Hutchinson Collector Profile - Jim Eifler
Posted: June 1, 2013
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COLLECTING BOTTLES? WHY BOTTLES?
I have always been a collector of things dating back to age 11 or 12,
starting with rocks and minerals which are abundant and easily found
I have a friend who I consider my mentor, Tom Leavy, a long-time collector and contributor to HutchBook.com. Tom has spent many years digging with his friend and fellow bottle legend, Jim Jack. They were the first two bottle people to take me under their wing. One day they dropped off two cases of bottles they had dug for me to go through. Most had prices that were very cheap, and the others had no prices and were free to me. Since that time we have become close friends and they have added many bottles to my collection. Luckily I have been able to return the favor on occasion. It's not easy finding bottles those two haven't come by, but when I do it's a thrill.
WERE YOU A COLLECTOR AS A CHILD? WHAT DID YOU COLLECT? HOW EARLY DID YOU START COLLECTING?
After starting with rocks and minerals, at 13 I began collecting beer
cans, eventually joining the Beer Can Collectors of America.
From 21-35 I didn't really spend much time or effort collecting
anything, and then a family friend got me interested in Royal Doulton
character jugs. I collected them
extensively for a number of years and soon amassed the largest
collection of them east of the
ARE/WERE OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS ALSO COLLECTORS?
My grandfather on my father’s side collected things over the years but I'm the only one in the family now who collects things.
WHAT IS YOUR BOTTLE
COLLECTING SPECIALTY? WHAT TYPES OF BOTTLES DO YOU COLLECT BESIDES
I collect bottles from
WHAT ARE YOUR
My favorites are the David Boyle and the George Spreitzer Hutchinsons. They both dated their bottles every year, so it makes for a very extensive collection.
David Boyle Co. - Paterson, New Jersey - pint Hutchinsons
George Spreitzer & Co. - Paterson, New Jersey - pint Hutchinsons (and one pony)
HOW DO YOU ACQUIRE BOTTLES FOR YOUR COLLECTION?
I used to dig bottles and stuff from dumps as a kid but never really thought to collect bottles. Like many kids, we used bottles for target practice, and it makes me cringe to think what we may have destroyed back then. Now I find them at flea markets, bottle shows, eBay, antiques stores, and through networking on-line on sites like antique-bottles.net and njbottles.com.
WHAT ARE THE BEST
There are some great regular and quart
NJ0454 - quart Hutchinson
NJ0483 - quart Hutchinson
I am hooked on trying to collect all the known dated examples from both
David Boyle (1897-1912) and George Spreitzer (1882-1899).
This process keeps me awake at night!
I would love to have one of every example from
HOW DO YOU DISPLAY YOUR COLLECTION?
I have two main displays set up right now – one on a stairway leading to
the second floor of my home, and the other is in my living room.
I picked up two fireplace mantels at a local garage sale for $10
figuring I could use them in my office to display bottles.
They are heavy and deep and I knew they could handle a lot of
weight and I wouldn't have to worry about the bottles “walking” due to
normal vibration and falling off. I
then saw a nice display using similar shelves on Antique-Bottles.net and
I started to seek them out on Craigslist and anyplace I could find them
cheap locally. I ended up using
two six foot long shelves top and bottom, with two five footers
side-by-side in between. I
am very happy with the results. The
two five footers have quart
DO YOU ALSO COLLECT "GO-WITH" ITEMS?
I'm always looking to add “go-withs,” be it bottle caps, signs, photos, letters and anything else pertaining to the hobby. There are a few people who think I put too much time and effort into it, but that's just who I am and I don't see that changing. I tend to post too much on the bottle forums, and some folks don't like that, but it has led to many great contacts over the years.
HOW DO YOU RESEARCH YOUR BOTTLES?
I spend a lot of time talking
I'm also a bit of a crazy person when it comes to on-line searches on
Google. I spend many hours
typing in different variations of the names of
Thanks to Charlie Jonsen, the fine gentleman who started njbottles.com,
I have been able to find a lot of family history information for a
decent amount of
WHAT BOTTLE-RELATED WEB SITES DO YOU VISIT FREQUENTLY (OTHER THAN HUTCHBOOK.COM, OF COURSE!)?
I use njbottles.com and Antique-Bottles.net everyday. I also use sodasandbeers.com, ricksbottleroom.com, sha.org, glassbottlemarks.org, fohbc.org, bottlemysteries.com, and pre-pro.com. I am also a member of the Facebook sites for Bottle Collecting, Bottle Selling and Stoneware and Pottery.
HOW HAS YOUR COLLECTING BEEN INFLUENCED BY OTHER COLLECTORS?
Tom Leavy has been the biggest influence on me and my collection.
He never lets you leave his house without a bottle, and the
research he has spent so many hours gathering has been invaluable to me.
I learn so much regarding the
bottlers and brewers that the bottles themselves seem to take a back
seat to the actual history, and for someone like me that's fine.
I love discovering how one
bottler took over for another, or how a certain building was used in the
1870-80s by one company, then in the 1880-90s by another, and right on
down the line. I can never repay
Tom for everything he has helped me with, and can only hope to use that
information properly and to record it for those who want to collect or
I have also been lucky enough to make numerous friendships on many of
the bottle sites and that has led to many bottles being traded or bought
that I may have never come across otherwise.
I am friends with Connor Rush, a
young collector of
DO YOU COLLECT SOMETHING(S) OTHER THAN BOTTLES?
I still collect anything from
HOW CAN OTHERS CONTACT YOU?
I can be contacted via EMail at
I am happy to help with anything bottle-related, even if it
doesn't pertain to