meets at the main downtown Kalamazoo Library, located at 315 South Rose Street. We meet on the third floor in the conference room. This meeting is Tuesday, November 13th.
Meeting starts at 7:00 pm.

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