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. We are also looking for guest authors as we continue work on the FOHBC Virtual Museum project. Thanks!

FOHBC Virtual Museum Open Free This Summer! Visit Now

Arthur’s Patent 1855 – Arthur, Burnham & Gilroy Philadelphia

Like carved ice, an extremely rare Arthur’s Patent 1855 – Arthur, Burnham & Gilroy Philadelphia clear pint now in the FOHBC Virtual Museum Jar Gallery. Alan DeMaison did an amazing job on the piece of clear glass. The most difficult to photograph. This is the second Dr. Robert Arthur piece in the museum. Both from the 1850s.

A. Stone & Co. Cunninghams & Co. Philadelphia in olive green

This is the earliest Stone Jar. Our quart A. Stone & Co. groove ring wax sealer jar in this beautiful olive green glass color is unique. The jar has a high kick-up, bare iron pontil scar. These rare jars are usually found in aqua and can also be found in half-gallons.

A. Stone & Co. Philada. wax sealer In aquamarine

This early, small-mouth, quart wax sealer jar is embossed A. STONE & Co. in an arch on the face of the container. The ‘O’ in ‘Co.’ is smaller. Centered beneath, in a horizontal line, is PHILADA. The last ‘A’ is smaller. This same information is typically embossed on the glass stopper. The unusual narrow mouth glass stopper is typically found on their pint jars. The bottoms are usually unmarked and smooth.

An Unusual Dark Teal Green Jar

Free-blown means glass-forming by blowing and manipulating by hand and tools without the aid of a mold to shape the bottle. A free-blown bottle has no mold seams or other mold-induced markings. Our museum example represents a type of jar produced in the Pittsburgh District which typically comprises Louisville, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh geographic…

Questions around this B.M.P. London Ball

A tough one that raises some questions. B.M.P London Gallery Ball now in the FOHBC Virtual Museum Target Ball Gallery. Glass balls were used in shooting galleries, as well as traveling circuses and arcades. They are usually smaller than target balls which seem to hover around 2-5/8″ in diameter. This specific example is 2 1/8″ in diameter and was made in a 2-piece mold. It has a long neck with a ring, and a rough sheared mouth.

Dorlon & Shaffer Pickled Oysters

Back on the saddle so to speak. The FOHBC Virtual Museum site had more issues that started last Friday morning that prevented me from posting. Actually, four (4) web sites that I oversee went down during this period. FMG Design, Peachridge Glass, FOHBC, and the FOHBC Virtual Museum. Been a challenge, working with Miguel Ruiz to get back up in an environment where service has dropped or been prolonged due to the Coronavirus. I think layoffs are involved too. Anyway, here is a wonderful Dorlon & Shaffer Pickled Oysters jar with a story that I started last week and just completed. Would make a good story in Bottles and Extras.

American Glass Gallery Auction #26

Welcome to American Glass Gallery’s Auction #26. Auction #26 includes a fantastic grouping of 280 Lots of quality Bottles, Flasks, and Blown Glass. In addition, we are pleased to include a select grouping of Target Balls from several private collections, as well as a choice grouping of Midwest items and Candy Containers from the Mary Ballentine collection. Visit Auction

Globe Fruit Jar made by Hemingray

We are looking at a pale green Globe quart fruit with an abundance of character in the form of bubbles in the glass. The quart jar can be attributed to Hemingray and is in perfect condition with the original ground lip glass lid, iron clamp, and metal band around the neck. GLOBE is embossed horizontally on the face of the jar in a serifed, uppercase typestyle. The 1886 patent date is embossed on the glass lid.

Two examples of the great Johnston Ball added to the FOHBC Virtual Museum Target Ball Gallery.

The Great Western Gun Works was founded by James Hampton Johnston who was born on December 16th, 1836 in Waynesboro, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. He was a son of John H. Johnston (1811-1889), who was a well-known gunsmith. James would apprentice with his father during those early years in Waynesboro.

Dexter (Circle of Fruit) jar just added to the FOHBC Virtual Museum Jar Gallery.

Adam R. Samuel was one of the first, if not the first proprietor to run a glass business devoted solely to the production of fruit jars. Samuel advertised in 1867 that he was the manufacturer and proprietor of the Willoughby, Haller, Kline, Mason, and Franklin fruit jars which were the predecessor of the Dexter jars. This actually meant that he was holding the patents for these jars.

