Augusta Educational Seminars

2019 FOHBC 50th Anniversary National Antique Bottle Convention | Augusta, Georgia | Educational Seminars

Augusta Marriott Lamar A-C and Cumming Rooms

Friday, 02 August 2019 | 9:00 to noon

08 September 2019

After our FOHBC Membership Breakfast, we were truly fortunate to be able to present a variety of fascinating educational seminars this year at our convention. We had a distinguished group of seminar presenters organized by seminar coordinator Bill Baab from Team Augusta. Bill did a wonderful job and made sure we all would have something to look forward to.

The seminars took place on Friday, August 2nd, 2019 from 9:00 am to noon at the Augusta Marriott Lamar A – C and Cumming Rooms. Listed below are the seminar topics, the presenters and the location/time where the seminars took place.

To offset the usual high cost of renting audio visual equipment, we again this year provided as much equipment as we could and actually came in well under budget. Elizabeth Meyer brought two projectors and laptops from her office in Houston, Walter Smith went out and purchased and donated a medium size projection screen and the FOHBC pitched in and bought a large portable screen. This left us with paying the cost for wiring and sound. Not bad at all! We do want to thank Rick Cook with Encore for providing the LED wayfinding lights and being ever-present to offset potential problems, as do sometimes occur. We also want to thank Elizabeth Meyer for solving all the laptop connectivity issues.

I thoroughly enjoyed the seminars! The dealer set up was so easy that I was able to attend three seminars.

Bill Brugmann – Covington, Louisiana

The seminars were of interest to us and we enjoyed the three we attended. We think the seminars are an important aspect of the convention.

Ed & Anita Holden – Sherman, Connecticut

This was the first time in years I have been able to attend any of the seminars. I was able to attend two this year and the Kola Wars seminar was my favorite, teaching so many things about Cola I never knew. The presentation was great, and the speaker, Dennis Smith, knew his Cola history.

Jim Bender – Sprakers, New York

For the first seminar, I attended Harvey Teal’s presentation on South Carolina Flasks and again, much like Bill Baab, Harvey is a true asset to South Carolina history. I really enjoyed listening to his great stories and knowledge of the cities that produced flasks.

Tom Pettit – Safety Harbor, Florida

We thought we would share a few pictures taken by our event photographer, Elizabeth Lacy who is also our Public Relations officer. We think she did a great job!

Read more about the 2019 FOHBC 50th Anniversary National Antique Bottle Convention in Augusta, Georgia

FOHBC Board Meeting • Mike & Julie Newman Open House • Augusta Museum of History Reception • Sweet Georgia Peaches Bottle Competition • Membership Breakfast • Ribbon Cutting • Banquet • Youth Corner • On the Tables • Augusta Educational Displays • People on the Showroom Floor • Augusta Prizes and Drawings • Augusta Souvenir Program.

South Carolina Local Flasks – Harvey S. Teal – Columbia, South Carolina

In 2005, Harvey S. Teal joined Rita Foster Wallace as co-authors of “The South Carolina Dispensary & Embossed S.C. Whiskey Bottles & Jugs, 1865-1915.” The book’s contents were an exhaustive study of the dispensary system (1893-1915) which gave the state the sole right to sell whiskey and other alcoholic beverages, eliminating the many local merchants who had been selling their own brands in their own bottles.

In the meantime, Teal put together what may be a unique collection of 50 local flasks which became rare once the state’s monopoly was in place. Some of the local flasks are identified by their labels, but many of them are embossed.

Teal, now 90, caught the “bottle bug” in the late 1950s and admittedly has never been “cured.” A few years ago, he placed his memories on paper (actually, on the pages of Bottles and Extras, the federation magazine) as “A Reminiscence of 53 years of Bottle Collecting in South Carolina” in a four-part series. It made for fascinating reading. He also is a prominent philatelist and historian and an authority on Confederate postal history. Other books written by Teal include “Partners with the Sun,” the story of South Carolina photographers, 1840-1940; “Just Mud, Kershaw County, South Carolina Pottery to 1980” with Arthur Porter McLaurin, and in 1976 co-authored with Paul Jeter “Columbia’s Past in Glass.”

Harvey didn’t need any audio-visual equipment as he brought and displayed his seminar. Harvey is a wealth of information.

