Articles with great information of interest for Wisconsin antique bottle collectors. Please, do not republish without expressed written permission from the original publisher or author.


  • History of the Muetz's and the Soda Bottle as told by Otto Muetz By Mike Muetz History of the Muetz's and the Soda Bottle as told by Otto Muetz. We taped Otto telling these two stories. Otto Muetz was my great uncle. He told me the story himself when he was in his early 90's. His dad Fritz would get very angry at all his young sons because they would not take care of his wagons, each with 4 horses, at the end of the day. They tried stopping at taverns on the way home with a wagon full of empty bottles. In the winter the horse manure would freeze and build up into piles that made moving the wagons more than difficult. So... Read Full Article
  • RORK'S BADGER LINIMENT by Tim Wolter One of the fun things about collecting patent medicines is that you rather often find oddball items, specimens that seem to defy common sense. Rork's Badger Liniment appears to qualify. I mean, how many miniscule rural medicine companies even had embossed bottles, to say nothing of one with an attractive animal figure on it! James Rork was an early settler near Eau Claire. I find first mention of him in association with the brief, comical "Indian Scare" that gripped Eau Claire in 1862. I am afraid that Rork added to the panic a bit, riding in from his place north of town with news... Read Full Article
  • THE PATENT MEDICINES OF W. TOWNS by Tim Wolter Although the bottles of W.Towns are not especially rare, researching this company has been frustrating. It is odd that an enterprise that was clearly carried out on a very large scale left so few "footprints". I can't even clearly say when the company started. Some of their later ads claim that they got their start in 1874, but city directories in Fond Du Lac, and their own testimonials, seem to go back no farther than the 1880s. From some oblique references I suspect that the company's founder, Wyman Towns, may have practiced medicine in Canada before moving to Wisconsin. W... Read Full Article
  • Mr. Bottles takes on tales and treasures of local lakes By DONNA FRAKE Posted: July 6, 2009 Typically, when you think of hunting in Wisconsin, it conjures up certain images, none of which apply to the kind of hunting Steven Libbey does. Libbey, of Delafield, hunts for the treasure on the floor of area lakes. Specifically, he scuba dives in search of antique bottles, and is known in collectors' circles as Mr. Bottles, after his Web site devoted to the hobby, "A group of us started in 1996. It's been 12, 13 years, and we've seen everything possible to see underwater," Libbey said. "They used the lakes... Read Full Article
  • An antique Wisconsin bottle ‘go with' can be anything you picked up because it is from or related to one of the bottles or bottlers you have collected. Or, like me, it can be the other way. I acquired this beautiful yellow amber blob Schlitz beer bottle after finding this Schlitz "Globe" scuba diving In the Milwaukee River. They make quite a pair. Both are more interesting in association with each other. Please send in your Go Withs photo with a basic explanation of how they belong together for every Wisconsin antique bottle collector to enjoy. Read Full Article
  • The Stonewares of New Ulm,Mn. Being born and raised in New Ulm,Minnesota, I was oblivious to the stoneware that was made by the various pottery firms in New Ulm during the later half of the nineteenth century. That all changed two years ago,when my "New Ulm Stoneware" collection started. I had already started a Red Wing Stoneware collection at the time, when a person standing next to me at an auction pointed at a crock and said, "It could be New Ulm Stoneware." Looking back, that crock was not a New Ulm crock, but the comment the guy had made, stuck in my head and stirred my curiosity about this "New Ulm Stoneware". That... Read Full Article
  • The squat blob soda bottle embossed simply, M.J gave me quite a few fits years ago. When my brother and I dug it in the late 1980's there was simply not enough information available to draw definite conclusions on its identity. Clearly it was an older bottle, notably old for the western part of Wisconsin. The A & D.H.C. glass works marking confirmed it, but was not a narrow enough time frame to help all that much. Context helps, but unfortunately the privy we dug it out of was one of those puzzlers with a wide age range. There were 1890's patent medicines near the top, 1880's-ish fruit jar fragments farther down, and... Read Full Article
  • Moritz KREMBS was born 21 Sep 1837 in Württemberg, Germany. He died May 1907 in Chicago, Illinois and was buried 127 in Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois. Moritz was the 6th of 15 children. His father was a pharmacist to the German royalty. The Krembs family had a tradition of serving the German royal courts for many years. His mother, Louisa Von Grimm was of royal birth and a member of the same "Grimm" family that produced the Grimm Fairy Tales. Moritz came to the U.S. with his family in December 1854. As a young man he studied pharmacy and chemistry. He started his business life in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin. In th... Read Full Article
  • It's been a very boring winter break so far. I sat in my office and dug through the many pages of things to do and then I came across an article I tore out of the Evanston Review (IL) about Chaos Glass Studio Inc. I have wanted to take a glass blowing class for over twenty-five years but there never seemed to be enough time or money to take it. I leave a message and finally talk to the owner, Kelly McGowan. Come on down the day after Christmas she says, at noon. As an avid bottle collector I had many holes in my knowledge of how bottles are made. We collectors all read the same books and catalogs and we rub our hands all ... Read Full Article
  • Directly across the street from the Eau Claire Public Library there is a drive up bank facility. It's not all that busy a place, downtown Eau Claire has suffered the fate of many urban cores in our shopping mall economy. But that same site was much livelier in the years just prior to the Civil War, when it was occupied by an establishment called The Sign of the Two Barrels, run by E. Robert Hantzsch. A native of Germany, Hantzsch came to Eau Claire in 1859. He built his saloon on the corner of Farwell and Eau Claire Streets. Early advertisements list an amazing array of items for sale including many varieties of whiskey, ... Read Full Article
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