Interest in bottle collecting in the Baltimore area has been generated by the fact that Baltimore had such a long, rich history in the manufacture of bottles and other glass products. Glass production ranked as Baltimore's 3rd top industry at its peak during the 19th century. The Baltimore Glassworks, for example, was an excellent producer of a broad variety of bottles during that era. Many of these bottles were dug by individuals in sites all over the city and surrounding counties. This led to the fascinating hobby of antique bottle collecting with a predominant focus on bottles manufactured in Baltimore..
The club meets usually on the 2nd Friday of the month at 7:30 p.m. from September through June at Loch Raven High School (see Meetings Page for schedule and details). Every meeting includes a program, which may involve a speaker presentation or participation from the members. Prior to the meetings, members bring in bottles from their collections or those recently acquired to display or sell. In addition, other opportunities exist at the meetings to show and discuss bottles, socialize, answer questions from new collectors, and participate in drawings for bottle prizes. A popular feature is the Theme Bottle segment where members bring in bottles that are connected in some way-even marginally-to an event in the month the meeting takes place. The club provides refreshments.
Among the club's activities are special events, such as the annual summer picnic and the Holiday Party (during the December meeting) where music, prizes, games and good food add to the festive atmosphere. In addition, we present the club's annual Distinguished Service Award at the Holiday Party-a tradition which began in 1999-to a long time member of the club who provided excellent service to the club over the years and continue to be active. We publish an excellent newsletter, the Baltimore Bottle Digger, which contains interesting articles, information and club news. The newsletter is published 10 months a year (none in July or August).
One of the key reasons for the club's success is that we produce the largest bottle show in the world with over 300 tables containing excellent examples of bottles, jars, pottery, advertising, jugs and small antiques. All types of bottles are available in all price ranges. We enjoy the reputation for putting on one of the finest bottle shows anywhere with dealers setting up from over 20 states and 3 foreign countries. With the low admission of $3, a person attending can browse and purchase bottles to add to or begin his or her collection, have bottles appraised by club experts and view educational displays. Last March nearly 1,400 attended our show. The club's 28th Annual Show and Sale takes place on March 2, 2008 at the Physical Education Center, Community College of Baltimore County-Essex Campus. It is one of the most anticipated bottle shows by members of the bottle community. For more information, click Show link.
In addition, the club has published two sold-out editions of the Baltimore Bottle Book-a listing by bottle category of all known embossed bottles manufactured in Baltimore from 1920-1990. The 3rd edition is now available. To order a book, click Book link.
The club has an extensive library of bottle-related titles. To find out about our list of books and borrowing procedures, call 410-458-9405 or e-mail Rick Lease at . One must be a club member to borrow from the library.
As part of the club's mission, we offer a scholarship to deserving students at Loch Raven High School-the site of the club meetings-and to the Social Studies Department at the school and provides financial contributions to other nonprofit institutions related to the hobby. The annual scholarship is called the Keith S. Miceli Memorial Scholarship named after a young club member who was about to teach autistic children following his graduation from college, but who tragically died in an accidental fall several years ago.
There are approximately 150 memberships in 13 states including the District of Columbia. Dues are only $8 per year for a Single membership and $12 for a Family. A Membership Form is available by clicking Membership. A membership badge is issued at the meeting, which not only lets other members call you by name but also entitles you to a free drawing at the end of a meeting for a bottle or other item(s) the club or members donated.
The Baltimore Antique Club has since 1970 embodied compassion, brotherhood, spirit and contributions to all aspects of the hobby. That's what makes this a special club.