The show-and-tell format really engaged the audience.

A nice presentation of knowledge and examples to support Harvey’s talk.

Harvey signing his South Carolina Dispensary book.

A great prize to get a signed book from Harvey.

Ground-Penetrating Radar Karl Harrar – Aiken, South Carolina

Since 1985, Karl designed electronic circuits while working for many large and small companies and at the Savannah River National Laboratory and Raytheon (Javelin and Tow missile systems), Motorola (hand-held communication devices, Smithsonian Institute (MMTO Telescope), Honeywell (B1B air data computer, DRS (night vision and thermal imaging systems), 3M (Control System Design), Volkswagen proving ground (endurance vehicle testing) and many other smaller electronic manufacturing companies.

A little over 5 years ago, he started work on a Ground-Penetrating Radar System that would be rugged, affordable and offer high resolution. Another main goal was to make it easy to use. This unit has gone through many design changes over the past 5 years to provide the best possible product and every effort was made to keep the cost down. Karl wanted to make systems available for persons who could not afford the normal $15,000-plus price tag. His radar, sold under the Easy Radar USA LLC ( label, can “see” up to 12 feet down in dry sandy soil and 6 to 8 feet in clay.

Karl started collecting antique bottles about 1990, digging dumps until 10 years later when he started concentrating on privies. He thought there had to be an easier way than probing to find privies so he started to test devices in 2005: magnetometers, earth resistevity units, ground condivity units and, of course, GPR. He tried a commercial unit and found several privies in 2007. The trick was to come up with a unit that is a fraction of the cost of the commercial units. This took several years.

His future plan is to eventually build a robotic GPR that is autonomous, but one still has to dig. He envisions an autonomous unit one would set in the middle of a huge field that used to be a town in the 19th century. It had disappeared years before. So his unit would traverse the entire area mapping and sending the information over the internet, it would also store it for 3D viewing using virtual reality goggles.

A nice room was set up and available for Karl and his guests.

Karl projecting images and explaining ground readings.

Jelly Jammers in the room. Jerry & Collen Dixon from Muncie, Indiana.

A nice crowd attended the seminar.

Karl brought his portable radar unit.

My Great-Grandfathers’ BottlesDoug Herman – Martinez, Georgia

John Douglas “Doug” Herman Sr., first blinked his eyes in the sun in 1941 in his hometown of Augusta, Georgia. After graduating from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, he joined the U.S. Army, serving in the 82nd Airborne Division. After a 5-year military stint, his father asked him to join the family business of Southern Beer Distributors that handled Miller High Life, Ballentine Ale, Red Cap Ale and Carling Black Label. Under Doug’s management, the company acquired brands of Coors Brewing Co., and Molson of Canada. During his career, Doug saw the rise and fall of many brands, most notably Schlitz and Pabst.

Doug is an avid researcher of family history and bottle collecting. With the help of bottle enthusiasts Bill Baab and Mike Newman, he focused on the Augusta Brewing Company (chartered in 1888) and E. Sheehan’s Excelsior Bottling Works of Augusta. Doug not only amassed a high quality collection not only of bottles from those firms, but various artifacts like corkscrews and bartenders knives and original documents.

Doug’s great grandfathers are Edward William Herman, who founded the Augusta Brewing Company in 1888, and Edward Sheehan, who founded the Excelsior Bottling Works in 1880. The 1899 marriage of William A. Herman and Mary Helena “Mamie” Sheehan, Doug’s paternal grandparents, blended the German and Irish blood that runs through Doug’s veins today. “Everyone with that combination of blood has a dream to be directly involved in the beer business,” Doug said. His own dream came true when he joined his father in the beer business in 1967, ultimately owning and managing the company until he sold it in 2007.

Doug has served as president of the Georgia Beer Wholesalers’ Association as well as being a member of many Augusta civic organizations. He resides in Martinez near Augusta with his wife of 55 years, Jeanie Cason Herman. They have a son and a daughter.

A nice crowd for Doug’s seminar.

Elizabeth Meyer in the corner making sure all is in order.

What a great picture of Mike Newman and his sweetie-pie.

We don’t even know where to begin in captioning this picture of Bill Baab.

A nice picture of Doug Herman.

