Memphis Moves Bottle Show Into a Brave New World

Photo Caption:  Gene Bradberry Display of TENN-COLA products (left) reveal a Made In Tennessee theme.  Mike Elling shares the first NEHI calendar GIRL AT THE LIFEBOAT along with NEHI bottles  from Mississippi bottlers 1926-1992.

From our Inbox: a humorous show report by Mike Elling -- enjoy!

Memphis Moves Bottle Show Into a Brave New World

All Bottlers:  Gene Bradberry and the boys (and gals) who work the Memphis Antique Bottle & Advertising Show [Sept. 29, 2012] have been doing so now for some 27 years.  The only difference this year was the show moved from the Fairgrounds in west Memphis into the Agricenter International Convention Facility in east Memphis, off Germantown Road.  But what we did not know was we attracted a whole new crowd of people who had never been to a bottle and advertising show before!  The entire Saturday was spent with a bunch of tire kickers.  But, we tried to explain things for their benefit :

Do you mean you people actually collect this stuff?  An observer from the Gun Show next door to us said.  Well, when was the last time you went to a fast food restaurant and was served in glass bowls?  I said, Nothing is served in glass anymore at McDonald’s.
Why is a Smith Brothers Cough Drops sign worth $300?  A lady wanted to know from over at the Stamp Show.  Because then, you could trust the medicine you were getting.  Today, you can’t be sure of anything you order off the iNternet! came the reply.
$1500 for a cast iron hand that held a Whistle Vess soda bottle?  came the cry of a neighbor who walked to the show from an adjacent subdivision.  Yes! and if you think that is hard, try to find the hand mounted on its original wooden post, was the confidential advice.
All the guys I grew up with thought it was cool to throw a [returnable glass Coca-Cola] bottle over the tree tops and to skip them across the river!  said a good old boy from the 1960s.   I rejoined, All the guys I grew up with saved their Coke bottles and are now financing their retirement with them!
... And the repartee continued for the rest of the day.

Gene indicated there were just over 200 paid admissions, eight educational displays, 60 dealers and 97 sales tables.  Not bad for a new location easy to find with good lighting and plenty of free parking!  Nearby gas stations were selling regular for $3.47.


Findlay Antique Bottle Club
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