Bottle collecting is the third most popular hobby in the United States and Troup County apparently is no exception as locals lined up Saturday to have their treasures appraised by two experts.
John Joiner of Newnan and Bill Baab of Augusta patiently sat and talked to person after person who brought their bottles to the Legacy Museum on Main. The museum’s exhibit on bottling will end in a couple of weeks and the bottle history and appraisal day was a way to close the event.
“I just saw it advertised,” said Lois Hunt, who collects Coca-Cola bottles and other items. “I had no idea if it was worth anything.”
One of Hunt’s bottles was made in LaGrange and dates to 1902, she was told.
Basil Young brought his bottles – some of which he collected in Guam in the 1970s – so the experts could get a look. Neither he or Hunt have any interest in selling their bottles, but enjoyed hearing their histories and what they might be worth.
Baab, 77, has collected bottles in his Augusta home since he was an outdoor writer in 1969. When he was on a hunting assignment on what is now Cumberland Island, the hunt didn’t work out, but the host gave a tour of the island, including the Dungeness ruins. Everyone was encouraged to take home a ginger ale bottle, which was made to lay on its side so the cork wouldn’t change shape.
“I didn’t come home with any ducks, just bottles in my game vest,” Baab said.
In 1971, he founded the Georgia-Carolina Empty Bottle Club, named such that people wouldn’t think it was a drinking group and went on to collect and write about many more bottles.
“I just love the hobby,” he said. “We look at bottles as works of art.”