View Full Version : E G Booz returns home after 39 years!!

04-26-2011, 02:34 AM
Here is the latest to my original Booz collecton,a very pretty mostly Red,Orange, a little yellow in the corners and maybe a little light Amber mixed in for color. Most Booz bottles are dark to light amber this one is clearly more red orange then amber.The bottle is about perfect, a couple of small scratches probably from my own shovel Here is how I got it back........
When I was 12 years old in 1972 I dug an original Booz bottle in a very clean dump on a hillside just off of the Mantua creek in my home town of Mantua New Jersey.There was a house we passed every day on Norris Street where my friend Jerry Miller lived.His father Bob Miller had a very nice collection of old bottles he had found in the previous 40 years.In particular he had a nice collection of bitters bottles I had always admired.He also had two Clevenger Booz bottles which I thought were very neat looking.When ever we would find a nice cache of newly dug bottles we would show them to Mr. Miller and get his opinion.

One day and I will never forget it as it had poured for two straight previous days. I strolled to the dump by myself without my digging buddy David Montanaro.When I got there it was a muddy mess and was about to pack it in when in a bank of dirt I was digging uphill ,the shiny corner of this bottle caught my eye.I thought it was an amber medicine bottle which we had found quite a few of.As I dug around it almost not carefully I realized that the bottle was much larger then I thought it would be.When I eventually pulled it out already at my ripe old age of 12 I knew what I had found because of Mr. Miller and his Clevenger made versions or at least I thought I knew what I had found.

I raced down to the creek and washed out the bottle and it was very clean and in great condition.I just found a Clevenger Booz.Now I had a Booz bottle .I had found a bottle just like in Mr.Millers collection He had explained to me about the difference in value between a real Booz and the Clevenger but I was twelve and to me I had just found a very neat bottle.I knocked on Mr.Millers door but he was not home so I took the bottle to my friend Davids house.His mom answered and said he was sick and couldn't come out .So now I just walked home.I proudly showed my mom but she couldnt understand the attraction I had for them.

Well I knew Mr Miller would want to see the bottle so after dinner I walked back to his house.I knocked and he answered the door and I said look what I found today and pulled the bottle out from my metal bucket.He looked like he had seen a ghost and said my GOD where did you get that ,while the whole time never taking his eyes off of it.I told him I had found it right down the street at our dump we had found.Mr Miller invited me in and told me to sit down because he had very good news for me.He proceeded to tell me that the bottle was in fact an original and that it was worth quite a bit of money,that it was very rare and how lucky I was to have found it.

He told me again like before when he had told me how he had always wanted one of these his whole life.As he held it he literally began to cry and he told me how lucky I was to have found it .I told him I wanted to show the bottle to my parents again and tell them it was worth a lot of money.I ran back home 3 blocks away and again showed my mom the same bottle I had shown her before.Just like earlier in the day to her it was worthless and Mr. Miller and I were crazy. To this day my Mom and Dad could give a rats a__ about my bottles or any bottles for that matter.To them they are just bottles .Mr. Miller on the other hand had always desired one of these and I knew it.

Bottles were just a small hobby in my life at the time sports were much more important to me and that is probably true to some degree to this day.Well long story short I liked some of Mr. Millers bitters bottles and I knew he had doubles of some of them so I put the Booz on the trading block a couple of days later. One Booz for the following bottles.One National Bitters,a Drakes bitters,a Dr. Fishs bitters and a Perrine's Apple Ginger Bitters and some pontiled Soda and beer bottles .To me 10 to 1 seemed like a great deal and to this day it is not such a bad deal as these 4 bitters alone and the other pontiled bottles are great bottles.Well the Booz bottle stayed with Mr. Miller for another 25 years until he passed away.The millers had an estate sale and the bottle was purchased by a gentleman who had the bottle until this past week end.

