Theme this month: Seasonal Bottles, Halloween, Cider, Recent Finds
THIS MONTH'S OCTOBER MEETING 10-09-2018
By Allan C. Holden
If for some reason you missed the last meeting . . . well, perhaps you had a very good reason, but you missed
a good one! Yep, it really happened! After the meeting, we went downtown for pizza . . .
and was it ever great!
My stepfather often uses the phrase, “Put your shoes on Maudie; we are going to town.”
I actually Googled that phrase, and found that "Put Your Shoes On, Lucy" was recorded by
Petula Clark in 1949!
I guess Petula Clark entertained two generations! In 1964, the kids my age I loved her
recording of “Downtown!”
I am pretty sure I went into Red’s TV in Otsego and purchased Downtown on a 45 rpm!
As I recall, you could pick out two Top-40 singles for about a $1.00, which was a little less money
than I made for a week of after-school work at Andrew’s Cider Mill.
I guess Petula Clark was a real country girl who loved going into town!
Sadly, Kalamazoo’s greatest Bimbo’s fan, Chuck Parker wasn’t there, but we sure missed him!
As I mentioned last month, our highly revered president, Chuck Parker, has been sidelined with
continued problems with his knee. Frustrated, Chuck put some pressure on his doctor to figure out
why he isn’t healing, and to please help him get back up on his feet.
His doctor ordered a CT scan which turned up a problem that had be overlooked in earlier X-rays.
They may have found the problem-- a torn tendon. A torn tendon will not appear in an X-ray, and
it will not heal itself without treatment and often require surgery.
Well, this is good news, just bit late in coming. Chuck will be going back in for surgery once again, but, to
me, it sounds like some answered prayer!
After this surgery, Chuck will be in a care facility for a few weeks for physical rehabilitation.
Honestly friends, this all sounds very good to me. At this point it sounds like Chuck may miss another
meeting, but, if this gets him back on his feet once again, we will all be happy for that!
We had a good turnout at the last meeting! I did get a call from Vincent telling me he couldn’t
attend the meeting because the greenhouse is gearing up for Christmas plant sales!
The sign-up sheet ended up becoming a list of dues-and- don’ts, haves-and have-nots!
Of course with pizza on the line, we all jumped onto the paid list!
Here is a list of who was hobnobbing at the September meeting:
Tim Hayes, John Winkler, Kelly Bobbitt, Kevin Siegfried, Rob Knolle, Jean Bogard, Mary Hamilton,
Ed Nickerson, Ron Smith, Scott Hendrichsen and Al Holden.
We viewed some really awesome bottles and other collectibles at the meeting.
Ron Smith brought in a beautiful hand-blown artisan glass basket. If I have ever seen one these
before, it didn’t catch my eye the way this one did. . . . it was simply beautiful! I believe this was one
of several from Ron’s mother’s collection. I hope you get a chance to peek at the online version
of the newsletter where I can post a photo. It is beautiful. It was simple, colorful, and very graceful!
The only thing that could possibly make it more beautiful would be a big scoop of chocolate M&M’s!
I popped online to see what more I could learn about these little glass baskets.
It looks as if they are very popular with collectors, and very affordable! I love it, Ron!
Rob Knolle is a friend of mine from both the bottle club and the metal detecting club, and he works at
Sub Aquatic Sports within the scuba diving industry.
Rob has taken groups diving on the Great Lakes shipwrecks! As most of you know, I am an armchair wreck
diver! I love anything related to historic Great Lakes shipping!
Most recently Rob took a group out diving about 40 miles off the coast of North Carolina.
The treasure they were seeking. . . fossilized shark’s teeth from the largest of the oceans predators,
“Megalodon,” meaning "big tooth." Megalodon is an extinct species of shark that lived in our
land before time.
Rob explained that the area and the giant teeth are not easy to spot. The teeth are highly collectable and they can be worth hundreds of dollars!
Rob also found a more local treasure, a crown top Northwestern Brewing, Chicago.
The bottle’s neck is very unusual. It is a strange twist on the shape we refer to as a “Lady’s Leg.”
One of the most frustrating parts about doing the newsletter would be eliminated if I could take
some notes. I keep saying that I will start doing that “Next Meeting.”
Scott Hendrichsen displayed the first English ‘Cod Soda’ bottle that I have ever seen with embossing!