Lilienthal & Co. San Francisco

Our museum bottle embossed LILIENTHAL & CO. S.F. is one of the oldest western flasks as it was made and sold from 1872 to about 1880. The flask form is referred to as a ‘Union Oval.’ There are two variants. One has a high embossed ‘S.F.’ while the other, ‘S.F.’ occurs lower on the face of the flask. Our example would be the high variant. This example is extraordinary in its condition and olive color as most examples are found in shades of amber.

Rare Gem Butter added to the Virtual Museum Jar Gallery

Before butter was available in sticks in grocery stores, many families, especially those living on farms, made their own butter at home. In order to make butter from cow’s milk, they would let it sit until the cream in the milk separated and rose to the top. Then they would skim the cream off and put it inside a butter churn where a plunger would be used to churn the butter until it solidified into butter. Storing butter was important so …

This Mantua creamer was just added to the Tableware Gallery

This diminutive yellow creamer won 1st Place in the Pattern Molded Tableware category in the judged competition at the FOHBC 2018 Cleveland National Antique Bottle Convention. The piece was probably made by the Mantua Glass Company in Ravenna, Ohio.

Bitters Bottles Supplement 2 Update

BBs2 update. The InDesign digital document will go out to the proofreading team headed up by Joe Gourd tomorrow for FINAL REVIEW. We are close to 500 pages of new bitters info, updates, and new imagery. Working with Bill Ham and bitters collectors for the past ten years or so. The printer has been lined up in Houston. Half of the 500 books we order will be stored here in Bayou City, the other half with Bill Ham in California. All new bitters finds are being recorded as they come in and placed in a living BBs3 digital document. I am very proud of this book, the team I have worked with, and excited to move this exciting area of bottle collecting forward. There is also an INDEX that has been updated to include everything from all three books. This piece alone is quite amazing.

Wideman & Chappaz

After about a week of site maintenance, museum repairs, and public area cleaning, we are back to putting bottles on the shelves in the galleries. Wideman & Chappaz is a very difficult bitters bottle to find and research. The Widemann & Chappaz bottle is considered one of the earliest western manufactured bitters. The label, if one could be found, might read ‘Alpine Stomach Bitters.’

Moss Green example of a Willington Cathedral Pickle

An image of an 8 1/2″ small size Willington in a moss green was added to the FOHBC Virtual Museum. With a nice iron pontil. Clean and crude and the color is outstanding. Many of the early American pickle bottles and jars of this style were made starting in the 1840s and up to the turn of the century and were used as a way to preserve food for out-of-season use and for long journeys…

New Sarracenia Life Bitters

Here are the new Sarracenia Life Bitters photos with double the number of bottles than the previous image. Generous lighting with no flash. Photo numbers 1871 (top) and 1874 (middle) are all the older variants, while photo 1876 (bottom) has two older on the ends with four newer variants in the center. These were all produced between 1872 and 1879. The newer variety with the whiskey top are almost always just shades of amber to yellow amber. The legs run the opposite direction, and they are not as crude as the others. While some of the color differences are minor, others are eye-popping. I am still trying to get them all tumbled up as I have the time. – Rod Vining

J. W. Hutchinson’s Tonic Bitters – Mobile, Alabama

I had some time to take some new photos and thought I would send you some updates for your website. Here are the J. W. Hutchinson’s with the newest addition in the center. The black mark visible through the base is the Black iron pontil on this never buried specimen. Thanks, Rod Vining

Dr. A. W. Coleman’s Anti-Dyspeptic and Tonic Bitters

New images In from big time Alabama collector Rod Vining. “The only thing new here is the black one that I used to own, and purchased back from Dr. Aprill’s auction. This black one is whittled. Most of the black ones are smooth.” Thanks, Rod

FOHBC Virtual Museum NOW OPEN!

As some of you may have heard, the FOHBC Virtual Museum opened at midnight on 01 January 2020 when we went from our construction mode to our Soft Opening. There is no place, anywhere, where you will see our great antique bottle and glass pieces, images and research in one location. A true museum experience. MORE INFO

Augusta Prizes and Drawings

As a bonus to show-goers and dealers, the FOHBC raffled a Jim Healy 2019 Augusta Canal commemorative stoneware jug . Tickets were $2 each or three for $5. You were encouraged to “Play to win!” The winner was announced around 4:30 pm on Saturday. Vaughn Jones from Statesboro, Georgia won this jug. Thanks to Mike Newman for making sure Vaughn received his jug as you did not have to be present to win.

Augusta People on the Showroom Floor

So far, we’ve put out eleven (11) Augusta events on the FOHBC web site and related social media. This includes all the special events from Thursday, 01 August, like the FOHBC Board Meeting, Mike & Julie Newman Open House, Augusta Museum of History Reception and Sweet Georgia Peaches Bottle Competition. We also covered the Friday, 02 August events, such as the Membership Breakfast, Educational Seminars, Ribbon Cutting, and Banquet.

