Wisconsin antique bottle and advertising club
Have you seen these photo galleries?  If not, you need to.

Have you seen these photo galleries? If not, you need to.

Put on a seat belt because some of these photos will blow you away.

The photo galleries on this site contain pics of some of the best examples of super-rare and beautiful old bottles, early Wisconsin Pottery and Advertising items from top private collections. Many are so rare that you will probably never see any of them in person in your lifetime. Each gallery has a small number of great pieces. Topics include:

Soda Bottles
Bitters Bottles
Blob Soda Bottles
Advertising Signs
Colored Hutch Soda Bottles
Colored Quart Soda Bottles
Stoneware Bottles
Advertising Shot Glasses (Pre-Pro)
Beer & Ale Bottles
Whitewater Earthenware
W.D. Mosier Pottery
Charles Hermann & Co Stoneware
O.F. Baker Stoneware
Whiskey Backbar bottles
and more

Click the photo to see them all.
Author: Peter Maas
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New Discovery - Early Math. Kramer soda from Colby Wisconsin

New Discovery - Early Math. Kramer soda from Colby Wisconsin

Previously only known to collectors from a fragment

Colby is located halfway between Green Bay and Minneapolis.  It's near the bend in Hwy 29 and it's so small the "Thank you for visiting Colby" sign is painted on the backside of the "Welcome to Colby" sign. Population about 1,500. That a bottler was in business there in the early 1880's is astonishing. The bottle is a hutch styled similar to a Matthew Gravitating Stopper bottle.  It is embossed MATH KRAMER COLBY WIS and WIS GLASS CO. MILW on the bottom. According to Roger Peters Kramer bottled soda and beer between 1881 and 1883.  The lip is applied.  There were several other bottlers that operated there later but this is the earliest bottle known do far.

Author: Henry Hecker
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J.F. Dallinger Milwaukee and Tacoma

J.F. Dallinger Milwaukee and Tacoma

The J.F. Dallinger hutch from Milwaukee is relatively rare. Recently, a nearly identical variety of this bottle appeared on eBay except that it was embossed with the city of Tacoma, Washington instead of Milwaukee. Then another eBay listing appeared for the Milwaukee variety with a paper label. It was being sold by a different Tacoma area seller who was a descendant of Joseph Dallinger. The seller had a pair of Dallinger Milwaukee bottles with paper labels that had passed down in his family. They were generic stock labels without Dallinger’s name printed on them.
This article gives some background on Joseph Dallinger’s soda business which lasted just a couple of years in the Milwaukee and Tacoma.
Author: Bob Libbey
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The Great Waukesha Springs Era

The Great Waukesha Springs Era

A great new book on Waukesha mineral springs!

"The Great Waukesha Springs Era tells the story of a time gone by. From 1868-1918, Waukesha, Wisconsin was a center of the mineral spring water industry. Following the discovery of the healing powers of Bethesda Spring by Colonel Richard Dunbar in 1868, the mineral springs industry grew by leaps and bounds.
At first, people crowded the city to taste the healing waters. Then, as the rich and famous visited the city, it became a social center and a family vacation destination. It was called the Saratoga of the West. Finally, large regional and national bottlers established plants in the city.
This book, written by club member John M. Schoenknecht, tells the story of each of Waukesha's springs. Schoenknecht paints a picture of this fabulous time and the sad decline.
This Second Revised Edition of over 380 pages has over 60 new pages and hundreds of new photos from Mr. Schoenknecht’s private collection." Click on the book for a link to the ordering page.
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Otto Zwietusch

Otto Zwietusch

Otto Zwietusch was a prolific inventor and manufacturer of soda bottling apparatus and soda in Milwaukee from the 1860’s through the 1880’s in Milwaukee. His business sold bottling apparatus and equipment to soda bottlers throughout the US. Some of the interesting items used by his business include some great bottles, stoneware and bottling apparatus including these hand-hammered copper vessels which were probably used for bottling soda. The article tells the story of the man, his business and the artifacts he left behind.
Author: Peter Maas
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New Book on Wisconsin Sodas

New Book on Wisconsin Sodas

Coming soon!

