Antique Bottle and Glass News

Peaches on CrateThis site is presented and hosted by Ferdinand and Elizabeth Meyer. We hope to share our passion for collecting and dealing in Early American Antique Bottles and Glass. Please contact us for any information and or bottle and glass news for post consideration. I am also looking for guest authors as I shift to the Virtual Museum project. Thanks!

So-Long to Downieville – One last Hurrah

The Downieville Bottle Show was started in the early 1990’s as the Mother Lode Bottle Show by Bill Ham and Warren Friedrich with help from Richard Siri and the late Jess Jones. If you were one of the early attendees or show dealers you remember the 1997 Western Whiskey Extravaganza that featured the top western whiskies and seminar by the late guru of western whiskies John Thomas. The 1998 show featured a display of the most desirable Slug Plate and Picture Whiskies displayed by collectors from all over the west. Read: September 9, 2017 The Last Downieville Bottle Show

Now Two Tally-Ho Bitters

The phrase tally-ho is a largely a British phrase, which originated from the activity of foxhunting, and other forms of hunting with hounds, shouted when a rider or follower sees the fox. Today the term has evolved to have other meanings, most of which relate to ‘pointing out’ or ‘spotting’ a ‘target’. For example, it is sometimes used as slang in air traffic control to verify a radar contact has been visually confirmed.

Reno Antique Bottle & Collectibles Club 53rd Annual Show & Sale

On a typical sweltering Summer day the Reno Antique Bottle & Collectibles Club held its 53rd Annual show and sale at the Reno/Sparks Convention Center on June 16 & 17 in Reno, Nevada. This has been one of the premier bottles sales events in the West since its inception, and Marty Hall and Helene Walker have been involved in its success for more years than I can recall. This year was no exception.

We lose a Great Leader in our Hobby – Gene Bradberry

Just hearing from Tom Phillips that long-time FOHBC member, past president and Hall of Famer Gene Bradberry passed away this morning. Tom will get us more information on the funeral and services. Gene joined the FOHBC in 1969 and quickly became active behind the scenes. He served as 2nd vice chairman (1971-72), chairman (1972-74), President (as chairmen became) (1988-94), Membership Director (1994-2000), Expo 2004 show chairman, 1st vice president (2004-06), Membership Director (2006-10), President (2010-2012) and Director at Large (2012-Present). He also found time to serve his Memphis Bottle Collectors Club and…

Digging Historical Flasks

Crazy recent digging finds. We have a three person tri-state digging crew, since we have one person from Ohio, one from West Virginia, and I’m here in Pennsylvania. We have been hitting it hard the last year or so, with many cool and historic finds. Recently, we have dug some pretty great bottles and thought it may make a nice additional to the Lost & Found column. In about a 30-day period (31 to be exact), we dug a Rough and Ready Zachary Taylor quart flask, then followed that up with a colored pint Louisville double eagle, then a couple weeks ago we dug a quart green scroll flask… all in excellent condition! I can’t believe that the quart flasks were not damaged, as all these flasks were at the bottom of 8 to 10 footers. I’ll make sure to follow up soon with some bottle digging articles! – Jeff Mihalik  SUBSCRIBE

Mississippi Valley Bitters or Yazoo Valley Bitters?

I found this bright yellow, 1867 St. Louis City Directory advertisement above listing a Mississippi Valley Bitters, Fish Bitters, Hostetter’s Bitters and Drake’s Bitters. I certainly know about the last three listings. The Mississippi Valley Bitters is new to me. Could it be related to the Yazoo Valley Bitters that was made in Vicksburg, Mississippi by Fulton M. McRae?

Dr. Brunon’s Bitters – To Hotel Keepers, Restaurants, Druggists, Grocers and the Public

A simple post here for an 1859 bitters advertisement I found the other day in The Ottawa Free Trader. Dr. Brunon’s Bitters would cure just about anything out there. The bitters sold for 50 cents per bottle, $5 per dozen, $2.50 per gallon and you could get extra Bitters for bar-rooms, by the gallon or barrel at the low price of $1.25 per gallon. I wonder how they shipped the barrels?

