Early pictures of some of the characters and legends or both

Dick & Elma Watson

Early pictures of some of the characters and legends or both

18 June 2012

Dr. Burton Spiller

I really like seeing older pictures of some of the collecting greats, legends and characters that I have heard so much about. I realize these pictures are in magazines stacked in closets and garages for many of you, but for a collector like myself, who is relatively new to the hobby (2002), I do not have access to pictures relating to the stories I hear. There is a whole new generation of collectors who want to see this information.

Here are some pictures that I have gathered from Bottle Collectors and Early American Glass on facebook. Thanks to Dana Charlton-Zarro and Mark Vuono for the pictures.

PLEASE send me more pictures if you possess a digital image of these important people and events so I can archive and add to the post. It is so important to remember and save images from our past.

Pictured here is Jessie Brainard, a Coventry resident and glass enthusiast from the past speaking to the Hebron historical society back in the late 1960’s early 1970’s – photo Rick Ciralli

Dr. Burton Spiller & collection – photo Dana Charlton-Zarro

Grinning bottle digger, 1994. We pulled three of these from a pit in a “dug out” backyard. Other diggers claimed that they had “cleaned that yard out”. Shut their mouths. – Michael Dolcini

Picture of the wide mouth JPF flask from 1947 – photo from Mark Vuono

Charlie Gardner and Joe Zarro, Keene, New Hampshire, 1972.

Ray & Marcia Dwyer.both were diggers around Connecticut – she collected chestnuts and Ray everything that caught his fancy – photo Noel Thomas

This privy was c1790 or earlier, New Brunswick, NJ. About 3 or 4 feet of overburden was graded from street level. I dug it in 1977, notice the pile of black glass rums in front. They were all English. Also notice all of the other activity in the photo. There were so many privies to dig and so little time that people were just raking through and metal detecting what we were shoveling out. Colonial coppers and silver coins were showing up daily, even hourly! There were privies several feet from each other in this corner of the block, like a honey comb, they were everywhere. I dug about 5 privies in this area alone. All of the old buildings, except for the Unger Cigar Box Factory, a c1870s building in the middle of the block, were long gone, but the 1831 map showed this block was loaded up corner to corner with large hotels and taverns. The corner property one lot away was the site of the Indian Queen Tavern, a place where Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson once shared a room. The privy pictured also contained a damaged Captain James Morgan Pottery cobalt decorated tankard. What a great piece that was. What’s really funny is how NOBODY other than a few bottle diggers were interested in the historical value of the site. Once the ‘archaeologists’ from (I can’t say where in this forum) got wind of what we were finding we were ‘replaced’ by archaeologists from a certain non-Jersey University so they could show us how to excavate with their whisk brooms, mason trowels and dust pans. – Joe Butewicz

Picture of Helen McKearin and Ken Wilson taken at Old Sturbridge Village in 1956 – photo Mark Vuono

Ron Rainka and Joe Zarro, undated, but a long time ago! – photo provided by Dana Charlton-Zarro

“Eugene Heisey and Shank girls” Chicago Expo 1980 – check out the table! and who else is in the photo? – photo Dana Charton-Zarro

Dennis Traverso, Joe Zarro, and Norm Heckler, 1972 Keene – photo Dana Charlton-Zarro

Dick Watson (with bottle in hand), Keene, New Hampshire sometime in the 1970s – photo Dana Charlton-Zarro

A photo with the right spirit! Charles and Jane Aprill, February 1976 – Ft. Lauderdale, Florida – photo Dana Charlton-Zarro

Ben Crane and Charlie Gardner, Lancaster show 1972 – photo Dana Charlton-Zarro

John Joiner, Don Bryant, Kim Kokles, Jim Mitchell at Gardner sale in1975 (Skinners) – photo Dana Charlton-Zarro

Georgia & Bob Hinely, John Joiner, St. Pete show in 1973 – photo Dana Charlton-Zarro

Gorgeous bottle, example of a GVII-1, NORTH BEND – TIPPECANOE (1840), one sold at auction in 2003 for $31,000. Not many around, the one on display at the Corning Glass Museum is/was on a lower shelf and I remember laying on their floor so long looking at it I thought they were going to charge me rent!held by Norman Heckler at Lancaster, 1972 – photo Dana Charlton-Zarro, comment – Ed Miller

I was a speaker at a club (can’t remember which) showing some of my hundreds of slides taken of personalities, shows and bottles during the late 60s and 70s. That is Mike Voytek next to me who built the inside of a large glass works with worker bees all around the glory holes. The model is in the National Bottle Museum now. – Noel Thomas

Norman Heckler’s 1st Auction – see how many people you recognize: Gale Cambell on left in white shirt; Ralph Finch interviewing Liz Heckler; Thomas Edward Carroll on right in light-colored sweater – Dana Charlton-Zarro

That’s my Grandfather ( Irving Shultis). He was from Glenford N.Y. and moved to Fl. He dug alot in both Florida and New York. – Brian Shultis

From Steve Ketcham: I found this 1977 photo of Gene and Tom and some fellow collectors taken at the 1977 Memphis Bottle Show. The pic is from the August 1977 Bottle News. Look at some of these great names at the 10th Annual Memphis Bottle Show. That is outgoing FOHBC president Gene Bradberry and Fed Conventions Director Tom Phillips! They are both preparing for their 27th Annual Show!

Charles Gardner and Allie Clevenger talking Pickles – photo submitted by Brian Shultis

The late Marion and Tom McCandless at the first Heckler Auction – Dana Charlton-Zarro

About Ferdinand Meyer V

Ferdinand Meyer V is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and has a BFA in Fine Art and Graphic Design from the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design. Ferdinand is the founding Principal of FMG Design, a nationally recognized design consultation firm. Ferdinand is a passionate collector of American historical glass specializing in bitters bottles, color runs and related classic figural bottles. He is married to Elizabeth Jane Meyer and lives in Houston, Texas with their daughter and three wonderful grandchildren. The Meyers are also very involved in Quarter Horses, antiques and early United States postage stamps. Ferdinand is the past 6-year President of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors and is one of the founding members of the FOHBC Virtual Museum.
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2 Responses to Early pictures of some of the characters and legends or both

  1. Warren Friedrich says:

    I’ve got an Old Bottle Yearbook that shows all the display winners and their bottle exhibits from all the various clubs across the U.S. in 1974. The front cover has the North Bend Tippecanoe cabin bottle drawing and states: “First $10,000 Bottle”.
    It also has the ‘famous’ Weaverville bottle window of John Thomas including a Bryant’s Stomach Bitters cone example among the bottles.

    • Warren…I was hoping to hear from you. Please send me any representative pictures you have. Really light on Western pictures of the stories and legends. See you soon in Reno!

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