Archive for April, 2010

Issues with ‘Great Links’

April 30, 2010

I have been having technical difficulty with some of the links I have listed.  Sometimes it will take you to the sites, other times not.  I am looking into it and hope to have it fixed shortly.    If a link is not working, try later.

Thank you

I Made It! Over 1,000 visitors this Month

April 30, 2010

            I began this blog in September 2009.  I’ve logged 4,950 visitors, over 1,000 this month alone!  55 posts and 95 comments and over 300 questions. 

                I’ve enjoyed sharing my bottle knowledge and getting to know some of my fellow collectors out there.   I still can’t believe I had 1,000 visitors this month and April still isn’t over! 

      Keep the questions and comments coming!


To Clean OR Not To Clean, That is the Question: Antique Bottle Cleaning 101

April 27, 2010

Probably one of the questions I get the most is ‘Should I clean the item I found?’

In the next few weeks I will discuss various ways to clean soda memorabilia.

This week we will discuss bottles. Most bottle collectors like to have the bottles look brand new in their collection.  But, what is the best way to clean a bottle?

   Well, it depends….we will discuss embossed bottles first (no painted labels on them)

First, just good old fashioned soap and water does the best. Let the bottles warm up to room temperature, place them in a bucket or dishpan, add soap and warm water. I sometimes add 409 spray and/or Windex, but BE CAREFUL, that mixture makes the bottles very slippery.  Depending on how much dirt there is, sometimes I will soak them for days, changing out the water and cleaner mixture if the water gets really dirty.

            Next you will need a bottle brush (I listed some on the blog around December 2009), a good scrub brush or sponge with a scrubbing side and old fashioned elbow grease.  Also-a cleanser such as Bar Keepers Friend (a mild version of Comet type cleaner) works wonders. You can buy it at most grocery store chains and hardware stores, also available on line.

            If after scrubbing the inside you still have any sticky mess inside the bottle, try to find a liquid soap made to remove tree sap from hands. It is a little hard to find but I have seen it at hardware stores, also available on line. It cuts through the sticky syrup found in some soda bottles.

            If a bottle has been buried for any length of time, the glass may become etched. The glass may have a rainbow effect and swirl marks etched in the glass. About the only way to remove this is to have the bottle tumbled. (Look up bottle tumbler on line to see what all that entails).  It is similar to a rock tumbler. The bottle is placed in a tube, suspended and usually copper pellets are used to actually remove a thin layer of glass, to make the bottle look new and remove the etching. A tumbler starts around $1000, plus supplies. A professional tumbler will charge around $20 to $50 per bottle. And with tumbling come risks. If the bottle has a small flaw it may crack or break during tumbling. There is no guarantee it will come out in one piece.

Hope this will help you clean those bottles. Next we will discuss cleaning the ACL bottle (Applied Color Label, sometimes referred to as a painted bottle). You have to take special precautions with the ACL bottles.

Happy Cleaning!

Hwy 78 Yard Sale was a little WET

April 27, 2010

Well, when we got up Saturday morning it was raining but decided to try the Hwy 78 Yard Sale anyway.   No yard sales were set up along the way due to the rain but we managed to find a few antique stores and some junk shops open early.   So I managed to bring home several bottles including a few Christmas bottles (named for the date the bottle was patented, Dec. 25th, 1923) for only $2 each, a few other Coke bottles, a plastic 6 pack Coca-Cola Carrier for $3 from the 1960’s, an early 1950’s Coke wooden crate for $10. One crate I found (not a Coke product though) was for a short lived drink from the mid 1960’s, Kickapoo Joy Juice. You can see a picture of it here:

That was probably the best find of the day.  Maybe next year will be better weather.

  Now, when is the next Highway yard sale?  I am ready.

American Collector Magazine

April 21, 2010

The American Collector magazine was written from 1933 to 1948 and was geared towards people interested in antiques and collecting.  I found an archive that has many of the articles available online. Some articles of interest are: Rare Flasks from Early Glass Houses, Potters, Historical Flasks, Glass Blowing, Identifying China, Lamps, etc. 
Very interesting!  Here is the link:

Liberty Antique Festival

April 20, 2010

The Liberty Antique Festival is this weekend, April 23rd and 24th. (Check out the link: )    I wish I could attend, but won’t be able to.  I went a few years ago and WOW what a HUGE selection of Antiques!  Even in the town itself, Liberty, North Carolina a huge yard sale was set up with tons of antiques from bottle openers to furniture.  Then once we arrived at the Liberty Antique Festival itself outside of town we could not believe the items available. Over 26 rows of antiques of every kind. Many soda related items from signs, bottles, syrup dispensers, etc.    Well worth the drive!    If you can’t make it this weekend, try to go on September 24th and 25th. 2010.  Hopefully I can make it then.