July August 2017 issue of BOTTLES and EXTRAS mailed on Monday

You will find inside, Hidden Church Treasures, or So Near Yet So Far, For This Collector, History’s Messages are in the Bottles, Is there elegance and mystique in a milk glass soda bottle from Massachusetts?, Los Angeles Historical Bottle Club’s 50th Anniversary Commemoratives, A Serendipitous Dig, Pale Orange Bitters and P. J. Murray’s Ghost, Paine’s Celery Compound – Makes People Well and departments such as Shards of Wisdom, History’s Corner, Lost & Found, Member Photo Gallery, FOHBC News, From and For Our Members, Show Calendar Listings and so much more. CLICK For membership & subscription info.

Britain’s Biggest Show 27th Summer National 

Barnett & Lion’s Southern Grey Jacket Stomach Bitters

Dale Mlasko recently posted pictures of a whittled and mint, red amber, Barnett & Lion’s (sometimes spelled incorrectly as Lyon) “Grey Jacket Bitters” bottle from a collection that was boxed up and unknown for decades. This labeled (not embossed) Southern stomach bitters, from New Orleans, was first produced in 1865. The bottle has a really cool embossed confederate soldier, hence you would assume, the name. The label probably had a color illustration of Johnny Reb. The bottle is extremely rare with probably only a handful secreted away in Southern collections. This bottle is very desirable and has so much going for it.

Northwestern Bottle Collectors Association Show & Sale

The Santa Rosa Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium was the site of the Northwestern Bottle Collector’s Association annual show and sale on May 6 & 7, in Santa Rosa, California. After a number of years of a slump in club membership and show attendance a noticeable resurgence in both has been lately experienced, and this year’s show was no exception to this renewed interest. It was one of the best shows in recent memory.

Mansfield holds its 39th Annual Show

This past Saturday, Linda and I made our yearly trip to the Ohio Bottle Clubs 39th annual Mansfield show. The Ohio Bottle Club is a great group of people headed by Alan DeMasion, acting president. Alan is also heading up the FOHBC Virtual Museum imaging and fundraising efforts. You should see his 3-D spinners that he is working on. I am told some examples will be available at the FOHBC 2017 Springfield National Antique Bottle Convention & Expo. Stop by and check them out. Alan will have a Virtual Museum filming set-up in the display area.

Mohawk Valley Antique Bottle Club has a Great Two Days

I am running a bit behind with my show reports because the past three weeks has been filled with bottle activities. I have been to the Rochester bottle show, the Mohawk Valley Bottle Clubs show and just returned from the Mansfield show. I set up at all three shows and also went to Norm Hecklers barn sale in between. So, I am playing catch up at this point!

2017 Springfield National Seminars – Seminar Schedule, Topics & Presenters

The FOHBC is proud to present a variety of fascinating educational seminars at the 2017 Springfield National Bottle Convention and Expo. This distinguished group of presenters was organized by seminar coordinator, Michael George. In the past, because two seminars were presented simultaneously, you were forced to choose one and miss another. We have partially remedied this situation by arranging the videotaping of our seminars which will be made available to all on the FOHBC web site. Details concerning obtaining those videos will be announced at the time of the seminar presentations.

Watson One Auction News

For immediate release: I explained once that some good things are worth the wait. And now the wait is over. Springfield 2017 is going to long be remembered for many reasons. Great show, great seminars, great banquet, superb auction. We are extremely grateful to the Watson family who in their parent’s footsteps have made this contribution to the FOHBC and the hobby possible. Team Springfield is excited to announce that Glass Works Auctions, under the leadership of Jim Hagenbuch, will conduct an auction of approximately 115 carefully selected lots from the Elma & Dick Watson collection of extraordinary bottles and glass on Saturday, August 5th, 2017. Watson One, the first ever offering from the Watson collection, will take place in the MassMutual Center, adjacent to the Springfield showroom floor, on Saturday morning, August 5th 2017. Previews (subject to change) will take place on Friday August 4th from 3:30 to 5:30 P.M. and from 7 to 9 A.M. on the morning of the auction. Auction action will commence promptly at 9 A.M. and conclude in time for showroom floor activities to beginning at noon. Bidding procedures, catalogues and specific items in the auction will be made public shortly. Stay tuned!!!!! There will be something for everyone and this, my friends, will be an event not to be missed. A splendid time is guaranteed for all! Bob Strickhart (Springfield C0-Chair)

Greeley’s Bourbon Bitters being Raffled at the Springfield National

Through a generous donation from a friend on the west coast, the National Bottle Museum now has a wonderful Greeley’s Bourbon Whiskey Bitters in aqua to raffle at the FOHBC 2017 Springfield National Antique Bottle Convention & Expo. Info —>>> More Info

Left Coast Lines Presents: The 2017 Rohde Ranch BBQ & Tailgater

Hello fellow hobbyists and welcome collectors of all ages and interests. Here is the latest chapter in the insulator collecting hobby phenomenon called The Rohde Ranch BBQ and Tailgater. This year’s event, hosted by Bill and Kat, was held on Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 at the Rohde Ranch, just east of the San Joaquin River near Fresno, California.

