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The FOHBC Virtual Museum has been a project in the making for over a decade. We thank all of our supporters for bringing life to this monumental project.

See below for a simple historical timeline of the origins and formation of the FOHBC Virtual Museum.

An Idea for a Virtual Museum

The Virtual Museum concept was first proposed at the FOHBC board meeting by Federation president Richard Siri in August 2009 in Pomona, Ca. at the FOHBC National Antique Bottle Show. Richard asked fellow board member Ferdinand Meyer V to head up the project and develop a presentation to board members.August 2009

Museum Conceptual Design

Ferdinand Meyer V presented Virtual Museum concepts and a budget to board members at the March 2011 Baltimore, Md. semi-annual FOHBC board meeting. The concept was approved for further development.

March 2011

Museum Fundraising Effort Begins

The FOHBC Business Manager at the time, Alan DeMaison, kicks off the Virtual Museum fundraising effort with letters and gift pledge cards sent to all FOHBC members. Alan DeMaison becomes the third director of the museum after Richard T. Siri and Ferdinand Meyer V. Alan will focus on finances and raising money.June 2012

Logo Developed for the Virtual Museum

A logo for the FOHBC Virtual Museum of Historical Bottles and Glass was developed by Ferdinand Meyer V and approved by the FOHBC board in December 2012. “American” was dropped from the original working name meaning that the museum is truly a global effort from an American perspective.

December 2012

A Gathering of Talents

Steven Libbey, from Wisconsin, assisted the Virtual Museum team in 2013 with state-of-the-art video imaging research and development.


Museum Design Development

Ferdinand Meyer V and Steven Libbey presented museum design development during a seminar at the FOHBC 2014 Lexington National Antique Bottle Show. Steven also developed a virtual museum promotional video and imaged examples during the show with his photography crew.

August 2014

Mission Statement

A FOHBC Virtual Museum Policy and Procedures document was developed along with a Mission and Goals statement. Both were approved by the FOHBC Board of Directors.

September 2014

Virtual Museum Table at the FOHBC Chattanooga National

Positioned in a prominent position within the Chattanooga Convention Center was the FOHBC Virtual Museum table. You could not miss this area with the large Virtual Museum logo banner calling for your attention and Alan and Elaine DeMaison from Painesville, Ohio who staffed the table the entire weekend. They introduced our new Virtual Museum video produced by FOHBC member Steven Libbey from Delafield, Wisconsin, fielded questions and solicited donations. Alan reported that Virtual Museum donations during the show totaled $2,670. Alan added, “The success of the table out-did my best estimate.” Existing and new donors were also given a pin which many wore proudly during the event to show their support.05-07 August 2015

Imaging Specialist

Alan DeMaison, working as museum treasurer, adds lead museum photographer and imaging specialist to his role for the Virtual Museum. He received board approval to purchase the first imaging equipment on 31 December 2015.

December 2015

Just Back from Houston

Alan DeMaison just returned from a two-day photographing session in Houston with Ferdinand Meyer V. This was the Virtual Museum’s first true imaging session of a collection. Alan was able to photograph 24 bitters bottles using the 360-spin software with background removal. The two days were very successful.13 April 2017

Reaching Out to Prominent Collectors

The Virtual Museum contacted Sandor P. Fuss in Denver, Colorado and asked for permission for an imaging visit. He said yes, asking that Ferdinand Meyer V come along with Alan DeMaison and Terry Crislip to oversee the process. About twelve or so extraordinary bitters and several great flasks were imaged. After these shots, all imagery was reviewed, cleaned, and prepped for 3-dimensional imaging. This took time as 36 rotational images are used in each 360-degree bottle rotation.20 April 2017

Virtual Museum set up at the FOHBC Springfield National

The Virtual Museum had a display showing how the spinner system of photography works. Alan DeMaison worked very hard to learn this technique and to many, it was truly amazing to see what is involved in the process. Many collectors visited with Alan over the long weekend where he imaged rare and prized examples from their collections.03-06 August 2017

Alan On The Road Out West

Alan DeMaison visited with Richard Siri in Santa Rosa, California and imaged many outstanding bitters and spirits bottles such as whiskey and bourbon for our planned Spirits Gallery.September 2017

Alan On The Road in the East

Alan DeMaison visited Mark and Andrew Vuono in Connecticut to photograph select historical flasks from this great three-generation collection. All images were processed by mid-December.October 2017

First Issue of Virtual Museum News

Virtual Museum News was announced as a new section within each issue of Bottles and Extras authored by museum founder, Richard Siri, to give our membership an update on progress for this landmark project. See first report.

