Everyone's Talking About the Muncie Fruit Jar Collectors January 2016 Show

Shared on our Facebook page:

The January 2016 hotel/room-hopping 3-day event was very well attended, the usual suspects, as well as so many new attendees. 

Yes, this is a bunch of jar nuts!

As one commenter put it: "It's always fun but this year was great for several reasons. The biggest reason was all the new faces in the hallways. Not just new collectors but seasoned collectors who had never been to the Muncie circus. It was exciting, it was rewarding (new stock), and it was enjoyable to no end. It was great to see the old heads again, but so refreshing to meet new people who had never been here before and willing to part with cash for quality goods. "

Read more on the Muncie Fruit Jar Get Together @ the Ball Jar Collectors Forum -- link.

There's a Facebook page for the Muncie event -- just ask to join to see all the fun photos - link.

A few more jar collectors at the club meeting. 

"Only at Muncie do ya drink alcohol from a clear Christmas Mason pint!!!"
[Photo of Jim Sears by Leslie Fairchild]

Lots of jars set up in the rooms -- what did you miss? Plan on attending next year!

Read about the excitement that is Muncie here.

Join the Facebook Fruit Jar collectors group here.

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Fizzy Origins of the Torpedo Shape Soda Bottle

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Fun article on history of TORPEDO BOTTLES (read it here).

"Torpedo shaped bottles appear… at the end of the 18th century. The glass bottles made at the time were often not strong enough to contain the pressure of the gas and could explode (the bottom blew off). Glass capable of holding fizzy liquids was only made in Britain at the time and was very expensive; as a result it was reserved for expensive liquids such as Champaign. The torpedo shape allowed cheaper glass to maintain the necessary strength to hold carbonated drinks."

And of course someone then invented the “torpedo bottle stand”, even though torpedo bottles were designed not to stand up.

"The majority of these bottles - round bottomed or torpedo - date from the 1870s to the 1910s." [Source: sha.org]

Learn more the history on that explosive FIZZ, read "And All That Fizz!"

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Antique Trader Publisher Promotes Bottle Collecting

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Antique bottles featured in Antique Trader - link - always love it when the antique trade papers give our beloved bottles the spotlight. Antique Trader features bottles often, and they have over 140,000 ''Facebook likes'' plus their website and print readers. That's a lot of people being exposed to antique bottle collecting :)

Antique Trader publishes a bottles price guide too. Use Amazon's ''Look Inside" link to get a many-page preview here.

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How To Read an Antique Bottle - Bill Lindsey Explains It All

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Great long interview with expert Bill Lindsey, about evaluating antique bottles, over on The Collectors Weekly site -- LINK..

You can learn so much about bottles on Bill Lindsey's Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website, from Bottle Typology & Diagnostic Shapes to Glassmaking & Glassmakers Marks and much more.

How many kinds of bottles are there? Zillions. In 1906 the Illinois Glass Company listed their available shapes in a 300 page catalog -- wow! See it here.

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Elephants and Doves for Dinner: Jumbo Peanut Butter and Dove Brand Spices

Contributing writer Joe Clevenger gives us his latest article on Cincinnati, Ohio's Frank Tea & Spice Co.'s JUMBO PEANUT BUTTER.

(If the scrolling pdf viewer box doesn't load, click to read it here.)

Thanks, Joe!

The Frank Tea and Spice Company made DOVE BRAND spices and products as well as JUMBO Peanut Butter.

As we posted before (back at the 2010 Muncie show, video here), the green glass figural elephant Jumbo Peanut Butter bank jars have been reproduced.

A real one sold for $575 on the North American Glass (NAG) auction site's Jumbo jar collection auction. (Link)

This photo shows a side-by-side comparison.


There is even a Frank/Bitters connection. Read about the Prairie and Plantation Bitters figural cabin bitters bottle here on Peachridge Glass.


Speaking of elephants and doves...

That was how the artist Frieda Kahlo's parents referred to petite Frieda and her large husband, Diego Rivera. [Source]


Here's a little history on the real JUMBO the Elephant:

Jumbo (ca. Christmas 1860 – September 15, 1885) was the first international animal superstar, and the first African elephant to reach modern Europe alive.[1] He was born inEast Africa, and captured there by Arabian hunters in early 1862. He was sold first to an Italian animal dealer, then to a menagerie in Germany, and then to the Jardin des Plantes inParis. Officials of the Jardin traded him to the London Zoological Gardens for a rhinoceros. Jumbo lived in the London Zoo for about 16 years, where he delighted visitors by taking them on trips around the zoo grounds in thehowdah on his back.