Augusta Educational Displays

The Educational Displays are one of the most exciting components of a Federation national convention. The FOHBC encourages collectors to share their knowledge, enthusiasm and interests with other collectors by displaying their collections or related material. This year, Walter Smith from Team Augusta, was in charge of our displays. He did a great job!

Augusta General Admission | On the Tables

So far, we’ve put out nine (9) Augusta events on the FOHBC web site and social media. This includes all the special events from Thursday, 01 August, like the FOHBC Board Meeting, Mike & Julie Newman Open House, Augusta Museum of History Reception and Sweet Georgia Peaches Bottle Competition. We also covered the Friday, 02 August events, such as the Membership Breakfast, Educational Seminars, Ribbon Cutting, Youth Corner and the Banquet. You can also read the Augusta Souvenir Program.

FOHBC Augusta Banquet

Each FOHBC national event has a banquet that is preceded by a cocktail hour. What is so nice about these dinners is that it is a chance to unwind after a long day that typically includes the Membership Breakfast, Educational Seminars, Ribbon Cutting and Early Admission…

Augusta Youth Corner

We struggle every year to bring younger people into our hobby. Usually we are unsuccessful as there are just so many competing interests facing the next generation. Where once a parent or grandparent would spend precious weekend time working with a child on a postage stamp album or looking through old coins for that elusive Indian Head penny, now video games seem to be the norm. Interaction with elders has been minimized as a virtual world is boundless. Of course there are many other reasons and we should not give up.

Team Augusta & the Ribbon Cutting

It is no secret that in recent years it has become ever so difficult to find individuals that will step up and co-chair a national FOHBC convention. The workload is immense, and the challenges seem unsurmountable when you look at the big picture including site selection, events, workload, budget and operations to name a few. With this in mind, a group of extraordinary southern gentleman banded together to take on the task and make the FOHBC 50th Anniversary..

Augusta Educational Seminars

After our FOHBC Membership Breakfast, we were truly fortunate to be able to present a variety of fascinating educational seminars this year at our convention. We had a distinguished group of seminar presenters organized by seminar coordinator Bill Baab from Team Augusta. Bill did a wonderful job and made sure we all would have something to look forward to.

FOHBC General Membership Meeting Breakfast

The FOHBC bylaws require that an annual meeting be held with our members during our national convention. In past years, we had the meeting on the first day, directly after the FOHBC board meeting after a quick lunch break. Problem was, only a handful of members would show up, as many had not arrived in town yet or they weren’t inclined to start off their bottle trip with a meeting. Anyway, back in 2015 at the Chattanooga National, we decided to have a membership meeting breakfast. You know the old adage, have food and they will come.

Sweet Georgia Peaches Bottle Competition

Our power opening day already started out with the 8:00 am- noon FOHBC Board Meeting followed by the early afternoon Mike & Julie Newman Open House. We spent our late afternoon at the Augusta Museum of History Reception. This left the evening for our next event.

Augusta Museum of History Reception

Thursday was our big first day as we started off in the morning with the FOHBC Board Meeting followed by the early afternoon Mike & Julie Newman Open House. As this ended at 3:00 pm, our Team…

Mike & Julie Newman Open House

The widely and wildly anticipated Mike & Julie Newman Open House occurred after the FOHBC Board Meeting. This was our lead-off event and boy was it a success! Guests were given directions to car pool or they could be shuttled by two (2) contracted vans that ran between our host Marriott Augusta Hotel and the Newman residence. A pair of the Newman’s retired friends, Tom …

FOHBC Board Meeting at the Augusta National Bottle Show

The first event for any FOHBC national antique bottle show is actually the board meeting. The nineteen FOHBC board members are requested to attend, preferably in person, although we have a conference line for officers who cannot make the show. Read about the 2018 – 2020 officers here. FOHBC members, as guests, are welcome to attend in a non-speaking capacity.

Looking at a Moffat Billhead

Ben Swanson submitted this important illustrated billhead in the form of a stampless folded letter dated 1846 to Dr. William Washington Fritts of Carlisle, Kentucky from Dr. William Brinckerhoff Moffat proprietor of Phoenix Bitters. Hand written and signed.

2019 FOHBC 50th Anniversary National Antique Bottle Convention | Augusta, Georgia | Souvenir Program

Well, the show is over and we are catching our breath. A couple of years of work boiling down to three or four intense days in Augusta. Now as the dust settles, we settle our accounts, collects some comments, look thru a couple thousand images and prepare for write-ups in Bottles and Extras and Antique Bottle & Glass Collector. A special shout-out to advertisers in our Souvenir Program. An important source of revenue and information.


