Could we have a 2016 Mega Expo and a 2020 International Antique Glass Festival?

Hi Ferdinand,

I went to the Springfield Insulator show last weekend and was approached by three different high end insulator people about exploring the possibility of the Federation and NIA getting together in the future to collaborate on a national show. Ray Klingensmith was one of them. Just thought I would pass this on to you for discussion.

Jamie (Houdeshell) [FOHBC Second Vice President]


Your question is something I think often about. This year our Federation National Show is the same weekend as the National Insulator Association (NIA) show. Go figure. I am in total agreement that better planning and larger FOHBC Expo’s (every 4 years) are needed. To do this we need to expand our thinking and unify. I have also been in communication lately with the point persons in Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada about the possibility of an International Glass Festival unifying all of our organizations and collecting interests. Can you imagine? I think this would really be great. A once in a lifetime or at least a decade experience!

Maybe some of you are aware of a ‘cousin’ of ours having a National Mega Glass Convention in 2011. The overview for this event is as follows:

The 2011 Mega Glass Convention – Overland Park, Kansas

The Mega Glass Convention was an event in 2011 where seven national glass organizations joined together to have one large National Mega Glass Convention. The organizations participating were: Early American Pattern Glass Society, National Toothpick Holder Collectors Club, Antique Glass Salt and Sugar Shaker Club, Mt. Washington Pairpoint Glass Society, National American Glass Club, Vaseline Glass Collectors, Inc, Wave Crest Collectors Club.

Would it be worthwhile or even possible to conduct an EXPO in 2016 with the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors (FOHBC), National Insulator Association (NIA), Antique Poison Bottle Collectors Association (APBCA), Violin Bottle Collectors Association (VBCA), National Association of Milk Bottle Collectors (NAMBC), Painted Soda Bottle Collectors AssociationMidwest Antique Fruit Jar Show (MAFJ&BC), Jelly Jammers, National Brewery Collectibles Club of America (BCCA), The International Perfume Bottle Association (IBPA) etc etc.? Not to mention all of the vintage advertising clubs too!

I think the immediate benefit would be that it would allow for us, financially speaking, to look at larger cites, longer events and bigger venues such as convention centers in Kansas City, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, San Diego, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC  (Walter E. Washington Convention Center pictured above). etc. I guess this reminds me of my stamp collecting days when I attended the big national events. The week before last, The International Quilt Festival in Houston at the George R. Brown Convention Center had 60,000 plus visitors! We struggle to break a thousand visitors and it is usually much less! How are they successful? They bring together many sub groups and have tons of activities and events. My mother used to fly in from Baltimore each year and take classes before the events and floor activity. She loved it. There is a global audience as this event takes over our monster convention center.

The ASDA National Postage Stamp Show last year was in New York City, The National Money Show is in Dallas this year, Comic-Con 2012 (comic books) was at the San Diego Convention Center and the Antique Toy Shows are routinely in Miami, Boston, New York and Washington. These are all large events for a minimum of four days with thousands and thousands of visitors. Maybe this is all a little to ‘big time’ for us but I do not think so. We need to think bigger for Expos and consider an international event. Obviously this will take tons of planning.

The complaint I hear most about the Expo is that it is slow on Sunday. If we expand, get more visitors, get more areas of interest for visitors, we solve that problem. My problem is, I never have enough time to truly see the displays, visit every table, shop and meet people. I need some breathing room!

Please, let me hear your thoughts on this topic.

* disclaimer: the topmost advertisement for the 2010 Mega Glass event is just an idea. Do not book your hotel rooms and flights yet!

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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5 Responses to Could we have a 2016 Mega Expo and a 2020 International Antique Glass Festival?

  1. Froggy says:

    Bigger & better is good, but not longer. 1-1/2 day, 2 full days at most is plenty.

    • Yes. I know what you mean. It is sometimes hard for me to travel across the country and ship two large china barrels only for 1 1/2 to two days. For a typical bottle show this is fine. If, in a ideal setting in the future, and if we could have a unified Expo or even 10 year International event, 2 days is not nearly enough time. I envision Thursday and Friday as seminars, meetings, banquet, shootout, early admission (on Friday) and the general public on the weekend. This is assuming that we could greatly increase our attendance. This would grow our hobby, up our sales and allow some of us more time to visit the displays and tables. I am so disappointed each year when I only visit and see 10% or so of the tables and spend less than desired time at the displays at Baltimore and the National. If I could do all that on Thursday and Friday, then I could be at my table on the weekend. Four days of table selling and sitting is not a fun thought. Remember, I am talking about a hypothetical Mega Expo and 10 Year Jubilee as outlined in the post above. The national bottle show, as it stands now, is the shortest event out there. This troubles me.

  2. Warren Friedrich says:

    I couldn’t agree more on your LAST statement. One of my all time favorite Federation National shows was the 2006 meet in Sparks, NV. That show just flew by and should have been at least another day!

  3. sandorfuss says:

    Hi Ferdinand,

    This is one of the best ideas that you have come up with to date. Our hobby needs to connect with other glass enthusiasts to attract new collectors. This kind of mega show is the perfect way to do it. Participating in a show like this would expose bottle collecting to a huge new group of like minded collectors and I am certain that a few of them will dive head first into bottle collecting. The show would generate tremendous excitment and it would positively effect the hobby in ways that I can not imagine. It needs to be done.


    Sandor P. Fuss

  4. jhbottle says:

    Hi Ferdinand,

    Like you I would envision this as a four day event. I think most insulator people tend to prefer longer shows. One reason for this is you can’t just scan the tables like most bottle people can looking for their specialty items. Insulators have to be picked up more to be viewed which takes extra time. Another reason for a longer show is the sheer volume of material to be viewed when you combine two hobbies. I don’t feel you could do this type of show justice with just three days. I also agree with Sandor that I think you would entice some insulator people to become bottle collectors and likewise some bottle people to become insulator collectors. When I started going to bottle shows when I was about 10 years old you saw more insulator dealers. I collected both then as well as anything else I could find so these shows were like nirvana for me.

    Jamie Houdeshell

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