Archive for October, 2009

Digging with Doug Part 3

October 29, 2009

I told you how I found my First Coca-Cola Bottle, so how does a collection grow from 1 Coke bottle to over 2000??  A lot of years and a lot of searching and digging!  I grew up in a Military Family (yes-I am a Navy Brat), and we moved around a good bit.  It wasn’t until I was a teenager and moved to Minnesota when I started digging for bottles by myself or with my friends.  First thing I got after we moved was a new 10 speed bicycle. And did I put the miles on it!  I began riding and exploring the fields and wooded areas within a 50 mile radius of our house. It was a lot of territory to cover, but it was filled with old farms, and if you find an old farm you will find an old dump.  I found thousands of bottles of every kind.  I ended up selling off my finds, if I had a duplicate.  I needed money to repair my bike! They didn’t make Moutain Bikes back then. And a bike built to ride on the street didn’t hold up well off road. I was always having to repair tubes, replace tires, fix the chain, etc.  The digging kept me busy and out of trouble. I soon found other kids my age who did the same thing, so we would go out and ride/dig from sun up to sunset.

  We didn’t find a lot of soft drink bottles. The few we did find were very interesting, Art Deco style soda bottles. Very unusual designs. After the Coca-Cola contour bottle, many soft drink companies created unique bottles for their product.   I wouldn’t get heavily into Coca-Cola bottles until we moved back to Georgia, but that is a story for a different day.


THE Place for All Bottle Collectors To Go

October 23, 2009

I have never been to New York State, but I hope to one day. The place to see on top of my list is The National Bottle Museum!  Yes-a museum dedicated to bottles and bottle collecting. There aren’t too many museums I know of who have nothing but bottles and bottle related items. I found out about the museum years ago, but have not had a chance to make it. Located in Ballston Spa, NY. They also have a Research Library.  I think I could stay at the museum for several days, now doesn’t that sound like an exciting time! They also offer classes on FLAMEWORKING where you can make BEADS, PENDANTS, SMALL FIGURES, etc

They also sponsor a 160-table bottle show every June.

They offer such a variety of interesting things. Check out the link for the Museum. Maybe one day I will make it to New York.
One thing that any bottle collector should do, is gain knowledge of the hobby and this is definitely a place to learn.

A Classic Coca-Cola Collectibles Book

October 14, 2009

Today we will look at a ‘Classic’ book on Coca-Cola Collectibles. I remember doing a book report on this book way back in 1973.  The book I am talking about is ‘The Illustrated Guide to the Collectibles of Coca-Cola’ by Cecil Munsey. Printed in 1972, this book covers the history of Coca-Cola, wagons, glasses, bottles, cartons, crates, calendars, metal trays, pocket mirrors and on and on with collectibles. Also the Appendix has useful information such as Coca-Cola Bottlers (by State), advertising slogans (by year), etc.   Although the book was printed 37 years ago, the information is still wonderful. Richly illustrated with black and white photos.  You can find this book fairly easy, on ebay, Amazon, used book stores and even see them at antique stores on occasion.  Try to find a copy. Cecil Munsey has written a few other books we will discuss later, but do a search for him on the internet. He has some wonderful articles you can find. He is a wealth of information on bottle collecting.  Happy reading!