2017 Reno Antique Bottle Show Brings Longstanding Collecting, Class & Art

[Posted by Fred Holabird] The world of antique bottle collecting has taken a full turn from collecting pretty old purple and blue bottles in the desert to investment quality pieces envious of any art museum.With key rarities often trading in the tens of thousands of dollars, a new breed of collector has developed. “We are seeing many more new collectors who are collecting for the beauty of the product. The investment angle has also taken a toll, with some collectors heading straight for the rarities,” said national auction house seller Fred Holabird of Holabird’s Western Americana Collections based in Reno. “The spectacular shapes and colors rival anything else I can imagine” says Ferdinand Meyer V, a major collector of colored bottles and president of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors, a national collecting organization formed for historical education about antique bottles.
Other collectors love the history. And what’s not to love – the aura of collecting bottles from Wyatt Earp’s saloon. “Antique Bottle Bible” author Mike Polak (Krause Publications) maintains the bottles found behind Earp’s old Northern Saloon in Tonopah have added value, and if nothing else “bring home incredible history to the bottle field itself.” Holabird’s new book “Ghost Towns and Medicines” highlights the Nevada collecting genre, with stories rich in history and local lore. Holabird has planned an auction of one of the top collections of western whiskey flasks and Hutchinson soda bottles from all over America on Friday night of the show.
The Reno Bottle Show this year will be June 16-17 at the Reno Convention Center on South Virginia. It is a return to their old haunts after a number of years of having shows around town in various venues. The Reno-Sparks Antique Bottle Club has been going for 55 years strong, one of the oldest clubs in America. “The hobby remains strong and vibrant. People are still fascinated with this art form” said club president Marty Hall of Reno. “Over the years we’ve had shows with hundreds of dealers. This year we hope to pull in dealers and collectors alike from all over the Western United States. There will be historical and topical displays of antique bottles, as well as vendors from all over the West.” Hall invites all interested collectors who may wish to display, sell or acquire special pieces for their collections. For more information, please call Marty Hall (775-355-9467) or reach him thru email,
Unsold lots from previous Mining Auction Now on Sale click to view

Another Jim Healy Creation

Here is an image of the first of two stoneware jugs being made to raffle at the Springfield National. Jim Healy is making them. The one shown in the photo is similar to the style we had at the 2015 Chattanooga National. The second will be an older looking jug. My plan is to sell tickets for $2 each or 3 for $5. – Jim Bender (Springfield National Chair)

48th Rochester Show and Sale was Great

This past weekend, April 30th, I was able to make my yearly trip to Rochester for their 48th annual show and sale. Aaron and Pam Weber once again served as the show chairs. They do a great job with this show and always have a packed show room. They will be the first to tell you they don’t do it alone. The club is run by a great board which includes John DeVolder (president), Chris Davis (vice president),..

Bob Ferraro 

It is with great sadness that we hear of the passing of Bob Ferraro in Boulder City, Nevada. Bob was many things including a great bottle collector, politician, business man, human being and most important, a friend to many and an inspiration. Read: Former Mayor Bob Ferraro dies at 81

Mobile Bottle Collector’s Club 43rd Annual Show Report

The Mobile Bottle Collector’s Club 43rd Annual Show was on the 25th of March, 2017 in Daphne, Alabama, and my friends and I were in attendance. This year was a fun year because we came armed with Barq’s Hutch sodas from Biloxi and Gulfport and had a few rarities to sell from New Orleans as well. Jason Case and Rick Soldini joined my expedition into one of the best shows in the South. Jason had his Gulfport Barq’s Hutch sodas to sell, I had my double Biloxi Barq’s and some New Orleans relics to sell, and Rick had a 1915 Bay St. Louis hobble-skirt Coke to sell.

