SID - WISCONSIN ANTIQUE BOTTLE COLLECTOR
Sid did go to the library. At the library he was able to find information on the John Graf company but more importantly he found a book on Wisconsin beer bottles. The book was none other than BADGER BREWERIES PAST AND PRESENT by Wayne Kroll. A must have for Wisconsin bottle collectors.
That trip to the library was either destiny or divine intervention. Sid was fascinated with the book. He decided try and see how many of the bottles listed in the beer book he could find. Twenty-seven years later he's still trying. His larger goal is to acquire at least one bottle from every brewer in Kroll's book. He likes the ones from unlisted brewers too It's not so easy for Sid to find bottles he doesn't have anymore. This collection of beer bottles is seven hundred and fifty different bottles strong! He has another hundred and fifty bottles that aren't in the primary collection that Sid picked up for sideline collections. Included in Sid's massive primary collection are dozens of bottles not listed in BADGER BREWERIES PAST AND PRESENT Mr. Kroll you need to stop at Sid's before your next edition!
Sid's primary collection is amazing! He has acquired every color shape and style of beer bottle. Viewing this collection is overwhelming for me. Sid displays the bottles two or three deep on shelves all the way around a seven by twelve foot room. You can look at the same spot on his shelves twice and realize that the bottle in back is a 1870's one of a kind that you've never seen before. Sid has bottles worthy of the front and center spot for most collectors buried behind other bottles of equal caliber. His collection is extremely advanced and includes beer bottles from hundreds of different cities throughout Wisconsin. Sid has a lit display of bottles that truly are as much historical art as they are beer bottles. The colors are enthralling the shapes and crudeness are compelling. So many of the bottles are one of a kind or the best example known. This collection is a historical record of Wisconsin beer bottlers.
Sid's side collections include bottle openers, beer barrels, medicine bottles, colored seltzer bottles, beer trays and one of the best displays of quart Wisconsin Hutchinson soda bottles I've seen. Sid has an eye for quality and his side collections reflect it. Every item on display in his side collections is worthy of any primary collection of the same items.
My favorites from Sid's collection are the colored beers. The greens, oranges, blues, yellows and odd shades of amber are exquisite. Some of these blob tops have the droopiest or oddest shapes you could imagine. I've tried to picture the great ones. One bottle in particular holds a special attraction for me. It's an aqua 1860's quart from Stephan Weber in Waukesha. It is the single best beer bottle I've ever found. I traded it to Sid for bottles in my primary collection. It's a beauty! He has a Hopkins mineral water always a favorite for me, and those quart Hutches. There's just something about a quart hutch that I can't resist. Sid was very hard to pin down about favorites in his collection. He likes them all. He prefers some because of rarity, some because of color still others because of the story or sentimental value behind them. Sid actually found a beer bottle scuba diving that Miller paid him $500 to rent for an advertising campaign! I guess even for me it's difficult to pick one favorite out of this collection. I can tell you his entire collection is one of my favorites! Leaving Sid's house I feel like I missed something, Like I should have looked closer or spent more time. For those of you who won't get a chance to see it in person the pictures can't do justice. Still, they are better than never seeing any of Sid's collection at all.
On behalf of every Wisconsin collector and MR.BOTTLES, thanks for sharing Sid!
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