Digging with Doug Part 2

October 13, 2009

(I hadn’t been feeling well this week-so I am behind on the blog, sorry!)   I mentioned the other week about how I began collecting bottles. Around age 8 my Grandfather got me started, at 11 years I found my first Coca-Cola bottle.  I was walking in my Grandparents hometown and walking along Sandy Creek (it is named ‘creek’, but it almost qualified for a river, it was deep and wide). I seemed to always find interesting items along the creek and hoped I would find something. After walking down the bank for a mile or so, I noticed a sandbar in the middle of the creek.  As I approached, I saw a bottle sticking out of the sand bar. Problem was, I could not reach it or get across the creek to it.  I ran all the way to town to find my Father, I knew he would be able to get it. Out of breath, I tried to explain what I needed him for, at first he thought there was a problem at the creek. He played on those same banks and knew how dangerous it could be. I finally explained enough to start dragging him along the way. I was worried the bottle would either float away or someone else find it. Once we got to the place, my Dad couldn’t reach it either. The water was too deep to try to cross it.  I told my Dad I knew he could figure out a way to get it. Well-he did come up with an idea. We got a long tree branch, he was able to force the branch down into the bottle, and pull it out of the sand and fling it to shore. I was SO excited, it ended up being my first Coca-Cola bottle. A Patent D type from Canton, Ohio, made in 1948. Then-I was hooked on collecting Coca-Cola bottles.  I still have that bottle, in fact it is in my living room. Seeing it reminds me of my Dad and the many times he was there for me through out my life.  He passed away a few years ago. Towards the end he was unable to speak, so I would talk for hours about all the things remembered growing up. I told this story and he had the biggest smile on his face. It was a happy memory for both of us.

The Museum of Beverage Containers & Advertising

October 9, 2009

This place is (was) amazing. I actually took my wife here on our Honeymoon! (I know..How Romantic!!) We just happened across it while driving…seriously… A HUGE collection of cans, bottles and advertising for mainly Soda. Unfortunately, the place has closed a few years ago; some of the collection was moved to another location. But, everything else in the warehouse/museum is up for sale for $75000. I think it is a good price for the amount of stuff they have. But I don’t have $75000, or a way to move it, or a place to store/display it. has the photos of this unbelievable collection.

This link talks about when the museum was still open, but has some great bottle collector’s information.

Check out the Links

October 9, 2009

I see a lot of people are checking out my blog and I thank you!  Be sure to check out my ‘Great Link’s’ section.  Some great information can be found at these sites about bottle collecting.  Like the Antique Bottle Forum, I came across it years ago by accident. It is a great place to post a picture of any kind of an antique bottle that you want to know more about. There are several hundred knowledgeable bottle collectors here that can answer most questions.

  Looking for some good reading material? Check out the links to the Cola Conquest and the Soda Spectrum magazines. I am a long time subscriber. Always full of some GREAT articles on soda collecting. Blair does a wonderful job on this magazine, only available through subscription.

The Coca-Cola Collectors Club is a great site to visit. If you want to know anything about the Club, this is the place to go.

Have a great weekend everybody!  Be sure to check out my Bottle Book review either Sunday or Monday.

Bottle Makers and Their Marks

October 5, 2009

Today we will look at a book by Julian Harrison Toulouse. He was an avid researcher, and compiled this excellent reference book on the Glass Manufacturer markings you find on most antique bottles. With over 900 older marks and 300 ‘modern marks’ (the book was originally written in 1970) it allows you to easily identify and date the bottle by looking up the markings. The bottle makers marks are hand drawn in the book, but are very good quality. The book is set up in alphabetical order for ease of use. He also included company histories.

    Also a section on foreign bottle makers marks is included.

The book was originally printed in 1970 in hardback, and then reprinted in 2001 in paperback. This book can be easily found on Amazon.  It is a definite MUST HAVE book to have on your bookshelf. You don’t see many reference books of this caliber on bottles. I refer to my copy all the time. So be sure to find a copy of:  Bottle Makers and Their Marks

Close Encounter with a Freestyle Dispenser

October 1, 2009

Today’s post is a little off subject about collecting.  I went out for lunch and stopped at Burger King. When I went inside I immediately spotted the new dispenser that had been in the news lately, the Coca-Cola Freestyle Dispenser. It has over 100 flavored drinks, from Dasani water flavors to Vanilla Coke Zero. I didn’t think I would see one of these amazing machines up close anytime soon.  With an easy to use touch screen, I had to see what flavors were available. Luckily, no one was behind me!  I can see this machine causing a little back up in lines, with SO many choices.  I was able to get my combo drink of Coke Zero with a shot of Coke Zero with Cherry and two shots with vanilla.  I can remember mixing drinks as a kid on the 6 soda dispenser at the local food store. Now on this new machine you could make some dangerous combinations! Here are a few links about the new dispenser. Hope you can find one in your area!