Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Bottles and Extras" (aka - Bottles and History!)

It's been a busy bottle week for me!

I had the GREAT pleasure of attending my first "official" bottle show here in Houston this past weekend...Ferdinand Meyer of Peachridge Glass has some GREAT photos his table at the show (here) and of other tables at the show (here)...you'll notice some terrific photos of Dan Cowman's tables...I bought a few things at the show but more important: I benefitted from the generous advice and expertise of both Ferdinand and Dan. Can;t wait until my next show!

As I mentioned in a previous post (here), I recently became a member of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors (FOHBC, website here). As with all associations, as a member-in-good-standing I am due all the "honors, rights, and privileges pertaining thereto" and one of the BEST is the official magazine of the FOHBC - Bottles & Extras.

I recently received my first issue and it is a treasure trove of information!

My favorite article was on ointment pot lids by Mr. Rex Barber, such as those belonging to the Holloway's Ointment and Poor Man's Friend Ointment in my own collection (see photos from a previous post here). The article included wonderful color photos of lids in Mr. Barber's collection.

Even though I do not collect all the kinds of bottles covered in each issue, something struck me right away: this magazine can be a tremendous resource to people interested in local history, even if they are not bottle collectors per se:

The people writing the articles for Bottles & Extras are members and collectors with a passion to learn as much as they can about the bottles in their collection and that includes a substantial passion for local history!

Consider the stories of all the industries and people involved with bottles that can enliven your own research, writing, or other kind of collecting: vintners, brewers, distillers, dairies, druggists, glassblowers, etc.

Some of the articles in this issue with great local history content included:

"The Boston Ranch" by Ken Morrill - the story of an eminent San Francisco dairy and milk dealer

"Perfection Water Bottle Company" by Barry L. Bernas - a well-researched and annotated article about a Washington, Pennsylvania factory and inventor William B. Fenn

"George W. Swett Root Beer, 1845-1952" by Donald Yates - a timeline of the history of the company

Even if you are not a bottle collector, I highly recommend you subscribe to Bottles & Extras or consult past issues and make contact with the collectors and contributors...I'm certain they will be happy to share their knowledge!

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