FOHBC History


October 1959 – ABCA Founded

On October 15, 1959, Mr. and Mrs. John C. Tibbits (wife Edith) called the first meeting of what became The Antique Bottle Collectors Club of California at their home in Sacramento, California. Tibbits was elected the first president. It was believed to be the first such club. This attracted the attention of antique bottle clubs across the country and many joined what eventually evolved into the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors (FOHBC). Read: Where and How Bottle Collecting Got Its Start

1960 – First Antique Bottle Collectors Association (ABCA) Convention

1963 – The Pontil

The inaugural issue of The Pontil was published by the ABCA. Issues are archived in the FOHBC Members Portal.

June 1968 – ABCA Eighth Annual Convention

Thirteen clubs met during the annual ABCA convention on 21- 23 June 1968 at the El Rancho Hotel-Motel in West Sacramento, California. The General Chairman was Elmer Lester (see information below). There were 45 affiliated clubs and the organization had grown too big for one club to handle it. Delegates voted to organize the “International Federation of Bottle Clubs,” according to George Rieber, who later became the first Federation chairman. The first meeting was held on November 16 in Oakland, California, with the Golden Gate Historical Bottle Society as host.


1969 – The first six Board Members

March 30, 1969 – 55 delegates from 17 clubs met to conduct the business of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors. The photo below is the first slate of officers elected at the meeting. Left to right: Peck Markota, 2nd Vice Chairman, John Eatwell, 1st Vice Chairman, Dick Hansen, Recording Secretary, George Rieber, Honorary Chairman, the late Elmer Lester, Chairman, and Julie Gray, Treasurer.


1971 – Reproduction Bottles Were a Concern

Reproduction bottles were a concern to the FOHBC right from the start. In 1971, and again in 1975, with help from lobbyist Michael P. Daniels, Bill H.R.12284 was introduced to the 52nd Congress asking that all reproduction bottles be marked. The bill failed congress both times. They stated that there was no clear understanding of what an antique bottle was.

March 1973 First issue of The Federation of Historical Bottle Clubs Journal

The Federation of Historical Bottle Clubs Journal was our magazine or journal before Bottles and Extras? The first issue of the Federation Journal was March 1973. Volume 1, Number 1.

1974 – Organization Name Change

The Federation of Historical Bottle Clubs became the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.

1976 – The 1st National Antique Bottle & Jar Exposition

The first National Antique Bottle & Jar Exposition was held in 1976 at St. Louis, Missouri. Hal Wagner and Jerry Jones served as Show Chairmen. With 140 displays and 280 sales tables, the floor was filled. Over 4,000 collectors attended the show which makes it still the best-attended show in FOHBC history.

1983 – FOHBC Hall of Fame

The FOHBC decided it needed a way to honor and remember well know individuals making lasting and outstanding contributions to the hobby. So in 1983, they started the Hall of Fame by inducting Helen McKearin as its first member. There are currently 44 members in the Hall of Fame as of late 2021.

1984  First issue of Antique Bottle & Glass Collector

By the early 1980s, Jim Hagenbuch was sending out over 400 lists of bottles for sale to his customer base. In 1983 he decided to publish a magazine. At that time two other magazines existed, Antique Bottle World published by Jerry McCann in Chicago, Illinois, and The OBX (Old Bottle Magazine), published by Ken Asher in Bend, Oregon. Jim had heard that both were potentially for sale. Jim approached Jerry McCann about the purchasing of Antique Bottle World but was not able to arrive at a price so Jim went forward with a new magazine.  In April of 1984, the first issue of Antique Bottle & Glass Collector (AB&GC) went to press. Jim does not remember how many subscribers received the first issue, but many of his loyal customers had subscribed.

In August of that year at the FOHBC National Convention held in Montgomery, Alabama, Jim was approached by Jerry McCann regarding the purchase of Antique Bottle World. The price he was asking was now considerably less than when they first talked a year earlier and Jim agreed to make the purchase. By the fall of 1984, Jim merged the two magazines together and Antique Bottle World ceased to exist. Several years later Jim received in the mail an express envelope from Ken Asher. In the envelope were two signed contracts and a letter from Ken telling Jim he could buy OBX for $1.00! By now Jim probably had over 2,000 subscribers to AB&GC and wasn’t sure he needed to buy another magazine. He called Ken and after a short conversation with him decided it would probably be beneficial to make the purchase which he did. Probably three or four months later the two magazines were merged and OBX was gone. At its peak, Jim had roughly 4,500 subscribers, when he turned it over to John Pastor 25-years later it was down to around 3,500. Ken Asher told Jim that at Its peak, he has over 7,000 subscribers! John Pastor would gift AB&GC to the FOHBC in late 2021.

July 1986FOHBC Honor Roll

On July 25, 1986, Dr. Cecil Munsey, of Poway, Calif., sent a memo to Marilyn Schmieding, FOHBC Western Region representative, that the FOHBC “seriously consider establishing an ‘HONOR ROLL’ of people who have contributed significantly to bottle collecting. The Honor Roll would not replace the Hall of Fame, the greatest honor the hobby can bestow, but only supplement it.” The FOHBC Board of Directors adopted the idea and it was put into place the following year.

March 1995 – Bottles and Extras

The contributions to the bottle collecting hobby by Scott Grandstaff and Kitty Roach commenced in 1988 when the magazine Bottles & Extras took form on the kitchen table of their home in Happy Camp, California. With the help and support of FOHBC Hall of Famer Dr. Cecil Munsey, of Poway, California, they published their first edition in 1989. In 1995, when the publication had grown too big for both of them, they decided to turn over the magazine and subscribers list to the FOHBC at no charge. Bottles & Extras became the Federation’s most tangible asset. The first issue was March 1995, Volume 6, No. 3.

August 2009An Idea for a Virtual Museum

The Virtual Museum concept was first proposed at the FOHBC board meeting by Federation president Richard Siri in August 2009 in Pomona, Ca. at the FOHBC National Antique Bottle Show. Richard asked fellow board member Ferdinand Meyer V to head up the project and develop a presentation to board members.

December 2010First Issue of John Pastor’s Antique Bottle & Glass Collector magazine

John Pastor’s first issue of Antique Bottle & Glass Collector magazine was the December 2010 issue. John purchased the magazine from Jim Hagenbuch. Jim had started the magazine in calling it Antique Bottle & Glass Collector in 1883. The first issue was in April 1984. John Pastor would gift the magazine to the FOHBC in late 2021.

2011-2012FOHBC website redesigned

In 2011, FOHBC President Gene Bradberry asked that a new Federation website be developed that premiered the following year.

January 2020FOHBC Virtual Museum S0ft Opening

The FOHBC Virtual Museum announced a “Soft Opening” with the opening of two Galleries, Bitters and Historical Flasks. Well over 150 items were represented in the two galleries. Day passes and museum memberships go on sale.

March 2020Covid-19 Pandemic

While the Covid-19 Pandemic shocks the world and changes how we live, work, and collect, the FOHBC announces that the Virtual Museum will be open and “Free” to all visitors for the foreseeable future.

October 2021Bottles and Extras becomes Antique Bottle & Glass Collector

The FOHBC board approves the “magazine merger” after an eight-year process when the idea was first proposed by John Pastor to board president, Ferdinand Meyer V over dinner in Michigan at Johns house in November 2013. The FOHBC board formally approved the merger on 13 October 2021. See Meeting Notes.