Digging with Doug Part 5

April 16, 2010

Some time ago I had posted all about how I began collecting bottles.  I left off saying I would talk about the book writing process.  Like I said previously, I had never written a book before. I had written articles for a few collectible magazines and for the Coca-Cola Collectors Club newsletter but nothing on this scale.

            The first thing I had to do was organize all the information I had already accumulated over the years on Coca-Cola bottles. This took some time, but once I was organized I saw what information I needed to fill in the blanks. I began to gather that information from fellow collectors, archives and the bottles themselves (Empirical data method). I looked at a couple thousand Coca-Cola bottles from museums, collections, antique stores, flea markets, eBay, etc.  This gave me the range of years that certain bottle styles were made, variations and types. From gathering of information to having the book completed took me 7 years. Although I did not work on it every minute of the day, life seemed to interrupt my writing schedule-often. Finally in late 2008 I decided I needed to not go anywhere, do nothing but write every free minute I had. 

              Once the book was near completion I spent much time studying self publishing online. I never really liked any company I saw and finally decided to really go the ‘self publish’ route.  I found a printing company that could produce the book in the quality I wanted.  Now all I had to do was photograph, layout, edits, design, etc. the whole thing, from the front cover to the all important back cover introduction.

By 2009 the book was completed, almost. I had a hard time designing the front and back cover. I thought it would have been easy, but proved otherwise.  I ended up with 5 cover designs and could not decide, so I did what most big publisher’s do-eeny, meeny, miny, moe. What…..isn’t that how they do it?  I did some informal surveys on the cover choices and narrowed it down to two designs, but the eeny, meeny, miny, moe still did come into play.

It has been worth all the hard work and effort. I just wish I could have completed my book before my father had passed away. He encouraged me many times when I felt like scrapping the book project. He made me promise him I would finish the book and I am glad he did. Now I am working on my next book! (With two other book ideas floating around in my head)

            If you are thinking of writing a book, check out Instant Publisher.    They were the company I had print my book.

Hwy 78 Yard Sale

April 16, 2010

I have not been to the Hwy 78 Yard sale before but I plan to check it out next weekend. It will be on April 24th, starting at 8am in Villa Rica, Georgia running west along 78 to Temple, Bremen, Waco and Tallapoosa, Georgia (close to Ala/GA State Line).  Approximately 23 miles of yard sales!

    This is the type of sale you never know what will turn up. I just hope some bottles and a few Coca-Cola items appear.  If you live in the area be sure to check it out. Should be a good day for a nice drive along 78, see some of small town Georgia and hopefully find some treasures to take home.     Hope to see you on the road.

Springtime in Atlanta

April 9, 2010

  Recently the Atlanta Chapter of the Coca-Cola Club held our annual convention, Springtime in Atlanta.  Always held the week before Easter. We had over 400 people attend this year from all over the world, Australia, Belgium, Spain, Austria, etc. 

    The week consists of  a silent auction, live auction, room hopping and visiting with fellow club members we only get to see once a year.   What is room hopping you ask?  Many people bring items to sell, so we open up our hotel room door and allow the club members to shop in our room.  We probably had at least 20 to 30 rooms this year. It is like a Wal-Mart of Coca-Cola memorabilia from around the world.  I didn’t buy much this year, but one item I found was a wooden Coca-Cola crate that is from around 1903-1907. Think about it, a wooden crate over 100 years old!  I did find several bottles from the 1960’s (all $1 each) to fill up some of my newer crates I have on display.     It is a great time. Next year we won’t have Springtime convention though, since we will be hosting the National Coca-Cola Club Convention here in Atlanta.  June 28th to July 3rd, 2011.  Now THAT will be the convention to attend.  Whenever the Club has the National here it is usually HUGE. In the past we have had over 1000 people attend and some great and rare items show up.  So, join the Coca-Cola Club and you can attend this convention!

World of Coca-Cola

April 9, 2010

One of the great things about living in the Atlanta area is the World of Coca-Cola isn’t too far away.  An amazing collection of museum items and interactive displays that keeps everyone entertained.

  If you are in the Atlanta area this year you should stop by and check it out.     While you are there be sure and stop by the Pop Culture Room.  In the past they have displayed art work of Andy Warhol,  and currently displaying 5 artists, Steve Penley, Gordon Chandler, Commer Jennings, Steve Kaufman and Burton Morris.  Also be sure to look at the display case that has ‘folk art’ type items made from Coca-Cola cans and bottles.  In fact, a 1 Liter Coca-Cola bottle that was made into a lamp is on display, made by…me. My donation to the World of Coca-Cola.  When the museum first opened up, they had Andy Warhol art in the Pop Culture Room with my lamp. I could never figure out if my lamp was on display with Warhol, or was Warhol on display with my lamp?

Recently the 3 millionth visitor arrived at the museum. Here is the news story: