Mansfield’s 38th Annual Show – Best Ever?


Mansfield’s 38th Annual Show – Best Ever?

Jim Bender, FOHBC Historian

Last May 7th, Linda and I attended the 38th Annual Mansfield Ohio Antique Bottle Show. We have attended Mansfield every year for the past 12 years, except once because of a family outing. Remember, no matter how much we love our bottles, our family must come first.

Other than for the FOHBC national shows, Mansfield is the longest distance we travel to a show. Mansfield has always been one of our favorite shows to attend as I always find something for the collection and look forward to visiting with friends from the Midwest Region. I was very happy to see the Midwest dealers asking for contracts for FOHBC 2017 Springfield National Antique Bottle Convention & Expo. I get asked all the time in the Northeast and was pleased to have people ask me in the Midwest. Contracts will be available at the end of July online and at the FOHBC 2016 National Antique Bottle Convention & Expo in Sacramento, California. I would not wait because we will be selling out for sure.


Matt Lacy and Louis Fifer, both FOHBC board members, took over duties as the co-chairs of the Mansfield show. I hear all the time that no younger people are getting involved in the hobby. Well, Matt and Louis are involved and moving to the top as leaders in the hobby. Both have great flask collections well ahead of where I ever was at their age, but they are also stepping up to take on the duties of the Richfield, Ohio show on September 11th. They are also really stepping up big time in 2018 to co-chair the FOHBC 2018 Cleveland National Antique Bottle Convention & Expo. So next time you think there are no young people getting involved in the hobby, think of Matt and Louis and show them your support.

Mansfield16 022

Louis Fifer (left) and Matt Lacy 9center) were always busy, all day.

Okay, back to the Mansfield show. The weather was great and it was crowded. I learned the following: There were 249 sales tables inside and 19 tables outside. This was made up of 165 individual dealers. I would say over 90% of the tables were just bottles. They had 286 general admissions and 64 early buyers on Friday night.

The club also holds a dinner Friday night, which had 220 people attend. There were 20 states and Canada represented. Those states were Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, New York, Florida, Maryland, West Virginia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Texas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma. Numbers like this are something the Ohio club should be proud of. I also learned this year was the most profitable show in club history. Alan DeMaison, the club president, must be proud of his young guns.

Remember, no show ever runs with just the co-chairs. In the background are the unsung heroes who drive the show and help make it happen. Thanks to all of them, too. Great job!

I have to also include a warm thanks to Ted and Hazel Krist who every year ask us to stop by their home and have something to eat. We pass by their house on the way back to New York and always look forward to seeing them. Hazel does a great job with the food and Ted has a bunch of collectables he is always willing to share. Ted has a great bitters collection. They are just such nice people and the hobby is lucky to have them.

Mansfield16 005

Elizabeth Lacy (Matt’s Wife) selling tickets at the beginning of the day on Saturday. It’s always nice when your better half supports your hobby.

Mansfield16 007

Sheldon Baugh checks out the Ohio bottle books while Phyllis Koch attends the raffle table. Phyllis also writes the Ohio Swirl, the clubs newsletter.

Mansfield16 010

The main building was busy all day.

Mansfield16 013

Ted Krist and Jeff Burkhard. Two great bitters collectors and nice guys.

Mansfield16 015

Good to see Martin Van Zant, FOHBC BOTTLES and EXTRAS editor, at the show.

Mansfield16 025

Jack Stecher may have sold his collection but he is still involved with the bottle hobby. Nice to see you Jack.

Mansfield16 032

Jim and Jodie Hall always have a couple of tables at Mansfield loaded with great bottles.

Mansfield16 033

This was a great table of old tins for sale.

Mansfield16 034

I thought it was fitting that the American flag was on the wall in the background lined up with the Jar Doctors sign. The Jar Doctors stuff is all American made.

Mansfield16 037

Greg Spurgeon, Mister fruit jar, visits with Ed Gray.

Mansfield16 038

David Sturm, the late Carl Sturm’s son, was there selling some of his dads bottles. I miss Carl and his great jokes. I did buy the Bininger Clock bottle on the table. I just love it!

Mansfield16 041

Don Keating of Rochester, New York looking over a great quart flask.

Mansfield16 047

The second building was almost full. Great to see a good turnout at these events.

Mansfield16 050

Some of the outside vendors enjoying the great weather.

Mansfield16 057

Linda Sheppard (far right) looking at some of the other collectables at the show.

Mansfield16 059

There were some great stoneware pieces for sale at Mansfield.

Mansfield16 060

These I thought were interesting. It must take forever to cover a bottle.

Mansfield16 064

Terry Bartels explaining some of his great canes he had for sale.


Matt Lacy and Mark Vuono – Old school and young blood flask collectors – Two great guys (photo by Elizabeth Lacy)


Jim Bender and Norm Heckler. I normally don’t put myself in articles but Elizabeth sent me the photo and I do enjoy visiting with Norm. He is a Northeast guy like me. (photo by Elizabeth Lacy)

Mansfield16 004

I always put my Springfield National license plate on in the parking lots so people know where I am headed.