|Vol. 13 No. 2 October 2015|
|Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club News|
|Member Club of the
NEWSLETTER WRITTEN BY ALLAN C. HOLDEN
October Bottle Club Meeting
Tuesday October 6th.
Hi friends! Well, our first meeting for the 2015-2016 season got off to a great start! I was somewhat pessimistic about changing horses in the middle of the first race, but it worked out OK . . . at least for most. If you are one of our friends we missed, because of the schedule change, stick with us! We expect to be back to the second Tuesday by January!
I am one of the founding members of the metal detecting club, Southwest Michigan Seek and Search Club, which is one of the largest treasure hunting clubs in the United States! I served as Vice President for one term about 20 years ago, simply because we couldn't find anyone else to run. I have purposely keep from running for office for a couple of different reasons. But, I still attend the planning board meetings.
That club's board meeting is on the first Tuesday! Drat! This board meeting is where our board plans events and tries to solve problems as they surface.
Because of the change to the bottle club meeting, I missed the last metal detecting club board meeting! So, what do you suppose they talked about? Yep, it was ME!!!
It's all good! We have a contest for the best finds called "Find Of The Month." It has been my job to help put on that part of the meeting. Members can enter the best detecting finds they made since our last monthly meeting. We have four contest categories, they are Jewelry, Coin, Token-Fob-Badge, and Most Unusual.
When you arrive at the meeting, (you must be early if you are entering an item) you fill out a entry slip with a brief description of your item, then sign the back of your entry slip. The reason your name goes on the back of the slip, is because we want the item to be judged without being influenced by the popularity of the finder!
Let's face it. If someone entered a U.S. Gold Double Eagle, and I entered a rusty bottle cap, and, the group knew the bottle cap was found by "Al Holden" what chance would the gold coin have of winning?
All kidding aside, the club wants the members to vote for the item they feel is best, and I have been known to get 'over excited' over certain finds! They DO NOT like that!
At the last couple meetings, we have one member who has been hunting at an undisclosed location where he is finding some awesome treasure! The items that got me far too excited are some old railroad tokens! They predate the coal-powered steam locomotives, and are from the early pre-Civil War wood-fired steam days!
The trains had stops along the lines known as "tank stops, or tank towns" where they would stop for water and cord-wood fuel for the train engine. In those days, with possible train robberies, the engineer would pay for the cord-wood with a token. The wood provider could redeem his token for payment at the rail office. And you thought those signs, "Driver does not carry cash" was a new thing?
The two tokens entered lately were issued by the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad, Engine 16, good for 1/4 CORD and another for ½ CORD.
Railroad stuff is very collectable and these tokens are highly sought after! Yes, I couldn't contain my excitement!
Back to the Bottle Club meeting! Sorry! The following folks signed in:
1. Ed Nickerson
2. Scott Hendrichsen
3. Ron Smith
4. Kelly Bobbitt
5. Mary Hamilton
6. Kevin Seigfried
7. Chuck Parker
8. Vincent Grossi
9. Tim Hayes
10. Allan Holden
I was very relieved to see such a good turnout! But, looking over this list, we sure missed some of you! We called around to the hospitals, jails and funeral homes without turning anything up. . . but please know you were missed!
Chuck briefed us in on the state of the club's finances, which I don't usually publish in the newsletter, but after the last bottle show, the bills were paid, along with the library meeting room rent, and we do have some reserve. As has been our custom, Chuck suggested we help the less fortunate by making a donation to the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission. We all voted on that suggestion, it was approved, and the donation was sent.
Since before we had taken our 3-month summer break, I had received a package for Scott Hendrichsen from Jim Esther. This arrived at my shop back around late June or early July. I poked the package into my meeting bag, so that I wouldn't forget it. A couple months later, getting ready for the meeting, I found it! Talk about snail mail!
When I read the note that
Jim had sent with the package, I
didn't look any further. We were
all surprised when Scott opened
the package! Scott had dug some
antique brass shot gun shells, and
somehow I missed out on that!
Scott gave three to Jim, and Jim
wanted him to have one back that
he had polished!
I knew about these all- brass shotgun shell casings, because we find them metal detecting. But I have only seen them very badly corroded, smashed and bent . . . and sometimes with all three ailments!
