| A Time For
Here I am again, all
you antique bottle lovers! I’m here to wish you and
yours a bountiful harvest season, one overflowing
The hardest part for me
doing the newsletter is sticking to the subject of
antique bottles, and I honestly do apologize for
Bob VanBeck had been doing the club newsletter back
when we were meeting at the Methodist Church on
Stockbridge. He needed someone to take over writing
the newsletter for a short term.
I don’t recall
his reason, but I know it was compelling. So I
volunteered to take over for a couple weeks.
Well, that was 18 years ago.
have certainly changed, and so have some of us old
club members. Last month I received a call from our
beloved president, Chuck Parker. Chuck was sounding
pretty much down in the dumps. I don’t mean down in
a bottle dump digging. He was emotionally drained
and I could hear it in his voice.
Chuck has slowly been losing more and more of his
mobility, and honestly, I have seen this happen many
times in the lives of others. Independence is such a
precious treasure, one that most of us take for
granted. The old song said;
“Don't it always seem to go . .
I cannot tell you how much it is in
my nature to wish I could take all the hurt away,
but some things are in God’s power and not mine. I
have to keep reminding myself of that. But, clearly
God’s Love compels us to help our brothers and love
that you don't know what you've got til’ it’s
Just before the
last meeting, I sent out a quick e-mail to the
club members suggesting that they try to avoid
bringing in boxes of bottles so that we could enter
into a serious discussion about club business.
Chuck didn’t ask me
to send that message, but he had shared that this
was his hope. And lets face it, when we plan a pizza
night, we truly do have very limited time in the
We did get some
important business done. Chuck was able to get some
things off his chest . . . some very important
Chuck’s mobility problems, we decided at this last
meeting; on future pizza
nights, we will skip the library and meet directly
at Bimbo’s Pizza.
served as President and treasurer for a very, very
long time. In Chuck’s case, what has been a simple
job, has become more of a challenge.
I do know
just how he feels, he sacrifices for the club and he
expects everyone will do what is expected, as a
team, to make the work load easy, and we
should. The big problem for Chuck is, he
running around trying to take care of the club’s
accounting and keep the club check book balanced and
it is harder now, especially when just running to
the bank to make a deposit requires help.
example, one problem for Chuck is with people not
paying their club dues on time. I don’t want to
sound ugly here my dear friends, but it is only
$10.00! Granted, we are a not-for-profit group, and
we do generate income from our annual antique bottle
show, but still, if the club picked up every single
tab, the club couldn’t survive on $10.00 dues.
gladly donated about three days each month to
writing a newsletter and publishing a web page. The
hard-copy newsletter printing I have carefully
whittled down to about $20.00, and another $20.00 to
cover stamps, envelopes, and printing the envelopes.
The club has helped me with money for postage, even
though I wasn’t asking for it . . . but what if I
wasn’t able to keep doing this?
have been able to write off the newsletter costs and
my working the show, and providing the show door-
prize, all as advertising expense, which is
justifiable. But now at age 68, I am drawing social
security, and I dream of selling this joint
Frankly, I don’t
think it is a bad thing for us to consider where our
club goes in the future. I hope K.A.B.C. is around
for generations to come!
One of the
reasons I stepped up in the first place, is because
I wanted to support the dreams of our founders,
Ernie Lawson, Jack Short and Charles Parker, and I
truly believed in what they were doing.
face it, anyone can collect bottles without a club.
But, to have that special camaraderie and accomplish
those really big things, like the best antique
bottle show in the state, it takes a real team
effort. The key to a successful club is faithful
attendance and to support each other. And yes, for
me, meeting attendance is a big encouragement for
each of us, to keep that dream alive.
I look at the club meeting attendance sheet as a
list of friends of whom I am truly very thankful for
. . . and I mean that from my heart.
also know we have members who live far from
Kalamazoo and meeting attendance is hard . .
