Hi all, my name is Mike. I have been kayaking the South Shore Bays of Long Island, NY, from the East Rockaway Inlet to the Robert Moses Bridge for decades, enjoying the beauty and getting some exercise.
Years ago, while out for a kayak, I found an old bottle laying in the mud and from that moment, began the collection presented in this site. The bottles I’ve found over the years are all common and predominantly utilitarian in nature and, taken as a collection, provide insight into the needs and wants of past generations who spent time on the bays, some earning a living and some spending leisure time.
I’m retired now , so I thought I’d mix in a little research to try and answer basic questions about the people and businesses that produced the bottles. I began to track down who ran the businesses, when they started, and what they produced. Good stuff, but I also began to get a feel for the business owners; their backgrounds, what drove them, their approach to advertising, sometimes even their sense of humor.
The research also took me to a time when the people and places that make up New York were very different. Brooklyn, Queens and even uptown Manhattan were open spaces that supported dairy farms and horse drawn carriages had not yet been replaced by the automobile. I got a little feel for World War I and the sense of unified national patriotism that existed back then and for the period of National Prohibition and the impact it had not only socially but on the beer industry and New York as a whole.
So, I guess this web site is a little bit kayaking, a little bit antique bottling, a little bit people, a little bit New York, and a little bit of a journey back in time.
And Pete…Thanks for the idea and all the help!