FOHBC Regional News May–June 2024

US Map Regions

Editor Note: Much of this information is from the July–August 2024 issue of Antique Bottle & Glass Collector. See FOHBC Show Calendar.

Northeast Region [Charlie Martin, Jr., Director]

Bottle show season is in full swing here in the country’s Northeast Region. Of course, you will have already scheduled your trip to the Houston 24 Expo from August 1 and running until August 4. It promises to be an event you will be talking about for years to come with fellow attendees. If you are attending the Houston Expo, please take a moment to say hello. If you are from the Northeast Region, I will try to get your thoughts and comments for a future article about your experience at this unique, once-in-a-lifetime event. I look forward to chatting with as many collectors as time permits. If you arrive in Houston on or before July 30, please plan to attend the Peachridge Glass “Glass in the Grass” event hosted by Elizabeth and Ferdinand Meyer on July 31. Details can be found on our website,

Moving on, the 53rd Annual Genesee Valley Bottle Collectors Association’s (GVBCA) Rochester Bottle and Antique Show is in the books. Show Chairs Aaron and Pamela Weber can breathe a bit easier now! Alan reports, “When all was said and done, we sold 204 tables to 94 dealers from 11 states, Wisconsin being the furthest to the West, Connecticut to the East, Florida to the South, Maine to the North. Not too shabby. Admissions were great this year. We jumped from 563 to 676 this year, bringing us back to pre-Covid years, plus a little. The 2024 displays were something—club member Dick Campbell won the award for Most Educational with his “The Detailed Embossing of Pharmacy Dose Cups.” The People’s Choice Award and the Dr. Burton Spiller Best of Show Award went to Linda Curtis, who put together another outstanding decorated stoneware display, “Advertising & Merchant Stoneware & Pottery.” A show of this magnitude requires many hands to ensure its success. Aaron and Pamela wish to extend their gratitude to all the club volunteers for their help and support; without them, the show might not go on!! Thanks to All!!”

July 12-14, 2024, is the Shupp’s Grove Summer Bottle Festival in Reinsholds, Pennsylvania. Early buyers can pay a premium to enter the show on Friday. Admission is free on Saturday and Sunday. You can find more information on the FOHBC show calendar. The following week, on July 21, 2023, the Capital Region Antique Bottle Club will host their annual show and sale at Mabee Farm Historic Site at Rotterdam Junction, New York.

Again, I encourage all bottle clubs to connect with the FOHBC to ensure their club’s show is promoted and advertised in the best possible way. If you have questions about submitting a show report or need any other information for your club, please do not hesitate to ask. All FOHBC directors are working tirelessly to ensure that your club prospers!

Be sure to check the FOHBC online Show Directory or in every issue of Antique Bottle & Glass Collector; that is where you will find all show listings for the coming months. Try to make a plan to attend a show near you, even if it is outside of your routine. You may make and discover new friends and find additional contacts to help you grow your collection. Until the next issue, Happy bottle hunting!

Western Region [Eric McGuire, Director]

Like previous posts, I want to share a recent activity involving an informational event that includes the Northwestern Bottle Club of Sonoma County and the Sonoma County (California) Museum. Current club president, John Burton, worked with the museum to create an informational display featuring the local brewing industry from its early beginnings to the present day. As expected, the display includes many examples of local 19th-century bottles on loan, primarily from John’s collection. In the last decade, we have witnessed a virtual explosion of local “micro-breweries,” much like in the late nineteenth century and up to Prohibition. Nearly every town had its brewery. After the repeal of the Volstead Act in 1933, beer production was primarily dominated by big national breweries, but in the last decade or so, we have witnessed the resurgence of many smaller breweries. This local brewing history is nicely showcased through the cooperative alliance between a county museum and a local bottle club.

The value of this venture is two-fold. It creates a well-presented and popular element of historical significance to a local audience, and it gives a greater community value to a bottle club that may otherwise be judged as just a bunch of odd people who like to hoard old bottles. As many recognize, bottles represent a tangible historical fabric of our culture that deserves to be documented. This cooperative effort gives greater community value to local history and local bottle clubs.

Northwestern Bottle Club president John Burton.

The 49er Historical Bottle Club wrapped up its second summer “get-together” at the home of Trish Adams in Grass Valley, California, on June 6. A similar event was held at the home of Rick Pisano on April 6, also in Grass Valley. These well-attended events are becoming popular summer venues. They remind me of nascent attractions that could easily blossom into East Coast examples, such as that of Norman Heckler in Woodstock Valley, Connecticut. Minus the auction, sales tables were available, along with a few scheduled talks. Lunch was also served. However, these are strictly club member events.

Midwest Region [Henry Hecker, Director]

My thoughts and prayers go out to all those dealing with the crazy and downright dangerous weather hitting a large part of our country this spring. Flood and tornado warnings are almost the order of the day. We have had our share of both here in Wisconsin with two hailstorms. It makes me think about updating the insurance on our collections. Our journey to Houston later this summer could prove interesting. A random thought… I wonder if a privy is as safe as a culvert if a digger is caught in a twister? 

The Milwaukee Club had an exciting meeting at a member’s home this May. The host, Barna Bencs, collects everything Racine and Kenosha, Wisconsin. Barna gave an engaging presentation on a Racine Dairy that operated from about 1914 to 1921. For a long time, it created lively debate among local collectors about its existence. It was known basically by the existence of a single 5-cent token. Ideal Dairy was operated by two brothers whose involvement was interrupted when they served in WWI. What made the presentation so amazing was that a couple of years ago a whole cache of memorabilia from this dairy was discovered in his mother-in-law’s estate. The dairy had been in the family! Everything from sales records, blacksmith receipts for the delivery of horseshoeing, promotional literature for Thatcher milk bottles, and paper leave-behinds extolling the health of Ideal Milk were discovered. Ideal Dairy has gone from an urban legend to the most well-documented dairy of the 50 that operated in the area at the time. Barna says, “Old things seem to find the collectors that appreciate them.” Or are the original owners interceding from the beyond? No embossed milk bottles from this dairy have been found, but perhaps it’s only a matter of time.

The Ohio Bottle Club mourns the loss of Bill Koster, one of its founding members, going back to 1967. Bill was known to take young and new collectors under his wing and foster “new blood” to the hobby, something we must all do.

At a recent 1st Chicago Bottle Club meeting, Mario Pisterzi brought a grouping of nice fruit jars. One was made of cast iron and dated from the Civil War. “The cast iron jars would be filled with preserved food and sent out in the supply wagons to feed the troops. When the jars were empty, the troops could fill them with explosives and scrap metal and fire them out of cannons! As a result, finding one of these jars still intact and not blown to pieces is quite amazing.”