FOHBC Regional News November–December 2023

US Map Regions

Editor Note: Much of this information is from the January–February 2024 issue of Antique Bottle & Glass Collector.

Northeast Region [Charlie Martin, Jr., Director]

First and foremost, let me wish all our readers a Happy New Year. May you, your family, and your friends enjoy good health, happiness, and peace throughout 2024. May you find the bottle of your dreams this year, as well! Now for an update on recently held antique bottle shows from the Northeast Region that closed out the 2023 season.

Bruce Mitchell, show chair, provided the following report on their club’s 51st annual show and sale. “The outdoor tailgate bottle, glass and antiques event was held on the grounds of the Museum of Connecticut Glass (MOCG), the site of the historic Coventry Glass Works (1812-1852). The show was co-sponsored by the MOCG and the Southern Connecticut Antique Bottle and Glass Collectors Association (SCABGCA), a FOHBC affiliate club. Despite the weather forecast of heavy rain later in the morning, the rain or shine show continued with just light rain on and off throughout the day. Furthermore, despite the weather forecast, 25 of the 38 contracted dealers attended the outdoor show, many erected tents to protect their tables from rain, and many survived without tents. You could find an abundance of antique bottles, glass, stoneware, and sundry small antiques offered for sale. While the number of avid bottle and glass buyers attending the show was down from previous years, over a hundred-plus buyers braved the weather to attend the show. Dealers reported good sales, which is often the case with fewer dealers for buyers to buy from. Refreshments, including donuts, bagels, cream cheese, tea, and coffee, were available.” Bruce also reported that many attendees took the opportunity to tour the Museum Barn and the historic Turner House, which contained displays of early Connecticut glass.

The Greater Buffalo Bottle Collector’s Association held its 24th annual show and sale on Sunday, September 17, 2023, at the Polish Falcons Club in Depew, New York. Show chairman Tom Karapantso reports, “The show was well represented in all collecting categories such as stoneware, bitters, flasks, medicines, mineral waters, milks, insulators, Pan American Expo, art glass, postcards, photos, go-with advertising, small antiques and an informational table with flyers for other shows, issues of our club newsletters and FOHBC literature.” Tom said that the number of dealers was down from 45 last year to 36 this year. He suspects it was due to a Buffalo Bills home football game…go Bills!! Between paid admissions and free admittance attendance there was a very respectful one 172 attendees.

Tom went on to say, “For the first time in many years, we had to work at filling some veteran dealer tables. As is typical of many organizations, we are aging out with dealers in their 80s and early 90s who no longer can participate in the show.” He said that club members stepped up and took additional tables and noted that some dealers who skipped this year plan to return for the show in 2024. For Tom, an enjoyable part of the show is the many repeat customers that attend the show year after year. The energy and excitement of the buyers and many conversations going on simultaneously energized the hall. The club’s hospitality tradition is that dealers are provided with free donuts and coffee during setup and free sheet pizza, wings, and beverages for lunch. Many happy customers were observed leaving with their purchases. Dealers reported that they did well. Next year’s show will mark the quarter-century milestone for this club. Congratulations to all!

The Yankee Antique Bottle Club held its 54th Keene Show and Sale on October 8, 2023, at Keene High School. For many, this fall event has been the marque show and sale for the New England region for over five decades! If you’ve never attended this fall spectacle—do yourself a favor and include it on your “bucket list” of bottle shows to attend. I spoke with several dealers in depth about the revised format adopted several years back. Most agree that it works quite well and that customers have ample room to move through the aisles without fear of bumping into each other or, heaven forbid, a dealer’s table of goodies. This year, I received an email from Yankee Bottle Club president Stephen Seraichick, who commented, “Last year, 2022, we were back in business with our fingers crossed. Our faithful dealers, thank you guys and gals, were chomping at the bit to return to some kind of normal, as were the buyers and folks interested in what the fuss is all about regarding antique bottles. This year, 2023, was a vast improvement over 2022. Our show was almost maxed out with dealers, and attendance improved greatly. Although our active membership is small, every member gave 110% effort, netting us the results we had hoped for. I witnessed a lot of smiling faces from dealers and attendees.” Rumor had it that one buyer was shopping for colored pontil medicines, and to hear dealers chatter that, the buyer left with several fine examples and a lighter wallet by about $35,000.

Keene Show chairman and former chairman Alan Rumrill and Creighton Hall (left) and club president Steve Seraichick and former president Don Senges (right).

Some of the offerings and part of the crowd in the Keene High School auditorium.

A selection of pieces available to collectors.

