September, 1995 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ The Federation Show in Chicago proved to be a smashing success as the display I helped with on Chicago bottles & Northern Ill. was the largest display of its kind with over 250 examples of rare examples some even unique, there will be a part two of the display in October at the Chicago Bottle Club show held at the same hotel in Rosemont, IL (for more details on this show E-mail me). The Auction held by James Hagenbaugh of Glass Works Auctions was a good one with around 90 pieces, the two rarest bottles brought about alot of bidding - a rare Doctor Bell's Figural bitters (bell-shaped & pontiled) brought $7000- and the surprize of the auction was a puce colored soda bottle in a semi-torpedo shape with paneled sides (can't recall the name or state) estimated to sell for $800-1400 sold for $5700-, some bitter bottles from the Chicago area were sold from the Carayln Ring collection - I was able to buy the last lot at what I considered a fair price - it was 2 Hi-Hi bitters (triangular bottles) one in amber one in citron-green. Many dealers from all around the country attended the show, hopefully we will see them again in October along with yourself! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Submitted by Lewis Noah (Thank's Lewis): "YOU DO WHAT?" As a digger this is the commonest response when fellow workers here about my hobby. I find that it is usually followed by a very heavy dose of curiosity. My career as a Defense Department worker brings me in contact with many people and the folks I work with have expressed a interest in "Privy Digging" if for no other reason than curiosity. So I decided to set up a demonstration Privy Dig and invite any and all to observe/participate and learn. Nice guy ain't I? O.K. so the more astute of you have already figured I will get a lot of leads to future digs by interesting more people in our hobby. I do admit it worked very well in this case. On Aug 31 a demonstration privy dig was held and all interested parties were welcome to be involved. The cooperation of the property owner "Mary Ellen's Attic" antiques in Reynoldsburg OH was gained. The site had an obvious three hole indentation in the center of a large backyard. Convenient parking for cars was at hand. I had previously "Post Holed" the site so had a date of 1900 to 1920 for the privy. This is a good time period for a demo dig as the items would not cause a riot as to value but are of significant interest and very different from anything normally seen today. The people started to arrive at the appointed time and I was amazed at the cross section that showed up. One person from Kodiak Island Alaska visiting inlaws in Ohio, Directors, supervisors, fellow employees, wifes, children, even an Opera singer. WOW The dig was on. I had previously laid out the tarps and tools for the dig. I am a bucket digger so a hundred or so 5 gallon buckets were also on hand. The people wanting to be actively involved were put on the end of tools and away we went. The sod cutter cleanly opened the hole and the sod was set aside to be replaced at the end of the dig. The shovels could be used two at a time at this stage so a lot of dirt was moved quickly. As we progressed down we came across a very nice stone liner. John from Kodiak was in the hole and turned up the first bottle, would you believe "Sperm Oil" sewing machine oil, an extremely appropriate bottle for the man from Alaska. As the digs progressed I observed and gave direction to the crew. Most of my time was in explaining all the shards and the whys of items being in the hole. Sitting back I noticed young people picking up shards as if they were gold, older people examining bottles, marbles, and arifacts. Neat! this was what its all about each person having a good time and learning. The hole was only about four foot deep so the dig came to an end too soon. Some of the helpers were not ready to believe it was bottom so attempted to dig deeper. In this area the bottom is solid so the end is very apparent. All hands gathered to share the finds and thank the land owner. The split was done by mutual consent. The Diane, the land owner, picked a Handleless cup, each of the diggers took home bottles, or marbles or shards as each desired. The list of finds was a good cross section of normal finds. A 1/4 pint sample whiskey, several warranted flasks, a selection of product jars, three porcelain marbles the shards of a decorated commode bowl, and for are visitor from Alaska a nice "Sperm Oil". What did I get out of all this? Some good prospects for future digs, some understanding about my "unusual hobby", possibly some extra hands to dig at sites down the road, but most of all a good time was had by all. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Poison Bottles How does one in the 19th Century find their medicine in the middle of the night when their sparce lighting can not distinguish the wording on the labels? One bottle contains a proven cure for almost anything that ail's them and the other is a rat poison next to it - a 50/50 chance - hardly. If this was the case their would be a lot less people on this earth today, a handy design for most poison bottles was developed with the Suggestion of the American Medical Association in the early 1870's - a standardized system that would allow people to recoginize the bottles at night or day, it was obvious and simple: a raised surface with with ridges and lines, hex-crossing and strong embossing, another tell tale sign was that it was often in a dark color, blue, amber, or green. Clear and aqua poison bottles are somewhat harder to find compared with the most common blue color. Some bottles have a skull and crossbones embossed on them, this for the symbol of death taken from pirate ships on the sea. One of the rarest poison bottles is the Skull bottle which is embossed poison and is a figural skull shape in cobalt - many of these bottles have damage on the nose or chiping on the lip - a mint example will cost around $1200-1500 today. Some latter bottles (1900-1930) did not have any unusual features, only a label that stated the word posion often with the same skull and crossbones printed on the label. Many of the bottles in this category were imported from England to the United States and you will often see them here today. They are a fascinating bottle to collect as they come in a wide number of shapes and sizes, and even the colors can be quite spectacular. ************************************************************************** I was able to attend the Walworth County Fair in Wisconsin this Past Weekend, and observed their display of Antiques that were entered for fair judging, I felt bad for those who entered in the bottle section because the person who judged obviously did not know anything about bottles (and glass I would guess) there were a bunch of Mason Jars (the common ones), a Doctor Pierce's Golden Medical Discovery (it got 2nd place, imagine that a $2/bottle getting second) a plain cobalt bottle with eye washer on top (it won first prize - while better then the Pierce's it couldn't be worth more then $20), a milk of magnezia, a plain clear whiskey flask, - heres what gets me: a tippecanoe bitters (3rd place), and a cornucopia flask (4th place)!, now I had to talk to the supervisor and find out who does the judging around here, the tippecanoe is a very attractive bottle and the flask is obviously old being pontil scarred! The person running the antiques exhibit defended the judger as unable to be knowledgable in all 200 categories while only being paid $60. We never told her what was wrong with the category only that we wanted to know how it was being judged and would their be any consideration to having people who specialize in a certain area judge that particular exhibit (we were offering our services free of charge) she could not belive that anyone would do this act for free, and wanted to know our credentials, seemingly not taking our word she wanted to see something with our name and speciality on it (luckly I had my Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors Life Membership Card with me), she also wanted to know if we were experts and provided educational talks and lectures to the public, we explained this to be the case, and reluctantly she agreed to let us send her a newsletter from our club, with prospects of maybe judging this category next year. The joke of the situation is that anyone other then the current judge could of done better and we had to defend our credentials for over 1/2 hour to this person who always claimed she had no part in the decision of the judging! +++++++++++++++++++ For Sale: *Candy Container Gun - still some inside silver paint and black paint on the handle, early straight gun, clear - with ground screw top, Jeantte, PA. $45- *Lynn's Burnishing Ink (full label) - for a shoe polish nice label with some pictures, early amber bottle good condition. $55- *early cobalt glass rolling pin - $195- *Tippecanoe Bitters - 65% labeled - Warner co., $135- *Barber Bottle - Witch Hazel - Milk Glass - Octagonal Shape - Barber Supply Co. on base embossed $65- *Case Gin bottle - early - olive green mint condition- wonderful window bottle, bubbles $25- *Amber Whiskey Cigar Figural- mint $45- if interstead contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org --------------- Looking for quality bottles - direct you for sale or wants to me -- Glenn Happy Collecting!