I have a friend Ben who is a licensed appraiser and auctioneer who always alerts me to auctions he has when there are items of interest to me.He called me last week and told me of this locale estate sale in a small town.He told me there were quite a few bottles for bid and I might want to come look at them.Usually they are common old bottles form the late 1800s found by the farmers when they would plow their fields.I think I might have purchased maybe 5 bottles in 25 years I have known Ben.Well this weekend (Saturday) would prove differently.He called me last Tuesday and I previewed the auction.One of his workers was straightening out the bottle table when this Booz bottle caught my eye.I slowly made my way over to the table and in 5 seconds I knew the bottle was an original Booz bottle.I have taught myself well on the differences between the real and the fakes!!It was hard to contain myself but told Ben I would definitely be back for the sale on Saturday.

It was the day of the auction and I was sweating and the other items were going fast.They were now up to the bottles and they also were going pretty quiclkley.Honestly I didn't think I had a chance as I saw several people looking at and holding the bottle prior to and during the auction.Ben was now up to item number 428. He stated the following: Here we have an old whiskey bottle that is labled as follows. E C BOOZ OLD CABIN WHISKEY on one side of the roof and the other side says 1840.On one the side of the bottle it says 120 WALNUT ST PHILADELPHIA and the other side it says E C BOOZ OLD CABIN WHISKEY just like on the roof. The bottle is shaped like a house.The most I had planned on spending was $400.00

I have an opening bid of $30.00 and the bids were in $5.00 increments.................I bid first and then a woman about 60 years old bumped it up to $35.00,I bid $40.00 She bid $45.00 I bid $50.00 , she bid $55.00 a couple of other people also bid.I bid again and it went back and forth until it was at $100.00 my bid.The auctioneer informed us now that bid increments were $20.00 a bid. She quickly raised her hand for $120.00 I said $140.00,she said $160.00 I said $180.00,she was about to bid when someone behind her told her very loudly that the bottle was a CLEVENGER BOTTLE he was a collector and it wasn't worth anywhere near what we were bidding it wasn't the real Booz bottle.She thought about it for a couple of seconds and She listened to him and stopped bidding.

The next thing I heard was the sehhhhhhhhhhweetest sound of Humina-Humina-Humina-Humina. GOING ONCE,Humina-Humina-Humina-Humina. GOING TWICE............................................. ............. SOLD.....
At the end I paid my $180.00 and 18 percent consignment fee along with sales tax.227.27......................As I turned around to leave I heard someone say.......That bottle is a nice reproduction Clevenger version the gentleman behind me told me, after I had just paid for it. He said he was a collector and that the bottle was the reproduction but if it had been the real Whitney one it was worth 4 or 5 thousand and that he was a collector for over 30 years and really knows his bottles and wanted the two of us to stop bidding so high that is why he got involved and told us what he knew.I thanked him and probably should have bought him lunch and dinner !! I just didn't have the heart to tell him or the woman who I was bidding against exactly what I knew!!

The best part of this whole day was when I got home to show my wife and kids who are now also Booz experts my newest acqusition.Inside the box the auction company had put the bottle in was an advertisement for their next sale and a note stating about who the collector that owned the bottle was and where he had received the bottle from.The gentleman was a very thorough collector who knew where each bottle he had came from.As I read the paper my jaw dropped to the floor Oh My GOD, Oh MY God I yelled ,my wife Judy who had left the room seconds earlier rushed back in thinking the worst and said WHAT IS THE MATTER is everything alright? I told her this was the bottle I had found when I was 12 years old and had traded it for these bottles and I pointed to some of the bitters bottles on my top shelf of my display cabinet.How do you know she asked how do you know? I said look at where Mr. Williams said he got the bottle from a Mr. Robert Miller of Norris Street Mantua New Jersey.Unless Mr Miller found another one and I doubt it this really was my bottle!! It is in A-1 mint condition it looks like it was made yesterday.What a month!!