. we understand that, you matter to us as
well! We are thankful for your continued support.
can be such a knuckle head! It just dawned on me
that part of the problem here is that I dropped the
ball! And I didn’t include the club due’s
reminder this year! I am enclosing one this month.
If you have already paid, thank you!
Some of you receive a complimentary newsletter which
is given free as a courtesy.
ANTIQUE BOTTLE CLUB
Club Dues 2019-2020 Membership Year
Make Check Or Money Order
payable to: K.A.B.C.
Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club
607 Crocket Ave.
Portage, MI 49024
With this time change, I found
myself getting up way too early. So instead of my
usual bowl of flakes, I stirred up a large helping
of biscuits and sausage gravy. My father loved
biscuits and gravy!
When I was a young boy, my father was
working as a route driver for my grandfather’s
company, Michigan Cottage Cheese. Dad worked as a
driver in the late 1940's 50's and into the early
60's. That was also true for my step- father,
Back in the day there were no special insurance
mandates prohibiting a driver from having a
take-your-child-to-work-day. Some of my earliest,
happiest memories were spending time with dad on
the cheese route.
Many of the cheese routes were over-night routes.
Remember, back then we didn't have the
superhighway systems, and the trucks were
primitive by today's standards. The Ford V-8
powered trucks were rated at 85 horsepower with a
top speed of 45 MPH! Some were six cylinders with
even less power!
The route I most remember, ran down around White
Pigeon, Sturgis, Burr Oak, down towards LaGrange
IN and Angola IN.
The drivers were not teamster
drivers, and most certainly not high- rollers.
Many truck drivers just squeaked by
paycheck-to-paycheck. When you stopped into a
truck stop, Biscuits and Gravy were the cheapest
breakfast on the menu! An order of biscuits and
gravy along with a cup of coffee could be
purchased for less than 35¢. Actually the gravy
was whisked up using sausage drippings which was
all but considered waste. I love biscuits and
In the mid 50's some of the cheese plant employees
had stirred up a labor dispute. The entire thing
became very heated and finally it had reached a
point where my grandfather had to put his foot
down. He locked up the plant and just shut
it all down! He had worked so hard building the
company and was very proud to provide so many
families good jobs.
Finally, he worked with the employees by
offering different ways to make a better
work place for everyone.
My Stepfather told me the drivers, working the
overnight routes, got an allowance to apply for a
room for the night, breakfast and dinner. As he
recalled, the meal allowance was $2.80 per
Hod said he was on the same route
down to Adrian and back for eight years, and
there, he stayed in a boarding house in town. He
remembered it was a three-story concrete building.
When he checked in, he took an old-fashioned
elevator up to his floor with the old brass
After checking in for the
night, he would go back down and out the front
door, where there was an outside entrance to an
Italian Restaurant just below street level. I am
certain a plate of spaghetti cost next to nothing.
Just a few years back we were
in Olive Garden and spaghetti was the
cheapest thing on the menu and it was $13.00! Hod
looked at me and said, “I could make a bathtub
full of spaghetti for $13.00!”
Another thing the drivers had received, besides
two paid meals each day, were laundered uniforms
and white dairy lab coats. Under their lab
coat the driver had his leather holster on his
belt, where he carried his self inking price
Hod told me that they always tried
to find a hotel near a gas station or service
garage so they could plug in the truck and run the
refrigeration cooler overnight.
remember back when I rode with dad, we were on the
road very early. Very often we were filling the
store coolers with product before the store had
I remember, the driver went to
the store office and was paid cash on delivery.
Times have changed! We have all seen those signs
“Driver does not carry cash!”
Dad told me of one store where they
kept a can of peas behind the cash register.
Everyone who checked out paid for that can of
peas. From time to time some careful shopper would
go over her receipt and see that she had been
charged for a can of peas that she didn’t receive.
She would storm back to the store, over to
checkout with her receipt in hand, ready to point
out the mistake. The clerk would respond,
"So you are the one, reaching behind the till for
the can of peas, we wondered who left this!”
