FOHBC Regional News January–February 2024

US Map Regions

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

Northeast Region [Charlie Martin, Jr., Director]

The Little Rhody Antique Bottle Club did not waste any time starting out the New Year. They hosted their annual bottle show on January 7, 2024. Bill Rose, club president, and show chair, provided the following show report from the day’s activity. “Once again, Mother Nature stepped into the breach to deliver The Little Rhody Bottle Club Show…a frightening blow of strong winds mixed with light snow. The Taunton Inn, formerly Clarion Hotel, formerly Holiday Inn, was busy at 5:00 am plowing out the parking lot for the bottle enthusiasts. Dealers were lined up at 6:00 am bringing in their bottles. Fifty-four tables were ready to go for the early buyers at 8:00 am. Throughout the windy day, eighty-eight people braved the wind, the cold, and the snow to attend the show. As usual, there were buyers from all of the New England states and people as far away as Long Island, New York, in attendance.

The socialization was full of smiling and chattering people throughout the day. It seemed as though every visitor left the building with bags of bottles. Those who set up to sell at the show expressed their joy at the amount of bottles they were selling. During the club meeting the following Tuesday at the Pontiac Free Library in Warwick, Rhode Island the membership voted to move our future shows to the first Sunday in April.”

On March 10, 2024, The Baltimore Antique Bottle Club, will host their annual show and sale at the Howard County Fairgrounds, Main Exhibition Hall, 2210 Fairgrounds Road, West Friendship, Maryland. Contact show chair Shawn Peters for show information. Contracts can be obtained from Micah Dolina ( In the Northeast Region we are blessed to have several shows that attract national attention from dealers and collectors. The Baltimore Show/Sale in certainly at the top of that list! You should plan a full day (9:00 am to 3:00 pm) to scurry through the exhibition hall to see all of the dealers. For some six hours is nowhere enough time to do the dealers and the show justice. I for one, got great cardiac exercise trying to see all that the show had to offer last time I attended the show.

Two weeks later, on March 24, 2024 the Somers Connecticut Antique Bottle Club will hold its 53rd Annual Show and Sale at Joanna’s Restaurant, 145 Main St., Rte. 190, Somers, Connecticut. Contact Don Desjardins for Show Information (

On April 28, 2024 the Genesee Valley Bottle Collectors Association (GVBCA) will host their 53rd Annual Bottle and Antique Show at Wesleyan University, Voller Athletic Center, 2301 Westside Drive, Rochester, New York. Show and dealer inquiries should be directed to: Aaron & Pamela Weber, at (

The 7th Annual Dunkard Valley Antiques and Collectibles Show and Sale will be held on May 5, 2024 at Milan Park, Mongolia Center, 270 Milan Park Lane, Morgantown West Virginia. Contact Don Kelley ( for show information.

Steve Guion, chair for the Shupp’s Grove Bottle Festival, 607 Willow Street, Reynolds, PA asked me to remind shoppers and dealers of the upcoming Bottle Festival on Friday, May 17, 2024 (Early buyers only from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at a ticket price of $20 per person) and running through Sunday, May 19, 2023. Saturday and Sunday hours are from 6:00 am to dusk, admission is free to all on these two days. You can contact Steve at or call him at (717) 371-1259. He has information and dealer contracts for those wishing to set up at the Festival. He also wanted to remind every one of the Summer Bottle Festival that is scheduled for this coming July 19-21, 2024 at the same location.

The Washington County Antique Bottle Club will host a milestone event when they present their 50th Annual Show and Sale on May 19, 2024 at the Alpine Star Lodge, 735 Jefferson Avenue, Washington, Pennsylvania. For more information connect with Ed Kuskie at:

As always, more show information can be found on our website Show Listings in the magazine or at Until next time, Happy bottle hunting.