When club member Roger Peters published his authoritative work on soda bottles in 1996 titled Wisconsin Soda Water Bottles 1845 to 1918 he set a new standard for books of this type. It includes historical sketches of bottling companies, hand-retouched B&W photos of every variety, copies of advertising & photos and even prices. It is a comprehensive work that included virtually every soda water bottle known at the time of publication. The book is long out of print but Roger is in the final stages of publishing an updated version of this book. Roger is also working on another book on Painted Label sodas from Wisconsin and a third on Wisconsin crown top sodas. We don't have an estimated publication date but the collecting community eagerly awaits all three.
Author: Roger Peters
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A Bottle, a Murder and a Mystery – John Bollow

A Bottle, a Murder and a Mystery – John Bollow

Waukesha soda bottler John Bollow failed to return from a delivery in July of 1889. Later his horses arrived at his home with the delivery wagon and there was blood on the seat. Fearing the worst, his family set out on a search for John. They found him propped up against a tree, shot in the head apparently with his own gun in what looked like a suicide. However, the blood on the wagon and missing cash told a different story.
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Colonel N.P Iglehart and the Oakton Springs, Pewaukee, WI

Colonel N.P Iglehart and the Oakton Springs, Pewaukee, WI

On May 13, 2014, the Pewaukee Historical Society hosted the MABAC monthly meeting in its visitor center building on the Asa Clark Museum property. Over 40 Society and club members attended and were treated to a presentation on the life of Col. Nicolas P. Iglehart, an early hotel and mineral springs owner in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. The presentation by Henry Hecker, a long-time member of MABAC, was a culmination of his research on the Oakton Spring Water Company and Oakton Springs Hotel which entrepreneur Iglehart ran in the 1870’s.
The presentation covered Iglehart’s illustrious public and private life with special focus on his last four years of his life in Pewaukee. Henry showed a number of artifacts related to Oakton Springs including a stereopticon photo of the hotel and a 3 gallon jug stenciled with “Oakton Springs Water.” A special treat was the fact that the Kirley family, the current owners of the Octagon house in Pewaukee were in the audience. Colonel Iglehart lived in the Octagon house during his stay in Pewaukee. The Kirley’s were thrilled to learn about Iglehart and shared some of the ghost stories of this incredible home.
A number of Historical Society members were able to augment Henry’s research during open discussion. Finally, the most amazing part of the meeting was the appearance of a previously unknown 3 gallon Oakton Springs stoneware jug brought to the meeting by the Sampsons, Pewaukee residents. The jug is a family heirloom that has remained in Pewaukee for almost 150 years and will someday likely find a home in the Museum collection.
Author: Henry Hecker
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M. Kom Mineral Water / Great Western

M. Kom Mineral Water / Great Western

Wisconsin’s earliest bottle?

When this bottle was dug in Kenosha there was some speculation that it could be a Wisconsin or Illinois bottle. It seemed improbable given the color and the fact that it has the look of an 1840’s bottle. When another example turned up in Ashippun Wisconsin northwest of Milwaukee research efforts intensified but still no hard evidence was found. An article in the May-June 2014 edition of Bottles & Extras by Tod von Mechow speculated that it could be Wisconsin. Definitive proof finally surfaced in an advertisement in an obscure all-German Milwaukee newspaper. The March 1850 ad identified it as Michael Kom’s Lemon Mineral Water which he bottled on Huron Street in Milwaukee. This just might be Wisconsin’s earliest embossed bottle. Others from about the same time period include the Taylor & Bothers’ cobalt sided soda and Blossom’s Badger black glass ale. Click on the photo to read the full article.
Author: Peter Maas
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Wisconsin Stoneware Bottles

Wisconsin Stoneware Bottles

There are over 150 different varieties of stoneware bottles from Wisconsin - far more that any of the surrounding states. Why were they so popular here? They don't have a maker's mark, so what potteries made them? None have survived with paper labels so it's unclear what products they were even used for. Any why did many bottlers use both glass and stoneware bottles at the same time? The earliest marked stoneware bottles from Wisconsin are from the 1850's and by the 1880's they began to quickly fall out of favor. By the turn of the century they had become obsolete. Why did that happen?

This article explores these and other questions about this fascinating category of early Wisconsin bottles.
Author: Peter Maas
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