An example of the variety of items available.

Mike George offered his typical selection of quality bottles.

The Mid-Maine Antique Bottle Club held its Third Annual Antique Bottle Show and Sale. Show chair and club president Paul McClure submitted the following report and review of the day’s activities. “Dealer tables were sold out again, and a couple of dealers set up outdoors. A very good crowd came through the door, with nearly 30 early buyers and 200 general admissions. This year was special because of several things.

We dedicated the show to Jack Pelletier, ‘The Bininger Man.’ I can’t even begin to list all his contributions to our hobby over his lifetime. He is a dear friend of our club, and we were thrilled to recognize him with a small gift and lots of applause.

The Moxie folks from the Matthew’s Museum of Maine Heritage in Union, Maine came as our guests. We gave them two tables up front to help promote the museum and sales of all things Moxie. They were blown away by the show, and our collaboration with them will surely continue.

Two very generous donations from a club member resulted in our first club t-shirts, which were proudly worn by attending members. Also, twenty new road signs were donated, which helped with our exposure and door count. Our raffle was a choice of $100 or a Washington/Taylor quart flask. The winner chose the cash. Our amazing educational displays were Maine paper-labeled sodas and related items and small-town (less than 1,000 pop.) Maine medicine bottles. Many thanks to everyone who helped put this very fun and successful show together. We will see you again next year, same place and time!”

Ann Hansen, show promoter for The Forks of the Delaware Bottle Collectors, reported on their 49th annual show and sale held on October 21 at Macungie Park Hall in Macungie, Pennsylvania. Now in its third year at its new location, the show had 60 dealers covering 93 tables across two floors. Twenty-one early buyers enjoyed early admission, with nearly 180 in attendance overall. Sales were brisk at the opening, and strong dealer-to-dealer sales were noted. Happy patrons left with full bags, according to Ann.

By the time you read this article, the holiday season will be nearing an end. I did not want to let the year pass without personally thanking our magazine contributors. Without your hard work and effort, our wonderful hobby would not be as exciting, successful, and welcoming as it is. You make a difference that empowers us as collectors to do better and be better through the dedication and tireless work you provide for your fellow club members and the bottle-collecting community at large. Thank you one and all! Until next time, good bottle hunting!

Western Region [Eric McGuire, Director]

It has been a busy time of the year for me but I did manage to attend the ‘49er Historical Bottle Association Bottle & Collectibles Show in Auburn, California. Consistently one of the best shows in the western region, it did not disappoint. It has been a long while since I witnessed clogged isles when a number of dealers put out their wares. While it is true that nearly all of the bottles for sale were not fresh from the ground, several old collections were offered. I must offer my appreciation to the show organizers for their excellent work. Even though the venue is the same as in recent years, the club is always faced with new rules and regulations that create constant challenges. After the show, Dan Bell, one of the primary organizers, contacted me, and I am sure a number of others, asking for feedback on the show. They are always pro-active in attempting to make the event as good as possible. Thanks for your hard work guys.

Midwest Region [Henry Hecker, Director]

Digging season draws to a close in the Midwest. We have already had two snowfalls in Wisconsin, and the ground will soon be too hard to punch through. However, a recent report in Ohio Swirl chronicles a dig by Dave Grove and Cole Wenger that produced a circa 1920 snapping turtle skull and some false teeth (see pic below). I do not think they belong together, but the turtle certainly was dentally challenged.

At an estate sale, a Wisconsin collector found a box of bottles that included an olive green “Goodwin & Fogerty Turkish Wine,” a nice “Carters Spanish Mixture” and several other pontiled medicines. The family decided to sell the bottles at their sale after being offered $10 for the whole box at a local antique mall. As the story goes, a deceased relative had collected decades ago, and the family had no idea of its value. This is just another example where documenting your collection is essential, as well as having a plan to leave for your loved ones when you can’t take the bottles with you.

The Midwest Region is still hoping to host the 2025 FOHBC National Antique Bottle & Glass Convention. Our beautiful facility, the virtually brand-new Brookfield, Wisconsin Conference Center, has plenty of exhibit space, tables, a large seminar room, and excellent banquet facilities. Milwaukee has plenty of side attractions related to our hobby, with great local collections, brewery tours, and several museums. But as of yet, we still need a show chairman and volunteers to do the various organizing and “grunt work” to put the bottle show and sale component together. The Milwaukee Club does not have enough “person power” to take on the local work alone. There is a possibility that we can collaborate with NABA (National Association of Breweriana Advertising), and those connections need to be explored.

Southern Region [Tom Lines, Director]