Kola Wars – Dennis Smith – Buffalo, New York

Dennis discovered the thrill of bottle digging as a 12-year-old kid in Birmingham, Alabama, when he found his first straight-sided Coke bottle. He found more than Cokes and Pepsi’s. He also found Wiseolas, Rye-Olas, Cola-Nips, Celery-Colas, and many others and wondered what happened to these brands?

A trip to his local library ignited a lifetime of research into soft drink history. He has scoured many libraries, archives, courthouses, and private collections across the United States seeking first-person accounts and previously unpublished records. With degrees in Archaeology and History, he once wrote a graduate thesis: Soft Drinks and Dopes: Changing Perceptions of Soda Water in America.

An avid bottle collector, he has exhibited at bottle shows across the United States. He has written for and been the subject of articles in newsletters and magazines, and written numerous books. He currently is working on additional books regarding soft drink history and culture and will publish additional titles in the near future. Comments and conversation are welcome by mail, email, or through his website:

Dennis Smith, a knowledgeable and passionate collector.

The larger FOHBC screen used in this room.

A comfortable crowd.

The presentation full of great imagery.

Dennis and his books.

Charleston Colored Sodas – Tommy Schimpf – Charleston, South, Carolina

Tommy Schimpf and his wife Lisa live in Charleston, South Carolina. Tommy graduated from Clemson University where he majored in architecture and currently is a partner in an architectural firm. One summer between semesters, he was employed by Orkin, the pest control company, and during a termite inspection he found some old bottles underneath an old house. One was a broken applied color labeled soda (ACL) and the other was an 1858 Mason jar.

He first focused on collecting ACL sodas, but his interest grew toward collecting earlier drink bottles. He learned that these earlier bottles can be found in old outhouse locations called “privies.” The ACL collection was eventually sold and since the early ‘80s Tommy devoted weekend time and energy digging privies. He and his digging buddy, Chip Brewer, together compiled two of the finest collections of colored Charleston sodas anywhere. Bottles from both collections as well as one other local digger are featured in this slide show.

Other than books on the South Carolina Dispensary system, there are few books about South Carolina bottles. Tommy is working on books about South Carolina ACL sodas, South Carolina medicines, South Carolina’s blob top and Hutchinson bottles and South Carolina embossed drink bottles. He has already written a book on South Carolina “hobbleskirt” Coca-Cola bottles. All the books are nearing completion and “I just need to buckle down and focus on completion,” said Tommy, who is still employed.

Tommy Schimpf at the podium and Jamie Westendorf on fiddle.

Projected imagery, history, digging stories and actual examples of Charleston colored sodas.

Tommy taking few questions from the crowd.

A pretty good group considering how specific the topic.

Tommy Schimpf and Jamie Westendorf.

Bludwine and Budwine soft drinks – Mark Williams Athens, Georgia

Athens native Mark Williams, who is a member of the FOHBC, 25 years ago started to collect the bottles and artifacts of Bludwine, which was founded in Athens in 1906 by Henry C. Anderson.

Williams, 50, also started collecting bottles, coins and stamps more than 40 years ago. But his fascination of all things Bludwine caused him to specialize in that company whose success and the cherry-flavored drink made an impression on him. Having lived in northeast Georgia all his life he enjoyed knowing the Bludwine Bottling Company had Georgia locations in Atlanta, Athens, Augusta, Greensboro, Elberton, Macon and Rome.

He has gone to many of the bottling plant locations across Georgia and other states looking for the buildings that once held a Bludwine Bottling Company including Tifton, Rome, Moultrie, Monroe and Winder, Georgia as well as Gastonia, N.C. and some in South Carolina. The product was distributed throughout the United States and he hopes to visit other locations. Once the company changed the drink’s name to Budwine in 1921, many of the bottling plants closed due to financial reasons after the change of name. This has made Mark’s quest even more difficult considering most plants have now been closed almost a hundred years or more.

Williams, is currently produce manager for Publix in Hoschton, Georgia, will bring a number of rarely seen bottles and other artifacts to show to his seminar audience.

Mark Williams and his Bludwine and Budwine soft drinks seminar.

Mark projecting images to support his talk.

Audience shots are nice.

Projecting imagery on the smaller FOHBC screen.

Soda pop collectors for sure.