I am not a big gun guy, but way before my time, the top part of these shot gun shells were paper, then later plastic. The bottom ½ inch or so was brass, and more recently steel. This beauty is all brass! Scott was very happy, and I was tickled to see a nice one! That was a real treat!
Vincent Grossi displayed some labeled bottles that he recently added to his collection. One had contents but only a partial label. On what was left of the label, was the name "Pfeiffer" Saint Louis. I did a Google search to try and figure out exactly what this product was. I learned it was called B & J Compound that was used to Stimulate the kidneys.
The Pfeiffer Chemical Co. made a ton of products, including Cough Syrup, Gold Medal (for gas relief), Larkspur & Sabadilla (for Rheumatic Fever) Mosquito Lotion (for dry mosquitos), Cod Liver Oil, Eye Wash, Hobson's Sarsaparilla, Haywood's Asthma Powder, Dr. Hobson's Arnica Liniment, Dr. Hobson's Camphor Oil for Frost Bite, Haywood Diuretic Compound, Haywood's Diuretic Pills, Hobson's Blackberry Balsam, Dr. Hobson's Spavin Salve, Dr. Hobson's Cold Elixir, Dr. Hobson's Dyspepsia Mixture, Dr. Hobson's Antiseptic Salve, Haywood Lime Lozenges, Little Goodnight Pills (laxative) . . . and on-and-on! You could just collect Pfeiffer stuff and it would be a big collection! Plus, some of these goodies are available on e-Bay! Why, even Cat Woman's real last name is Pfeiffer!
Vince also had a couple small, labeled iodine bottles. I remember having some cuts and scrapes mom painted with iodine. Iodine is something that still has many medicinal uses today. Many people are exposed to traces of iodine at a very early age. . . it is found in mother's milk!
<>Iodine Deficiency At Home Self Test:
Purchase a USP Tincture of
Iodine from your local drugstore.
Rub about the size of a silver
dollar of iodine on your upper
If the brownish/orange color
disappears within 2-4 hours after
Ether 300 mis. Per oz.
Alcohol not over 25 per cent
Price = 25 cents
The bottle has a wonderful label but it was empty! But, I must say, Ed brought in some wonderful brownies!
Scott "Scooter-digs" Hendrichsen has been finding some amazing bottles! One that was fresh-from-the-pit was a nice early Dr. J. Hostetter's Stomach Bitters in honey amber. Personally, I would love to see this one polished!
As a collector of wildflower photos, I loved his: Loose's Extract of Red Clover from Detroit MI.
This has been one of the
most fantastic years for
wildflower in Michigan that I can
ever recall! If you love and study
wildflowers, as I do, it is amazing
how many varieties we have in
Michigan that are not native to the
United States! Very often they
were brought here from Europe
because they were believed to
have a commercial or medicinal
Red Clover was introduced as a hay and pasture crop. Like many of theses 'well intended crops,' it escaped into the wild. Red Clover is exclusively pollinated by honeybees. This summer I photographed some thick, red-clover flower-heads as large as a ping-pong balls. In some areas where the honeybee population has been threatened, the clover suffers. Clover seeds can lay dormant for many years before sprouting.
Another bottle that left me green with envy, is actually sapphire blue! Scott dug a beautiful S. SMITH, AUBURN N.Y. soda bottle with heavy applied top, iron pontil mark, all in a very cool ten-pin shape. The full name was Samuel Smith and the bottle is an iconic 1860-70's soda bottle. It is a fabulous find!
Another cool bottle was a nice milk glass bottle that is embossed CHAMPLIN'S LIQUID PEARL. If you were a Victorian lady, you were not out to get a tan in the summer - or indeed at any time. No, you wanted to have a pale complexion, not because it was healthier to stay out of the sun, but because it made you look "interesting" and ethereal and delicate. If you were the bolder sort, you might want to get your face enameled. Not great for the pores, but you certainly did look pale and - quite interesting.
Face enamel was a dangerous cosmetic, the main ingredients of which were either arsenic or white lead - so you were either putting poison or house paint on your skin. George Ellington writes in 1869 in The Women of New York that a chiropodist on Broadway was offering face and bust enameling in his "studio." After de-fuzzing the selected areas of hair "with liniment, plaster, medicated soap scissors or tweezers"
For the lovely ladies who
wanted to obtain that same look in
the form of a face makeup, there
was Champlin's! Many diggers
and collectors think these cool
little bottles are a tooth-powder or
polish. . . now you know the truth!
