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February 25, 1988


PIX #1 - The various glass items shown in this photo are the property of Fostoria, Rodger Bartley, a member of the Findlay Antique Bottle Club. The items are just a few of the large collection he has "dug" in the relatively short time he has been involved in the hobby. 

Item Identification are: No. 1-Aunt Jemima bank; No. 2-Union Fruit jar; No. 3 Ohio Pottery jug; No. 4-Paige Dairy, Toledo, milk bottle; No. 5-Frank Miller crown fressing container; No. 6-Davis container for pain killer; No. 7-Blue soda bottle, City Bottling Works, Toledo; No. 8-Blue glass soda bottle, Jacob Voekler & Co., Cleveland; No. 9-Amber Coca Cola bottle, Dayton; No. 10-Clear soda bottle, Wagner Bros., Tiffin; No. 11-Soda Bottle, Fostoria Bottling Works, Fostoria; No. 12-Soda bottle, Star Bottling Works, Toledo; No. 13- Clear soda bottle, Wagner Bros., Tiffin; No. 14 & 15-Cobalt blue medicine bottle; No. 16-Eshelman & Harbaugh Col., Fostoria, Bromo Seltzer bottle; No. 17-Bromo Seltzer bottle; No. 18-John Weith & Bros.; No. 19-Noxzema bottle. 

All the history of the past isn't contained in history books. Some readers may say, "How can that be? Today's article will answer the question! 

There are many family histories which never get into public print. Many family histories are hand-written or typed and copied, and circulated in the family. 

There are antique cars, toys, horse drawn buggies, furniture, books, and much more that only some to public attention in museums or perhaps when they are placed on sale. 

Another catagory of history is made up of the variety of bottles, jars, wine sets, decanters, pill cans, ink stands, insulators, flasks, lightning rods, target balls, fire extinguishers, and many other items - all made of glass - which today are matters of history. 

Thousands upon thousands of those historical items have found their way to "dumping-areas" all over America, including Fostoria. Many of those areas have been covered over more than once, and "diggers" may dig 3-4 feet to find the valuable relics of the past. 


The hobby of collecting glass items has intrigued those who are interested in history, especially bottles used for medicine, milk, and drinks. Every year, according to the "Whittle Marks", published by the Findlay Antique Bottle Club, hundreds of previously unknown bottles and jars are discovered. 

Finding unknown milk bottles, for example, are proof of a dairy long forgotten. 

Example: In Fostoria, there were once 19 dairies: E.W. Kipka Dillon Dairy, Co-op Milk Assn., Linwood Dairy-O, E. Kipka, Fox Dairy, Zeigler Bros. Dairy, Holman's Dairy, Weavers Dairy, Ohio Farmers, Sen-Wood Dairy, Babcock Dairy, Welly Dairy, C.H. Shoemaker, Sah's Dairy, G.H. Russell, O.D. Wells, Ward Dairy, K.K.C. 


Medicine and drug bottles are glass items used extensively many years ago. Here in Fostoria there were many drug stores that filled prescriptions in glass which contained the druggists name molded into the bottle. Also, some doctors used bottles with their name molded into the glass. Some well-known medicine manufacturers put their products in glass that contained their name and/pr product name molded into the glass. 

All of the above named products will be remembered by the older readers of this column. 

Fostoria had doctors practicing here many years ago, and some of them had their own bottles. What a thrill for "diggers" to turn up one or more of them indentifying a local doctor. Doctors the author recalls are: Hale, Henry, Rosendale, Miller, Teycraft, Norris, Hatfield, Palmer, Leonard. 


Some people collect bottles for decoration. Because of the varity of color, shape and size, bottles can flatter most any area. Medicine and druggist bottles add an interesting an unusual look to the bathroom. Perfumed on the dresser and flasks in the den or living room add class and character to any decor. Canning jars, make excellent air-tight moisture-proof canister set. And a colorful bottle will transform any sunny window into an extraordinary showplace. 

Still others collect bottles for the investment potential. Rare old bottles, like other fine quality antiques, seldom go down in value. Some collections have been sold at a substantial profit. 


Perusing "Whittle Marks" the Findlay Club's official publication, and talking with Rodger Bartley, a new member, and avid "Digger" this is the type of hobby that some readers will want to investigate. 

Readers that can visualize digging 2, 3, or 4 feet in the ground and finding a glass item that may be worth $10, $20, $30 or much more should be interested, I am told, reliably, collectors have made thousands of dollars when they have disposed of their collections. 


Findlay Antique Bottle Club, founded in 1976 with only five members, has grown to include 23 families from all over northwestern Ohio. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in old bottles, hars, insulators, or related items. 

Anyone wishing information about the club may write: Findlay A.B.C., P.O. Box 1329, Findlay Ohio 45839, or contact one of the Fostoria members: Richard Coppler, Jack Burris, Howard waltermeyer, Mike Bauer, Rodger Bartley. 


In addition to the regular monthly meeting, the club stages an annual show, sale and picnic each summer. At that time, they have a swap session, games for the kids, bingo and bottle drawing. 

they have also had "club digs" which have proved to be lots of fun. At their well-attended Christmas party, many nice bottles are always included in the gift exchange. 


Only older readers will recall it was plentiful, low-cost, natural gas in this area that resulted in the establishment of many glass factories, where items produced then could possible by found by "diggers" today. 

The only illustration (excerpted from "Whittle Marks") shows the Karg Gas Well, Findlay. It is documented in history that in the gas-boom-days, test wells in the Findlay territory once produced 60,000,000 cubic feet of gas per day. That amount was said sufficient to supply a city double the size of Chicago every day. 

In Fostoria's early days the plentiful supply of gas permitted the business district to be lighted by gas which burned continually night and day. That's the way George M. Gray, the founder of Gray Printing Co., recalled it when he first visited Fostoria to establish his printing plant 100 years ago. 


The annuals bottle show will be in Columbus Sunday at the Fairgrounds. It provides an opportunity for anyone who may be interested in exploring what membership in The Antique Bottle Club is all about. 

It is an all-day show, starting at 9 a.m. There is a nominal admittance fee. 

Directions are: U.S. 23 to Interstate 270, then east to I-71, continuing on I-70 to Fairgrounds. 

There will be club members "Diggers" collectors from all over the area in attendance. 


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