Cannon’s Bitters Study & Timeline – Washington D.C.

With new material and research on Cannon’s Bitters, it seems like high time to re-look at this incredible brand. I thought I would lay out what I have discovered and see if we can connect the dots on the listings in Bitters Bottle Supplement 2.

Plows Celebrated Sherry Bitters – Chicago

Glass Works Auctions has a wonderful example of a figural Plows Sherry Bitters in their upcoming ‘Colors of Spring’ Catalog Auction #130. The bottle is pictured at the top of the post, in the grouping above and below. The Plows, in the form of a cluster of grapes, is drop-dead gorgeous. Even the label panel on the reverse is shaped like a grape leaf. The auction opens for bid on April 22nd and closes on April 29th, 2019. I have not seen this particular example before as it has been nested away for many years with Sidney Genius, a name I’ve heard of, but a person I have not met. Apparently he has or had some great bitters which are now being auctioned by Glass Works over a period of time.

U.S. Army Hospital Department bottles

I’ve always wanted to create a gallery of U.S. Army Hospital Department bottles. The molds, colors and use during the Civil War and later years epitomizes the history and stunning glass in our hobby. I will update this post as more images become available. There is some really great information on these bottles by Frank Sternad in Bottles and Extras and Robert J. Dalessandro on his Medical Antiques web site. That is also his picture of five U.S.A Hospital Department bottles at the top of this post.

Nicholas Longworth – Catawba Wine Bitters, Cincinnati, Ohio

Nicholas Longworth was an influential figure in the early history of American wine, producing sparkling Catawba wine from grapes grown in his Ohio River Valley vineyard on hills north of Cincinnati. He was also responsible for Catawba Wine Bitters, and the bottles embossed with the cluster of grapes. Highly desirable to collectors.

Missouri IXL Bitters – Isidor Bush

Isidor Bush (or in Europe, Busch) has his name on the extremely rare Missouri IXL Bitters bottle which to me is quite amazing. I’ve only personally seen this bottle once and that was at the FOHBC 2015 Chattanooga National Antique Bottle Show when bitters collector, Brad Shultis, carefully unwrapped the bottle to show me. The image at the top of the post was taken at the show. Actually, there is so much more to this bottle and the man behind it.

Could this bottle be for the Celebrated Tobias’s Wine Bitters?

A patron enters one of the two open entryways at which a straw basket and wine cask are displayed across from a large-cask shaped sign. Sign reads “S. Tobias No. 68 Importer & Dealer in Wines Liquors Cordials and Syrups.” At the other entryway, a laborer rolls a cask out the door near a worker entering the cellar. Within the store, the backs of a patron and a clerk are visible in the rear of the store in which shelves of liquor bottles, straw baskets, wine casks, and barrels are displayed on shelves, the floor, and the open display window. Other boxes, bottles, casks, and barrels are visible at the upper floor windows. Barrels and boxes, one marked “S. Tobias” line the sidewalk, near a street lamp in front of the store.

Solomon’s Strengthening & Invigorating Bitters – Savannah, Ga.

Post update: Sometimes I have bottle posts that take a longer and broader range approach such as the Fancy Square Series and the Figural Barrel Series etc. Other posts just announce antique glass related topics or deal with current events for bottle shows and auctions. This post today occurs because of a request or inspiration from a fellow collector. In this case, it is Charles Aprill, again. Charles and Jane Aprill are the King and Queen of Blues in the Crescent City or NOLA.

He Sold Black Hawk Bitters

In another newspaper notice, druggist, M.K. Shuggart in Iowa also had his Black Hawk Bitters seized. In court, he said it was a medicine and that it was a summer drink and should be classified with lemonade, even though the bitters was labeled 30 percent alcohol. Still more arrests for selling Black Hawk Bitters that reportedly made men climb telegraph poles and throw their tools in the street! The last from the Kansas Democrat in Hiawatha, Kansas. This is the kind of material you find in bitters researching, just like the assorted nefarious material put in a bitters bottle.

Tincture of Centaury Bitters – Bernheim Brothers & Uri – Louisville, Kentucky

If you go to the I.W. Harper website and visit the history menu on the banner, the following opening screen reads, “THE I.W. HARPER LEGACY, A LEGEND IS BORN” followed by “I.W. Harper’s story begins in 1848 when our founder, I.W. Bernheim, came to America with $4 and a dream. A century later, his bourbon whiskey empire remains.” Jerry Phelps recently shared some bottle images of a round, amber, sealed and pontiled Tincture of Centaury Bitters bottle from Louisville, Kentucky. I have heard of this bottle but have never seen pictures before, so this is pretty exciting.