The front is embossed, J. ROBERTS / CASTLEFORD with a picture of a castle tower with a flag on top.
Hiram Codd, from London, invented and patented the Codd bottle in 1872. It was an ingenious
way to maintain the fizz in fizzy drinks.
The Codd stopper, by using the pressure of the carbon dioxide, pushed a glass marble against a
rubber washer in the neck of the bottle.
The English were obsessed with building a better bottle stopper because their biggest
customer was weeks away by ship in America.
By sealing carbonated beverages with corks for long distance shipping, a large percentage
were considered dead on arrival. The corks would dry out and the carbonation would escape.
The loss of carbonation was an easy problem to pin-down. Clearly the problem was the
dried-out cork. Instead of inventing a better stopper, the first solution that was presented
was fixed on finding a way to keep the cork wet.
That remedy was introduced as the round bottom bottle. With a bottle designed to be kept
lying on its side, the cork was always wet!
William F. Hamilton was awarded the UK patent in 1809 for the round-bottomed
torpedo bottle design. Johann Jacob Schweppe of the Schweppes beverage brand originally
came up with the design to contain his carbonated mineral water at the end of the 18th Century.
I loved to follow Jacques Cousteau’s underwater adventures. I recall one time they found
cork sealed century old wine bottles on a shipwreck where the product was still drinkable!
So, cork is an amazing natural substance if kept moist.
The cork staying wet with the round-bottomed bottles solved the dry cork problem,
but, the design created some new problems. Special wire bottle holders had to be made, just
so the product could be
opened and served. This added to the cost, and having a holder always available was very inconvenient.
Hiram Codd’s marble stopper invention presented a problem of its own. When the consumer
pressed down on the marble, the release of the pressure would make a “Pop.”
Some insist this is where we get the term ‘soda-pop.’ The popping sound assured the customer
that the beverage would be bubbly.
When the liquid was poured, the marble could roll back into the opening, stopping the flow.
The solution was simple. The neck of the bottle was pinched to create a trap for the marble.
However, an effort had to be made to position the bottle so that the marble trap would work as designed.
I was just thinking; this was sort of an early sobriety test!
In America we were also working on the problem. In Chicago, Charles G. Hutchinson,
the son of William H. Hutchinson, a long-time Chicago, Illinois, soda bottler and equipment
manufacturer, patented his "Hutchinson's Patent Spring Stopper" on April 8, 1879.
This stopper gained widespread popularity with bottlers and consumers, rendering other
closures obsolete, and revolutionizing the soda bottling industry.
The Hutchinson Spring Stopper also relied on the pressure of carbonation to keep
the bottle sealed.
Again a rubber gasket was used to make a tight seal. However, instead of a glass marble,
the “Hutch” seal was mounted on a loop of spring-wire. The spring wire was looped just
above the bottle opening. To open the bottle, the consumer simply slapped down on the top
of the bottle forcing down the stopper releasing the pressure. The wire was slightly wider
than the inside of the bottle’s neck which kept the stopper from closing off the flow when
the product was poured.
A few years back, I was told the English Codd “marble stopper” bottles are still being
used in India!
Scott had some other really neat stuff as usual. One of my favorites was a colorful
promotional mailer from D. B. Hand M.D., Scranton, PA. The bright colorful mailer featured
some young girls in bathing suits playing in the surf on a life ring. Between each child was the
name of each one Dr. Hand’s life saving products. I also saw that one of these little
booklets came wrapped around each bottle sold!
Diarrhoea Mixture, Pleasant Physic, Cough & Croup Medicine, Worm Elixir, General Tonic,
Colic Cure, Teething Lotion, Chafing Powder.
In researching I found David B. Hand M.D. had the labels for each of these medicines
patented in 1885. I also located a trade card for sale on abebooks.com for Dr Hand’s
Children’s Medicine. On the back was a signed testimonial for Dr. Hand from
Pastors, Priests and Rabbis from 10 different churches and synagogues in the Scranton area.
Another colorful item was a G.C. Bittner’s “VIOLA TALCUM” toilet powder. G.C. Bittner
published advertising on colorful Victorian era trade cards, which were beautiful!
Young ladies in the late 1800's loved to collect the beautiful trade cards in scrapbooks!
Imagine that advertising so effective, people would save it in a book to admire again and again!