Jumbo was the biggest elephant in captivity. Due to this,American showman P. T. Barnum wanted Jumbo in hiscircus, eventually buying the elephant in 1882 for $10,000. Jumbo's sale initiated public outrage in Britain, and drew notice around the world. The British objected to the sale, and wrote letters to Queen Victoria urging that Jumbo remain in London. The courts ruled in Barnum's favor however, and the elephant was shipped to the United States. "Jumbomania", a fad for all things Jumbo, was born at this time. The civilized world was flooded with Jumbo neckties, jewelry, soaps, and other ornaments and souvenirs.
Jumbo debuted in the United States on Easter Sunday 1882 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He toured with Barnum's circus for three years. On September 15, 1885, Jumbo was killed in a railway accident in St. Thomas,OntarioCanada, at age 24. His death was met with worldwide grief and sorrow.
Barnum sued the railway, but settled for much less than he asked because he needed the goodwill of the railway to move his circus around Canada. Many conspiracy theories sprang up after Jumbo's death. One accused Barnum of causing the elephant's death with a pistol shot to the animal's eye. This theory was proven false after an examination of Jumbo's skull.
Jumbo attracted as much attention after his death as he did in life. His hide was stuffed and his bones preserved. Both were displayed first with Barnum's circus, and then with museums. Jumbo was donated to the Barnum museum at Tufts University where it became the school mascot. His hide was destroyed in a fire at Tufts in 1975. His skeleton was displayed for many years in the American Museum of Natural History, New York City. As time passed, people forgot who Jumbo was, and the skeleton was put away. Jumbo's greatest legacy is his name. "

Above excerpt is from Wikipedia. Read much more about Jumbo there: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumbo

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JARS-uary 2016 ~ Fruit Jar Show / Muncie IN / Big Collectors Multi-Day Event / January 2016

It's that time of year again: JARS-UARY!

The Winter Muncie Fruit Jar Show Collectors Event is Almost Here! 

January 7, 8, 9, & 10, 2016 in Muncie, Indiana

The January Muncie event, with the infamous 3-days (DAZE!) of room-hopping including the Saturday Get Together Meeting & Auction at the Baymont Inn Hotel, all followed by the big Sunday Fruit Jar & Bottle show at the Horizon Center.



Some very serious collectors will start arriving in Muncie on Wednesday, so you'd better book your hotel room NOW -- you don't want to miss a minute of the fun.

The Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club of Muncie IN is putting on their January fruit jar collectors event, the "Muncie Fruit Jar Show & Get Together", with collectors and dealers coming from all over the U.S. 

The Muncie Fruit Jar Shows are well-known for the amazing and rare items brought for sale, for the outstanding educational collector-displays exhibited during the show, as well as for the great group of fruit jar enthusiasts who treat this multi-day event like a combination convention/club meeting/reunion.

  • So, it's room-hopping at the Baymont Inn hotel on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, January 7, 8, 9 2016. 

Then on to the Horizon Center on SUNDAY 

  • Horizon Convention Center is in downtown Muncie, at 401 South High Street. 
  • NOTE: There is construction in the area. Call show chairman for directions.
  • Displayers set up at 6:30 am, dealers at 7:00 am 
  • Doors open to the public at 9:00 am. Show lasts until 2:00 pm. 
  • Admission is $2. 

Join us for the world-famous "Room-Hop-Shopping" at the Baymont Inn Hotel before the show, on Thursday-Saturday. The hotel is located at 3400 N Chadam Ln Muncie IN 47304 (GOOGLE MAPS LINK)

The public is welcome! You do NOT need to have a room at the hotel to come visit and room-hop-shop. We encourage new collectors to stop by and see what we're up to, and learn a little something about fruit jars.

Fruit jar collectors spend several days at the hotel before the Sunday "official" show, sharing and trading. A few tall-stories are told, too, all adding to the fun. Groups of friends, old and newly-made, often head out for lunch or dinner at area restaurants. The room-hop-shopping continues until late in the night, and starts again early each morning, after the hotel's complimentary breakfast, and lots of coffee!

On Saturday the Jelly-Jammers Club holds their meeting, and then there is the Midwest Club's meeting, open to all, followed by a lively open-consignment/fee-free auction. 

Then the official show set-up is early Sunday morning, at the Horizon Center in downtown Muncie, a quick drive from the hotel. The show opens to the public at 9am, ending at 2pm, when the dealers pack up and head home, weary but happily reminiscing about the good time they had being with other collectors who speak the special language of Munice, Fruit-Jar-ese!

Read my show reports on the 2011 Winter Muncie show and the 2012 Winter Event -- with lots of pix! Read this jar forum's posts about Muncie.

The Saturday meeting schedule and Sunday show details are here on the Midwest Fruit Jar Club's website --http://fruitjar.org/

For more SHOW INFO and dealer-tables, contact Dave Rittenhouse @ 765-468-8091

For HOTEL ROOMS, contact Baymont Inn -- 765-284-4200  -- 3400 N Chadam Ln Muncie IN (hotel website)

Attention -- if you're planning on staying at the hotel, it is not called Signature Inn anymore. It is now a BAYMONT INN -- same phone number -- double check your reservations.