Excelsior Stomach Bitters – Drs. Ault and McGavern – St. John, Iowa

I am now looking at an 1867 advertisement from Mark from the Sioux City Register below for an unlisted Excelsior Stomach Bitters manufactured by Drs. Ault and McGavern in St. John, Iowa which is a small town that is not around anymore. Mark included the ad with his email and included an advertisement from the bitters agents, Smith & Moore of Sioux City, Iowa.

Use Dr. Henley’s Celebrated California IXL Bitters

Dr. Henley was initially known for medicines like Dr. Henley’s Regulator, Royal Balsam and Indian Queen Hair Restorative to name a few. Some of his better known bitters include the Dr. Henley’s Wild Grape Root IXL Bitters, Dr. Henley’s California IXL Bitters, Dr. Henley’s Eye Opener and OK Bitters. He also put out Dr. Henley’s Royal Palm Gin and Dr. Henley’s Celery, Beef and Iron. Dr. Henley’s Wild Grape Root IXL Bitters was invented in 1868 by Dr. William Henley who partnered with Louis Gross (L. Gross & Co.) who was a wholesale and retail druggist in Portland, Oregon. At least fifty cases of this product were displayed at the 1868 California State Fair by Dr. Henley and he won first prize.

Dr. Smith’s Magic Bitters – John Brown Adkins – Council Bluffs, Iowa

I like the photograph at the top of the post showing the two-story building with the J. B. ATKINS bas-relief letters on the front facade. If you look closely, you will see that John Brown Atkins is standing proudly in the doorway and his windows and shelves within are fully stocked. I also see a camel and rider sitting on a box. Look at the roof, as there is a cool sculptural mortar and pestle on top of the building and painted graphics on the side advertising J. B. Atkins selling Drugs, Chemicals, Perfumery, Paints, Oils, Glassware etc. His address is 351 West Broadway. You can see the numbers on a column on the left side of the building.

Pond’s Bitters “Makes You Go Some”

Pond’s Bitters is named after George Morgan Pond who was born in Tareytown, New York on 29 May 1854. Tarrytown is a village in the town of Greenburgh in Westchester County, New York. It is located on the eastern bank of the Hudson River, about 25 miles north of midtown Manhattan in New York City. He was the son of Loyal Sylvester Pond (Vermont) and Harriet Sarah Taylor (New Hampshire). He later married Louise Fitch in 1882. Their children were Annie, Kate, George Jr., Guy and Rainsferd Pond.

If you can’t do business, drink Rex Bitters – Chicago

Here is what I call a telephone bitters. A bitters product so late that you could call your favorite saloon, liquor or drug store and order a case of Rex Bitters using your Chicago Telephone Company issued telephone, if you were fortunate enough to have one. Illinois Bell would not form until 1923 when they began automatic telephone service in Chicago.

Jacob & David Hostetter – Dr. J. Hostetter’s Celebrated Stomach Bitters

David Hostetter was a millionaire manufacturer of one of the most, if not the most famous and successful bitters ever produced, the Dr. J. Hostetter’s Celebrated Stomach Bitters. Much has been written about the brand. I thought I would try to tie it all together. Of Dutch extraction, David Hostetter was the eldest child of Jacob Hostetter by his wife Mary Landis, and was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on 23 January 1819. Dr. Jacob Hostetter was born on 13 October 1785 in York County, Pennsylvania…

Bininger Gallery Update

I have been nesting some great images of Bininger bottles for the past year or so waiting for a few missing pictures to justify a post gallery. With the Glass Works Auctions | Auction #96 additions, I can now release this post. If you have any additions of any different bottles, please send to me. My interest in Bininger’s started early with figural clock, cannon and barrel additions to go with my bitters collection. Many of us do this as the Bininger name means great bottles and history.

Post Update with early use info: Log Cabin Series – Drake’s Plantation Bitters

This medicinal make-up was unknown until the middle of the seventeenth century. The natives of Peru were generally supposed to have been long previously acquainted with its most wonderful medicinal qualities. Humbboldt makes favorable mention of the febrifuge qualities of this article as an antidote to Fever and Ague, Intermittent and Malarious Fevers, in his extensive South American travels. The Countess, wife of the Viceroy of Peru, having in her own person experienced the beneficial effects of the bark, is said, on her return to Spain …

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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