Compare that to modern advertising which has you scrambling for the MUTE button!
Kelly Bobbitt picked up some treasures recently. He purchased a nice wooden box
filled with different sized cobalt blue Bromo bottles. Most non-bottle collectors suspect
older colored glass is desirable and perhaps valuable. My metal detecting customers
find Bromo Seltzer bottles and bring them to me hoping they struck the mother lode!
Most, as you know, they are fairly common, but you have to admit that they make
perfect window display bottles. Recently one of the antique bottle magazines had a
nice article on the early Bromo bottles, so they certainly are developing a following.
There is a collector for nearly everything, and I think that is just great. I for one am very
proud of my used Kleenex collection. Now, don’t get snotty! My wife wishes I would
remove them from my pockets before I put my jeans in the laundry! My Mother has a
little dog who eats them! He swallowed my Elvis snot rag!
One of Kelly’s little blue bottles was “Bromo Caffeine.” I can’t say I have seen that
one before! Here was what I found in a Google search:
“Combining the active principle of Guarana with Hydro- bromic Acid, this preparation
more than equals one grain of Hydrobromate of Caffeine in each heaping teaspoonful.
This delightful effervescent salt is an almost certain
remedy for the relief of the nervous headaches resulting
from overtaxed mental energy or excitement, acute attacks
of indigestion, the depression following alcoholic excesses,
the supra-sensitiveness of chloral, morphia and opium
habitues, and with ladies the headache and backache of neurasthenia,
hysteria, dysmenorrhea, and kindred dis-orders.
A great boon and prompt source of relief in almost all
cases of headache and distress attending mental fatigue
and physical exhaustion, it commends itself especially to
Physicians, Teachers, Clergymen, Lawyers, Merchants, and others,
following professions or pursuits requiring nerve energy
or subjecting to mental strain.
Dose. — A heaping dessertspoonful added to a tumbler half full of water,
and drunk during effervescence. This may be repeated in half an hour if necessary.”
Kevin was recalling the days when the Drug Store Soda Fountain had a
Bromo Seltzer dispenser at the ready!
Kelly also had an amber Wildroot Hair Tonic bottle with the zinc shaker top! I would say this
bottle was an actual Barber Shop bottle from the 1950's
The Wildroot Company of Buffalo, New York, originally trademarked Wildroot hair
tonic in 1920 and sold it in bottles. Early advertising claimed the hair tonic would cure dandruff,
prevent balding, and produce thick, lustrous hair.
I love Barbershop Bottles! As a boy I went to Mario’s Barber Shop usually with my grandfather.
At one point, my father purchased a home electric clippers and for a long time he cut my hair.
I don’t recall any bad haircuts.
A lady called me about a box of bottles she found after her father passed away.
I contacted Steve DeBoode about talking to her about value. Steve has been so good about
coming to my rescue. What a guy!
I basically schooled this lady about embossing and the A.C.L. lettering. Then she e-mailed
me a list of her bottles.
After I forwarded her list to Steve, I moved on. Turned out she wanted to move on as well.
At that point, she sounded like the dumpster was going to get the bottles.
One bottle on her list really piqued my interest. That bottle was from
Kelly & Son’s Old Tavern Dairy, Hickory Corners, MI. Well, without any clue except I could
not find anything online, I offered $60.00 for the box of bottles.
She delivered them and she is such a nice gal! Her father simply collected whatever he liked.
There were some beautiful bottles, all sparkling clean, but nothing rare . . . except maybe the
Kelly & Sons Old Tavern Dairy.
Excited, I bumped into Scott and could hardly wait to tell him about the newly acquired treasure!
Scott said, “I met the family and dug their lot. They showed me their collection and they have every
size and shape!”
I am pretty sure Scott has one, but they simply are not available.
At the meeting, Kevin saw the bottle and said, “Boy, wait until Kelly Bobbitt sees that one!
He will want it!”
I had not thought about that! Kelly has sold me some trade tokens and even gifted me a
Michigan Cottage Cheese Company bulk potato salad tin . . . so I sold him that beautiful bottle!
Well, I feel like it has a good home.
The Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club
meets at the main downtown
Kalamazoo Library, 315 South Rose Street.
We meet on the third floor in the conference room.
This meeting is Tuesday, October 9th Meeting starts