The New England Antique Bottle Collectors Club 51st Show

This past Sunday I attended the New England Antique Bottle Collectors Clubs 51st annual show and sale. This was my first time to this show as it normally runs the same day as the Empire State Show and I attend that show every year. This just goes to show you with a little work between clubs, collectors can attend more shows and not have to make a choice.

46th annual Minnesota Antique Bottle, Advertising, and Stoneware Show and Sale

A very successful 46th annual Minnesota Antique Bottle, Advertising, and Stoneware Show and Sale was held on April 2, 2017. The Saturday night before the show, dealers were treated to an open house where food, beverages, show and tell, and good conversation were in generous supply. Strong show attendance on Sunday brought good sales for the 50-plus dealers who occupied nearly 80 tables.

2017 Golden Gate Show & Sale

Friday, April 8, was the opening day of the Golden Gate Historical Bottle Club’s 51st annual show and sale at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds in Antioch, California. Amidst some substantial downpours the show opened to its usual crowd of dedicated followers.

Ferd Meyer Memorial Received Well at Baltimore Bottle Show – Ferdinand Meyer V Interview

Was interviewed any Scott Collier at Dundalk TV. Gave me an opportunity to talk about my dad and how he was one of the first in the Balto Bottle Club. Got me started in this great hobby too. Enjoy. WATCH

Battle of Springfield Bottle Competition News

SpringfieldBottleBattleThe “Battle of Springfield” Bottle Competition will be held Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 from 7:00 to 10:00 pm at the FOHBC 2017 Springfield National Antique Bottle Convention & Expo. The event will occur in the Mahogany Room on the 2nd Floor of the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place hotel. Bottle registration will be at 6:00 pm in the same room.


Springfield National Room Hopping Announced!

Room Hopping SpringfieldFor those who would like an old fashioned treat, this coming year at the 2017 Springfield National, we are bringing back a rendition of an old favorite. We’re going to have some old fashioned “Room Hopping” at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place hotel just like we did before cell phones and late night auctions.


Springfield Armory Reception – New Event added to the 2017 Springfield National

8b5edbbc-155d-451f-6764e368a651ee00-largeThe FOHBC is working with the Events Coordinator at the Springfield Armory Museum and the Campus Events Coordinator at the adjacent Springfield Technical Community College. Both are in historic buildings on the National Historic Site (National Park Service) grounds and hold events. The FOHBC and Springfield Co-Chairs will be holding an afternoon reception on the 7th floor, “Top of the City” conference room at the Education Center which has large windows that overlook the historic grounds.


Mt Vernon Glassworks Project

rich-mark-and-brianheaderHi Ferdinand, Mark Yates and I were excavating behind the factory site of the Mt. Vernon glassworks with Brian Wolff for several years prior to his death. Brian’s dream was to excavate the actual factory site. Brian’s longtime friend, turns out, had recently inherited a house, its yard being the factory site. Last October we got permission to excavate on the factory mound in the backyard and Brian was able to be with me on the first day there. Mark and I continued until December 31st when the frost did us in.


Stage Actress Beauties – Looking at some Damiana Bitters Advertising Trade Cards

maudheaderFerd, Here are the images you requested. Glad to help out. I thought that we had used a number of them previously but I could not find them in any of your posts. All of these ladies were stage stars in the late 19th century. They lent their celebrity to the promotion of these bitters much as celebrities are doing today. Each are worthy of separate posts in their own right. I have done some research and have limited biographies on each of them. I look forward to reading your Damiana Bitters post. Regards, Joe”


4 Responses to Antique Bottle and Glass News

  1. Warren Friedrich says:

    I’ve just spent several hours perusing this website for Antique Bottle Collectors, I have to say this is the most comprehensive internet site ever developed for the antique bottle enthusiast. It is destined to be the GO TO site for all those interested in the antique bottle hobby.

  2. FinBotClub says:

    This is a great looking website — well done! Love all the pix of the beautiful bottles. Looking forward to watching this site grow. All the best wishes from the Findlay Bottle Club! –Marianne Dow

  3. Mike Dolcini says:

    Well done, Ferd. Lots of great info and destined to be a favorite of a bunch of collectors.

  4. dale says:

    Great job Ferd ! The information and enjoyment of your site is a huge asset to the bottle and glass collecting community not to mention the history buff ! My enjoyment of collecting has just increased 10 fold thanks to your efforts !

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