I am running
behind because I have been devoting so many
hours to leaf cleanup! If you count all the
giant maple trees which drop in our yard,
including our own it totals about 8. We took 5
of them out over the years! My wife was
recalling one year she filled 42 large yard
The list of names I have from the last meeting
includes: Vincent Grossi, Mary G. Hamilton, Susan Anspaugh, General Charles H. Parker,
Kevin Siegfried, Ron Smith, Tim Hayes, Madison Holden, Debbie Holden, Kelly Bobbitt, John Winkler, Ed Nickerson, Scott & Lorri Hendrichsen,
Dale Roof, Allan Holden.
To what do we attribute such a nice sized list
of wonderful people?
2 - Ham, Pepperoni,
Bacon (heart stop)
2 - Sausage,
Mushroom, Black Olives
1 - Mushroom, Black
1 - Sausage, Mushrooms
What good eating! Unlike when
Jesus fed the multitude, there were no baskets
of leftovers to gather up!
Kevin Siegfried displayed a nice amber
COMPANY beer bottle with beautiful flowing
script. I found a clear one posted on e-Bay for
also showed a clear SILBERT
COMPANY medicine bottle from Cleveland
OH, it is embossed with balance scales. He also
displayed a beautiful ornate cup an saucer. The
cup sits on a leaf shaped base and the cup is in
the shape of a figural tulip. It had a sticker CM-INC, CHADWICK Japan.
Scott Hendrichsen displayed a clear MARVIN BROS & BARTLETT COD
LIVER OIL, MANUFACTURED at PORTSMOUTH
Scott found a real neat brown glazed stoneware
spittoon! And he also brought in a wonderful
group of early recently dug medicines which did
not photograph well enough for me to read.
If I could ask anything in the way of help, it
would be for you to jot down a list of the names
of your best bottles you are bringing.
There is usually enough to read in the photos so
that I can match them up with your bottle.
Sometimes I cannot see the embossing, even in a
high resolution picture, but I can take a guess and try to Google it.
Sometimes I make a lucky hit. But I can tell you
that really burns up a lot of time! So please
help me out where you can.
Vincent Grossi had some awesome treasures, as
usual. One that blew me away was a tiny labeled
bottle of "Aconitum
Napellus" derived from a plant know as
called "Purple Death!"
This poison was used in ancient times on arrows
and spears for battle! (It
was too deadly to use on poison darts!)
It can be found in North America and children
have been killed by just coming in contact with
it! Did you know that?
This segment didn't get into the print copy of
the newsletter because I couldn't read the
label so I brushed over it.
Marked symptoms may appear almost immediately,
usually not later than one hour, and "with large
doses death is almost instantaneous."
This picture of
'Monkshood,' are pictures I took along the
trail! I had no idea what I was really
Death usually occurs within two to six hours in
fatal poisoning. In severe poisonings
pronounced motor weakness occurs and on the skin
contact, sensations of tingling and numbness
spread to the limbs.
The main causes of death are ventricular
paralysis of the heart or of the respiratory
center. The only postmortem signs
are those of asphyxia!
So, why did science look for a reason to use
this wicked stuff? In medieval Europe this was
believed to be the only poison that could kill
werewolves! Ancient Romans used it as a
method of execution!
But, when this product was bottled as a salve it
was applied to the skin to slow the heart rhythm
in cardiac patients.
It is like I have always asked you folks. What
was the process during development, "Here Ralph,
I may have discovered something here, rub this
on your skin and see if it helps. Ralph?
Ralph? Can you hear me Ralph?
In Europe anyone growing A. napellus
could have been legally sentenced to death!
So the next time Vince
passes something around the table, remember
you heard it here first!