Michael George setting up his sales table. – Little Rhody Bottle Show

Henry Hartley, Ron Corriveau, Bobby Hilton – Little Rhody Bottle Show

Gene McCain, Steve Swiechowicz, Mike George, Mike Hewins, Walter Wisz – Little Rhody Bottle Show

Henry Hartley, Rick Ciralli, Bonnie Hartley, Mike George – Little Rhody Bottle Show

Midwest Region [Henry Hecker, Director]

As I write this at the end of January, three shows are coming up in the Midwest region: the 51st Annual Milwaukee Antique Bottle and Advertising Show on February 4, the West Michigan Antique Bottle Club 33rd Annual Antique Bottle Show & Sale in Grand Rapids on February 24, and the Kalamazoo Bottle Club show on April 6. The Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club’s 43rd Annual Antique Bottle & Glass Show & Sale will be held at the Fairgrounds/Expo Center in combination with three other shows: a coin show, a model train show, and the “Psychic & Holistic Expo.” Combined events like these are becoming more common and tend to increase overall attendance. Drawing more physics into the bottle hobby is bound to increase the yield rate on privy digs, but that is just a personal observation. A Federation table will promote our value proposition at Milwaukee and Kalamazoo.

The Kalamazoo Club reports that they are increasing their membership roll by offering free show admittance to club members. Clubs almost universally report regular “show and tell” sessions at meetings, providing a real incentive to attend, both to show off one’s latest find and see what others are finding…and making a contest of it.

This year, the Milwaukee show’s club display will feature “Color Runs of John Graf.” The Graf company was founded in 1873 and, in various iterations, has continued business for over one hundred years. Graf was the largest soda bottler in Milwaukee for many years and the largest Weiss beer brewer in the state until prohibition. Graf ordered many batches of bottles from various glass works over the years, resulting in countless mold and color variations from ubiquitous aqua to shades of amber, cobalt, and even citron. Blob and Hutchinson sodas, Weiss beers, seltzers, and demijohns will be represented.

The Ohio Bottle Club continues to demonstrate itself as an organizational powerhouse with in-person and Zoom meetings to maximize member engagement. Monthly meeting door prizes are also impressive, e.g., a Pine Tree Cordial and a cornucopia urn flask in Lockport green.

The North Star Historical Bottle Club of Minnesota also offers classy door prizes at its meetings (currently a rare New Ulm stoneware bottle and a nice Warner’s Tippecanoe.) This club’s show is also coming up on April 14 in Bloomington. However, that seems a ways off for this writer, with our yard blanketed with 14” of snow and lots of tree damage from the super wet stuff that fell here on January 12th and 13th.

Todd Knisley, North Canton, Ohio, says he has been fortunate enough to become the editor of “The Ohio Swirl,” the newsletter of the Ohio Bottle Club. The club was in a situation where the previous editor was stepping down after a long stint at the helm and the club had no volunteers to take over the duties. The club would be forced to morph to a digital format (only), with members receiving a PDF version each month.

“I didn’t want to become the editor at the time, but I also didn’t want to see the club go digital only. Getting a tangible item in hand is an essential glue that bonds and holds the club together. Long story short, and after some growing pains, the club is now producing an 18-22 page newsletter that is in a magazine format.”

As editor, Todd got the permission of the club officers and membership to produce this newly formatted newsletter as he saw fit, which is a blessing. Since the first issue he included several placements of FOHBC and the Virtual Museum material, both in articles and advertisements. He believes that being a 501(c)(3), the club’s primary obligation is to support the growth and education of the hobby both locally and nationally. Some examples of his well-designed and attractive newsletter covers are pictured below.

Southern Region [Tom Lines, Director]

Who is Marty Vollmer? Besides being the chairman of the annual Columbia South Carolina Bottle Show and being on the Augusta, Georgia National Convention consortium team in 2019, besides being an all-around nice guy and a great bottle collector—who is Marty Vollmer? What are his collecting roots?

