From the FOHBC President – Ferdinand Meyer V

FOHBC President’s Message • September | October 2012

Ferdinand Meyer V

So here we are, my first President’s Message for the Federation. As I compose this, I am sitting in the airport in Lexington, Kentucky wondering and fearing how we will get Bottles and Extras out to the printer next week with the 2012 Reno Expo pictures and articles. I have not even been home since the Reno Expo! I am used to tight deadlines but this task may take the cake. It just seems reasonable to try to get the Reno Expo information in the September / October issue of Bottles and Extras opposed to waiting until the November / December issue. The Expo would be further from our minds at that point, so we will see.

I even surprised myself with this new role as President of the Federation, and I am humbled to be in a position that so many great people have occupied in the years before me. I did not seek this position but was honored when the independent selection committee chaired by Tom Lines and filled by Tim Adams, Jim Hall and Pam Selenak proposed myself as President. I am proud, grateful, enthusiastic and assure you that I can use my organizational, management, passion and design skills to take the Federation in a new, progressive direction that will allow us to gain new members, promote our youth and the next generation of collectors, develop the Virtual Museum and give a much needed face-lift to Bottles and Extras. We will also in effect, create harmony and positive direction within our hobby at all levels of collecting and for all regions of our great country.

I hear so many of the older collectors saying that the hobby is dying and that we do not have younger folks joining our ranks. This is so far from being correct. I assure you, there is a new breed of bottle collectors and historic glass enthusiasts that is internet savvy in that they post bottle news on all of the great antique bottle and glass forum sites such as, facebook and the other web sites such as my Peachridge Glass web site, the new Federation web site and so many others. We need to embrace this community and welcome them into the waiting arms of the Federation, which unfortunately, seemed a little exclusive and out-of-touch to the next generation and the antique bottle and glass community as a whole.

I also feel that the ‘Americana and Folk Art’ collectors will discover ‘bottle collecting’ in the very near future. This is already beginning to happen and when this does, we will go mainstream. I want this to happen on our terms, Federation terms. We are a union of great people, friends, collectors, glass authorities, auctioneers, dealers, diggers, pickers, finders, historians, authors and bloggers in every possible area of historic bottles and glass. All I can say is, buckle your seat belts. No more moving at a snail’s pace. Let’s all work together and make this happen. Let’s pave the road to the future of our hobby. This is so exciting! It is happening in just about every other area of antique collecting. Now, finally, it is our turn.

I would also like to give my most sincerest and greatest possible thanks to Marty Hall and Richard Siri who chaired and co-chaired our phenomenal FOHBC Expo in Reno. There are countless others to thank and I hope this issue pays homage to some of these hard-working people. My hat is off guys. You did it! We did it! We learned a lot and we are already looking forward to the FOHBC 2013 National in Manchester, New Hampshire and the possibility of a National show in Lexington, Kentucky, which has surfaced as a major contender for the 2014 National show! We are finally getting ‘ahead of the curve’. I have a great group of supporting Board Members, a great membership base that is dramatically growing and the added strength of Jamie Houdeshell and John Panek who have replaced outgoing board members. What a dream team!

As I look to the future, I would also like to say that there is some low-key exploratory but rather optimistic talk between myself, others and major global players in the antique bottle world in Australia and England about having the first-ever, International Antique Bottle and Glass Festival. I have to be honest, when I first heard this, my thinking cap started spinning and my excitement was immediate. You see, I grew up collecting United States Postage Stamps and belonged to the American Philatelic Society. My grandmother, Me-Me, also collected foreign stamps, while my grandfather collected only United States postage. I sometimes wonder if the long and wonderful Sundays I spent, as a child placing colorful German stamps in various denominations in postage stamp albums, influenced me, as I now specialize in Bitters color runs. The major collecting areas outside of our sphere also have periodic global events. I really do think that this festival may be possible. Do you know that the largest quilt festival in the world is held in Houston each year? This is truly a global event as I have attended many times with my mother.

I close with an answer. I sometimes get asked, “What do I get when I join the FOHBC”? Before I say anything about receiving the wonderful Bottles and Extras etc., I say, “You get to belong to the greatest group of people you will ever meet”. Readers, we are stronger as a group, it is that simple. I am so proud to be a member of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors and I have been, ever since the day I joined in 2002. Happy collecting and I hope you find something that fires your heart.