What and amazing year this has been
weather wise. I haven’t personally been out
bottle digging, isn’t that sad. But, this wet
spring and summer has been really good for
metal detecting! When the ground is moist, it
is clearly very easy to dig and the ground
moisture keeps damage to the grass at a
In many ways, a metal
detector really benefits from wet ground. A
metal detector is a close cousin to a
citizen’s band radio “CB.”
The bottom ‘disc’ or search
coil is a type of antenna, which broadcasts
out a radio signal that penetrates the soil.
When any metal object enters that radio field,
it causes and interruption, which the receiver
side of the coil senses then triggers an
As the metal detector circuitry
was refined over the years, the disruption to
the radio-field, caused by that passing metal
target, can be measured. Many of the most
common targets have a consistent measurement,
or “Signature” as I like to call
Going even further, today the
target signature can be assigned a number
value. For example a U.S. Nickel can read 52
on certain detectors. A modern zinc
copper-plated 1¢ could read 68 when a solid
copper wheat cent could read 76.
Even though the 1800's Indian
head penny is also solid copper, same size and
weight, it will read somewhat lower, around
70, because of the impurities in the
copper not removed by the primitive refinement
When a metal item has been in the
ground for very long time, the target begins
to oxidize. Some metals, like iron, are
seriously affected by this corrosion. Copper
holds up much better than iron, and silver
keeps its good looks unless it is exposed to
very high acidic conditions. Gold on the other
hand will withstand very harsh acid
fashioned way to grade gold, was with
different strengths of acid. With the weakest
acid found in a gold test kit, 24-K, 18-K,
14-K, will not be affected. However when the
weaker acid is used on 10-K gold, it will
trigger a response, usually by causing a color
change in the drop of acid from clear to dark
gray or black.
If in testing
the gold the mild acid doesn’t show a
response, you go to the next strength. If that
doesn’t show a response it proves the item is
better than 14-K so you try the next stronger
acid. It you get a response from that, your
item is 18-K.
Well, you get the idea.
When a metal item has been
slowly oxidizing in the soil, this actually
starts a chemical reaction which creates a
mild electromagnetic field or aura which we
call a “halo.”
Whatever you call it, the metal detector sees
the target as something stronger than usual,
and it is almost shouting! “I’m here”
My point about moist ground
is that the halo is much stronger when the
ground is wet. This makes it much easier for a
metal detector to see a target at a greater
People almost always ask me, “How deep will it
That is a hard question to
answer because there are so many variables,
like soil makeup, moisture, type of metal etc.
say, “this detector will detect a small coin
And, the user buries
a small coin at 7 inches. He may be
lucky to hear it. However, if a coin had
settled in the ground over time, and it
reached a depth of 7 inches, it would produce
a clear and definite response due in part to
ground itself can halo when it is damp, for
the same reason! Instead of a metal target, it
can be magnetite or ‘iron mineral’ or even
conductive salts. In ground like this, you
pull back on the detector’s sensitivity so you
don’t overdrive the soil and reflect off from
it, instead of penetrating the
Some of you may
have noticed that I have lost my editor, Debbie
my wife. Madison has moved in with us and we are
home schooling her for 11th grade. I help in
computer class, and Deb handles everything else.
She is a little too stressed to be confronted
with this newsletter mess. People have told me I
am a good writer which is not true! I am a very
poor writer! I am a good story teller!
understand there are online editors I can pay,
and I might have to go in that direction. Thanks
for your patience.
moving right into the season of Thanksgiving and
I am so very thankful for each of you.
For a theme this month,
let’s bring in seasonal bottles and recent
We have been having
fun getting mountains of leaves raked up and all
of our winterizing done. It has been difficult
getting a news letter written. I am hoping to
see you at the next meeting. For those of you
who read the newsletters in far away lands,
thank you for supporting the club.
The Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club
at the main downtown
Rose Street, Kalamazoo, MI
on the third floor in the conference
This meeting is
Tuesday, NOVEMBER 12th.
The Many Faces Of Treasure Hunting