With me the truth is never glossed
This Month's Theme!
This is one that we have
had some fun with before, so,
Chuck suggested we try it again.
We are looking for your "Largest
and Smallest" bottle. OK, I have
a couple small bottles to bring, but
I am not lugging one of my 3 or 4
demijohns up three flights of
stairs! But I do hope that one of
you younger members will try and
tackle it! As far as largest and
smallest, it can be an extreme in a
category like flask, ink, dairy, fruit
jar etc. This should be interesting!
Treasure Hunting Dribble
When I started this newsletter I was drawing a complete blank. (As usual) When that happens, I just start typing, and see where it leads. This part actually goes nowhere, but I hate to mail blank paper.
I have been involved in the metal detecting hobby for over 47 years and frankly I never dreamed it would last this long, but the finds just keep getting better and better.
One reason is the metal detector technology keeps advancing. Back in the 1980's the manufactures arrived at the technology we are using today. The detectors of the 60's and 70's would give good depth under ideal conditions but very rarely did you have ideal conditions!
Many of the old timers will tell you, "I didn't like my first detector because it wasn't sensitive enough."
What they mean to say is; "My detector didn't go deep enough." The reason the early detector didn't go deep enough, was actually because it was " too" sensitive. This was back when we used detectors known as Transmitter Receiver (T.R.) detectors which operated in the higher frequency of the radio band.
One interesting development that was eventually made to the T.R. detectors, was when A.H. Electronics developed the first "discriminating" metal detectors. Treasure hunters up to that time had dug a million pounds of trash! Now, to think a metal detector that would pass over nails, tin-foil and bottle caps quietly . . . it was like a dream come true!
But, the more you used of this new discrimination feature, the more depth you lost. Soon one of the American metal detector manufactures discovered that by using the Very Low Frequency band of the radio spectrum the detectors started to get less feedback, or ground reflection, resulting in greater depth!
Further research led to a way of controlling the search coil sensitivity so that the ground effects could be erased! Now we are talking! Now, the metal detectors are going much deeper because ground reflection is reduced to almost nothing!
So now, we have a metal detector that will reject the ground and go deep, but they didn't know how to reject the trash as the same time! Finally, the company that made a monumental breakthrough was P.N.I. Inc. Located in Tempe, Arizona and the new detector was called the "Bounty Hunter Red Baron."
The description of this detector's technology, is still the same today for our state-of-the-art detectors. That description is Very Low Frequency, Ground Cancel, Motion Discrimination. Bounty Hunter called it "Synchronous Phase Discrimination."
am trying to keep in mind
that this is a Bottle Club Newsletter,
so just let me say, even though this is
the same technology today, the
product has been refined from a
gemstone in the rough, to a sparkling
Today, at my shop, I worked with a man who has been detecting in shallow water for a number of years. Many of the "water hunters" in the 80's used a detector built by a company in Elkhart, IN called the "Turtle." These detectors were basic, entry-level circuit boards made by one of the major manufacturers. The Elkhart people simply converted these detectors into waterproof machines by putting the circuits into waterproof plastic camera cases.
This man's friend got him interested, when with his Turtle, he found 7 nice rings and several old coins in the local swimming hole. So, he ran out and bought one. In the same swimming area this guy found 13 more rings! Today, he stopped by with his current detector for a small repair. His newer detector is the popular, waterproof, Garrett AT-Pro. Returning to that same original location, an additional 22 rings were found!
You say; "How can that be true?" Are you telling me that all he found was rings?"
We all wish it was that easy! You do find old coins, hair barrettes, metal trinkets, swimming locker keys and claim tags, old toys, sun glasses and even false teeth! Water hunters use sifting scoops with long handles to recover items.
It is not unusual to bring up non-detectable items in the scoop just because 'they were there.' One of my customers was detecting in Gull Lake, when in his scoop he saw a glass eyeball looking back at him!
But, if you want to find the gold rings, you must dig the tin foil and bottle caps! My father is lucky that we decided to put a wonderful portion of scripture on his headstone from Hebrews 10:12
"But Jesus, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God . . ."But, my father's famous saying was; "Nothing is ever easy!"
Antique Bottle Club
meets at the main downtown
located at 315 South Rose Street.
We meet on the third floor in the conference room.
This meeting is Tuesday, October 6th.
Meeting starts at 7:00 pm.