04-26-2011, 02:34 AM


04-26-2011, 02:35 AM


04-26-2011, 02:36 AM


04-26-2011, 02:39 AM
5. E G BOOZ on the roof in close.


Road Dog
04-26-2011, 07:26 AM
Awesome story Steve. Nicely written too. Nice bottle and great pics! Congrats.

04-26-2011, 08:26 AM
Wow, great story... It put a smile on my face! Amazing that you got the SAME bottle back, decades later, and for such a deal, too!

04-26-2011, 08:41 AM
That's great story and great bottle, it's amazing how things can find there way back. I guess you'll be hanging onto it for a while now.

I found a knife on a street on a trip to Calif when I was 8. We had a doctor from Australia stay with us in Mass when I was 12 and as part of the therapy at the hospital he worked at, the kids made a monogrammed sheath for it. Then I lost the knife. I kept the sheath and 20 years later the knife turned up at my parents house when I was rebuilding the stairs to the back door. The handle was leather wrap kind and well, you figure 20 years outdoors. I carved a new handle from wood and they were reunited.
They got separated a couple times for short periods and now it's been about 4 years since I've seen the knife. I still have the sheath and I'm still waiting for the knife to come home again. I think the will.

04-26-2011, 09:17 AM
Awesome!!! awesome!!! awesome!!!
But.... how can i tell the real deal, from the " junk " ?

04-26-2011, 09:18 AM
Destiny smiles...................great story!

04-26-2011, 10:08 AM
Amazing! Glad that fellow did not keep his opinion to himself.

RED Matthews
04-26-2011, 12:10 PM
Hi to all of you, I got a big smile when I read your story Steve. Obviously it was meant to be - Congratulations.
RED Matthews

04-26-2011, 03:14 PM
I hope to be in your will Steve, hoping you live a very long life though....Jim[;)]

04-26-2011, 06:42 PM
Thanks everyone it was a neat find for sure.Here is an aerial shot of my Hometown of Mantua New Jersey.Dr Dyott would have traveled by horse and carraige right past my house on the way to Glassboro to the glass factory.The woods between my house and Glassboro 5 miles away is where the famous Gloucester Fox hunting club hunted quite often in the early to late 1700s.Most of their members would become Washingtons personal body gaurds in the years after the winter at Valley Forge when we turned the tide on the British at the battles of Washingtons crossing,Trenton and Princeton.A lot of history rolled right past my house in each direction.Google the Gloucester Fox Hunting club.


04-26-2011, 07:42 PM
Great story Steve....Glad it had a happy ending!https://www.antique-bottles.net/forum/micons/m6.gif

RED Matthews
04-26-2011, 11:16 PM
Hi Steve, There is a little paragraph to the right of the aerial picture that I couldn't pick up for my file copy. It starts out with "A little history, Thomas Carpenter --- etc. to the bottom of the picture. I tried to cut and paste it but that wouldn't work either. I love your coverage of such interesting history. RED Matthews

04-27-2011, 02:17 AM
Red there is so much glass history, and great US history all within a 40 mile radius of my current house and the one I grew up in.
I am very fortunate to live so close to all of these great places.There are over 40 glass works that operated anywhere from 1739 Wistarburgh in Salem County 16 miles south west of me,The Stangers in Glassboro 1778 just 5 miles from my home,Fislerville 1848(Clayton) home also to the Clevenger Brothers 1928,to Coffin and Hay (1820 to 1840) 20 miles south east to Hammonton,to 40 miles away south east again to Crowleytown and Greenbank 1850s,to 22 miles away in Bridgeton home to 20 different glass works between 1830 and 1900 to 25 miles away to Millville 8 glass works Wheaton village to30 miles south to Port Elizabeth.


04-28-2011, 10:20 PM
great story...sometimes i think certain things we are destined to have...

05-02-2011, 06:50 PM
Awesome story, thanks so much for sharing it, one of the best I have read in a long time.