Again: The actual ''show'' will be held SUNDAY JANUARY 10, 2016 at the Horizon Convention Center 401 S High St Muncie IN 47304, and open to the public 9am-2pm, with $2 admission, and free parking. 

CONTACT: Dave Rittenhouse @ 765-468-8091 or Dick Cole @ dcole@netdirect.net
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Santa Sells Billy Baxter's Red Raven Splits Advertising, Bottles

Red Raven Splits for the Morning After Christmas -- or after those wild New Year's Eve parties!

Billy Baxter's RED RAVEN SPLITS... for the morning after 

So, let's "Ask the Man"... what is a Red Raven Split? 

Not an alcoholic beverage, it was sold as a hang-over cure, so it was sold in bars as well as restaurants, hotels, and stores. Started in the 1890s, and still around after Prohibition, it apparently met it's demise when the FDA started regulating things. The company then marketed Billy Baxter soft drinks for a short while.

But you're still wondering, what's a Red Raven Split, right? Not a sweet soft drink, it was an aperient water, somewhat bitter, similar to Pluto Water or Hunyadi Janos, sold in a small bottle. 


aperients - definition . medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/aperients n a substance with the ability to purge the digestive system of a given agent. aperient. 1. mildly cathartic. 2. a gentle purgative. ~ From the Latin for ''to open'' 

Glossary of wine terms -
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_wine_terms Split: A wine bottle that holds approximately 6 oz  

FDA1930 -- The name of the Food, Drug, and Insecticide Administration is shortened to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under an agricultural appropriations act. 
1933 -- FDA recommends a complete revision of the obsolete 1906 Food and Drugs Act. The first bill is introduced into the Senate, launching a five-year legislative battle. 
1938 -- The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FDC) Act of 1938 is passed by Congress, containing new provisions:

  • Extending control to cosmetics and therapeutic devices.
  • Requiring new drugs to be shown safe before marketing-starting a new system of drug regulation.
  • Eliminating the Sherley Amendment requirement to prove intent to defraud in drug misbranding cases.
  • Providing that safe tolerances be set for unavoidable poisonous substances.
  • Authorizing standards of identity, quality, and fill-of-container for foods.
  • Authorizing factory inspections.
  • Adding the remedy of court injunctions to the previous penalties of seizures and prosecutions.

And Who Is Billy Baxter?

Billy Baxter was the alter ego, if you will, of William J. Kountz, Jr., the man who started the Red Raven Corp. and the Duquesne Distributing Co of Harmerville, Alleghany County, PA.  It looks like Duquesne was incorporated in 1892

It's difficult to tell which came first: the concept of selling Red Raven Splits or Kountz's writings about Billy Baxter's wild revelries. It appears that Kountz wrote a humorous booklet called One Night In New York Society, which was well received in gentleman's clubs, bars, etc. with patrons reading the stories out loud, and clamoring for more. 

Kountz quickly penned several more booklets, and now they included advertising for his product, Red Raven Splits. Was that the plan all along? Orders started coming in for more books, and, 'oh, what the heck, some of the bottled water too'. 

As printed in Kountz's 1899 book, Billy Baxter's Letters -- 

"Issued by the Duquesne Distributing Co. to show its great love for the American people, and to incidentally advertise the Red Raven Splits." 

According to an entertaining article in Mahin's Magazine (a business magazine about using advertising techniques), published in 1902 [read text here or see images below], this was an original and hugely successful stealth/gorilla advertising campaign. The books were hugely popular, with 1,000s printed. You can find them easily on ebay. The books were profitable in and of themselves, in addition to the Red Raven Splits business. 

While Red Raven Co. continued selling Splits on into the early 1930s, and then marketed Billy Baxter labeled soft drinks for just a few more years, alas, poor WJ Kountz did not last as long. He died of peritonitis, even before the 1902 article was published. Perhaps his stories of Billy Baxter's drinking fun were drawn from life. And Red Raven Splits was born out of a personal need for a hang-over cure. 

After all, one of the later advertising slogans was: For High Livers' Livers.


Peritonitis - Causes  www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Peritonitis/Pages/Causes.aspx

The most common cause of primary spontaneous peritonitis is liver disease, such as cirrhosis (scarring of the liver usually caused by alcohol abuse).


Red Raven Splits and Billy Baxter Advertising Image Gallery 

Red Raven succeeded with advertising tag lines like:


"Ideal Laxative for Women ... for Sale in All Drug Stores and Fully Guaranteed... Red Raven Splits. Duquesne Distributing Co."

"Red Raven Splits Laxative Water. For the morning after...only Red Raven Splits will bring you back. Red Raven Splits did the trick before Prohibition...is ready for you now at every fine hotel, club, drug store, grocer."

Dennis Rogers shared his 24" tin charger. 

A great store window photo published on Shorpy.com.

1916 ad

Billy Baxter items:

1936 ad and 1932 bottle.

The 1902 article from Mahin's advertising magazine:

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