November 2017

Ralph Finch Target Ball Collection

Alan DeMaison and Terry Crislip left for Michigan to image the American Glass Gallery, Ralph Finch Collection of Target Balls, Traps and Shooting Ephemera. Alan reported that he used a small black o-ring to balance the target balls for photographing. That actually proved to be the best solution. Terry and Alan were able to capture 16 spins Monday afternoon, 50 Tuesday, and another 26 on Wednesday morning for a grand total of 92 spins.26 February 2018

Virtual Museum Set-Up at the Cleveland National

Ferdinand and Alan DeMaison, museum designer and imager, were also set up on the Cleveland showroom floor demonstrating how the 3-dimensional imaging is done. Examples were culled-out from the floor dealers which allowed our archives to expand. Ferdinand also projected Bitters Gallery examples showing what the spins look like when edited. There were lots of positive comments about the process and museum progress.03-05 August 2018

Three More Major Collections Imaged out West

After the Cleveland National Convention, Alan headed west with his wife Elaine to visit their daughter and newborn boy triplets in Washington State. This gave him an opportunity to visit and image two outstanding collections in Washington. One was the jar collection of Darrell Plank where he captured 38 images of jars and the other was at Steve Hubbell’s where he imaged 36 western bitters and western whiskeys. From Washington, Alan and Elaine drove down to Anderson, California and met up with Richard Siri and his wife Beverley. The following day they visited and imaged examples from the Ken and Teenie Schwartz Museum of Western Whiskey.August 2018

Jerry McCann Jar Collection Imaged

Alan DeMaison and Terry Crislip were able to capture 75 images from the renowned jar collection of Jerry McCann and Patricia Sprang in the Chicago area.

November 2018

Phase 1 Fundraising Efforts Reached

Fundraising as of July 2019 represented $34,006.98. Development of the FOHBC Virtual Museum website continues alongside the production of various print advertisements.July 2019

Soft Opening: FOHBC Virtual Museum Website Launched!

The FOHBC Virtual Museum announced a “Soft Opening” with the opening of two Galleries, Bitters and Historical Flasks. Well over 150 items were represented in the two galleries. Day passes and museum memberships go on sale.01 January 2020

Covid-19 Pandemic

While the Covid-19 Pandemic shocks the world and changes how we live, work, and collect, the FOHBC announces that the Virtual Museum will be open and “Free” to all visitors for the foreseeable future.15 March 2020

Second West Coast Imaging Studio

Alan DeMaison, our chief imaging specialist, is working with Gina Pellegrini bringing her up to speed with the imaging process. Gina will be our west coast imaging lead. She has started imaging her father Lou’s outstanding antique food bottle collection and will be ready to take on other groups soon after such as Western sodas.October 2020

First Bottle Placed in the Virtual Museum Soda Water Gallery

It is always nice to open the door of a new gallery that has been freshly painted and set up for displaying great bottles. Today we placed our first soda water bottle in the FOHBC Virtual Museum Soda Water Gallery which is on the third floor, left-wing. We will be breaking the gallery into four regional rooms, Northeast, Southern, Midwest, and Western. This follows the FOHBC regions. This pontiled C. B. Owen Bottlers Cincinnati is from the recently imaged Doug Shutler collection.20 November 2020

Fifer Collection Imaged

Terry Crislip and Alan DeMaison recently made their first imaging house call in over a year to meet with John Fifer to photograph Kent, Ravenna, Zanesville and Mantua, Ohio historical flasks, pattern molded flasks, decanters, and tableware. This amazing collection is the late Darl Fifer collection. Darl being the father of John and grandfather of Louis Fifer. These pieces were blown in ribbed, swirled, diamond, and other designs and made in a wide range of colors.

June 2021

New England Imaging Trip

Alan DeMaison and Terry Crislip returned home from a 1,467-mile museum imaging trip to the New England states. This was after being locked in for well over a year with the Pandemic. Their first stop was to meet with Rick Ciralli in Connecticut to image great specimens from his collection including medicines, utilities, historical flasks, inks, blown three molds, and free-blown and pattern molded flasks and decanters. Alan and Terry went to New Hampshire the following day to visit with Michael George to focus primarily on very rare medicines and utility bottles like snuff, boot polish, and blacking bottles. They finished with a total for the two days at 92 new items for the museum.

07-08 August 2021

Third Imaging Studio Planned

It was announced that Eric McGuire from Petaluma, California was going to be our next Virtual Museum imager. This will be our third station after Gina Pellegrini and Alan DeMaison. The imaging equipment needed to set up this third imaging station was donated and funded by the FOHBC president, John O’Neill.15 August 2021

Major Construction Renovation Complete

Miguel Ruiz, museum website architect, recently updated the museum floor plan to include a new Utilities Gallery and an expanded and relocated Early American Glass and Medicines Gallery that include a Blown Three Mold Gallery. We also developed a shell gallery for Beverages such as colas and pop. The museum now has 20 Galleries on three levels plus a Reception Lobby, Rotunda, Donor Recognition Hall and a planned Gift Shop and Research Library. A rotation Exhibition Gallery is planned for the Lower Level.

01 September 2021

Specimens from the Ron Hands Fruit Jar Collection Imaged

Alan DeMaison conducted a one-day trip to image 11 fine jars from the Ron Hands collection in Ohio.

15 September 2021

Phase 3: Continued Growth

Fundraising efforts will continue as the museum continues to grow.

Support the Museum Today2022 and Beyond


With an entry pass to the FOHBC Virtual Museum, you would be entitled to access The FOHBC Virtual Museum before it is completed. See the Bitters Gallery, the Historical Flasks Gallery, and sneak peek into the Spirits, Target Balls, and Fruit Jars Galleries. We have several other exciting plans for the future of the Virtual Museum. Stay tuned!


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