Marty was first attracted to old bottles when the street he lived on in Redondo Beach, California, was widened in 1969. Marty was riding along Prospect Street on his Sting Ray bicycle and spotted some bottles in the freshly moved dirt. The town was founded in 1892. A spark ignited. He began riding his bike to the spot carrying a shovel, a trowel, a paper sack and some newspapers. In retrospect, Marty found no great bottles at the time, though finding cork-top bottles was beyond thrilling.

Marty worked with his Dad’s grading company on projects around southern California, so opportunities to find other small dumping areas abounded. He remembers a particular Saturday when his Dad had picked up a job in downtown Santa Ana. Marty’s job was to remove soil and pile it close by. While doing so, he was surprised to find “circles of glass and trash,” as he put it. With no shovel available, he pushed out more soil, a foot at a time, with a D-8 Cat dozer. He ended up finding a few small blue and amber medicines, some marked from San Francisco. The spark turned into more of a fire. Marty was hooked!

Fast forward to moving to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1982. Marty was newly married and in a new city, and the riverfront was being redeveloped. It was a perfect time to dig, but the idea of digging for bottles in privies eluded him. Instead, he searched for bottles in local antique shops, finding an occasional bottle here and there. When his wife’s internship at a hospital was over, they moved to Columbia, South Carolina. More time elapsed, and the family grew by two sons, but he always had his eye out for bottles. As time allowed, he began poking around Columbia, and the collecting fire heated up. A dump was discovered downtown, where he met a couple of local diggers…Bob Riddick and Eric Warren. That fire turned into a blaze. He learned about bottle shows, bottle magazines, and other local collectors. After joining the Columbia Antique Bottle Club, he attended their annual shows and became more active. At one such meeting, he was elected club president, which he attributes to having to use the restroom! It must have fit well because he’s still the president…and Show Chairman.

Marty retired from a career with a local natural gas company after 35 years of service. During his working years, he accessed many construction sites, which provided the ability to find a number of treasures for his collection. In conclusion, I’ll quote Marty: “I have been so fortunate to have traveled to many shows across the country and rubbed elbows with many people who love the history and the fragile beauty of this industrial art. I’m grateful for the friendships, advice, good deals, fun, and learning. One last note: if you meet a young person who takes the slightest interest in the bottle-collecting hobby, take them under your wing.”

PS: Don’t forget to come to Columbia’s Show this April. It has grown to 190 tables in recent years under Marty’s leadership. Saturday, April 20th, 2024. Thanks, Marty, for being such a great emissary for our hobby!

In from Bill Baab, Augusta, Georgia reports on a new book, “Early Sodas of the Carolinas, The Bottles & Proprietors.” Since the beginning of the hobby of collecting antique bottles, much has been written about the various forms (beers, sodas, etc.), but many of the articles lacked key elements—the histories behind the bottles obtainable only by diligent research.

Central Florida resident David Kyle Rakes over the years has developed a research skill, results which are apparent in his new book covering the histories behind the numerous colorful sodas developed by bottlers in North and South Carolina’s early days in mostly major cities. Not only did the author identify each bottler but included life histories of most nearly from cradle to grave.

His skills are reflected not only in this book, but also in his other major works, Early Georgia Sodas, 2021, and Florida Advertising Jugs, 2022. As a retired journalist and longtime collector of antique bottles (since 1969), I have been honored to proofread each of David’s wonderful works and look forward to his future books.

Please visit David’s website “Bottles and Jugs, Historical books by David Kyle Rakes” or email

Western Region [Eric McGuire, Director]

I want to give a special recognition to the 49er Historical Bottle Association which will be hosting its picnics in April and June this year. Last year the club had a couple of speakers at their picnic, and it was such a hit that it is going to schedule talks as a regular part of its picnic gatherings. They already draw a large crowd at the picnics. The last time I checked the 49’er Club had about 75 members in good standing and 271 members on its Facebook site – “49er Historical Bottle Club.” For club information check out the listing provided on the FOHBC website –