ďI collect western shots & any that have
pictures, bottom label, or colored. Itís getting hard to find ones I donít have.
Iíve got about 1,000. Not a misprint. If you ever get to the west, itís worth
seeing my collection, not just shots, but western whiskies, advertising, a bunch
of other stuff.Ē
My introduction to Ken Schwartz came by way of an e-mail through the website. On first read-through, my eye tracked right over the first line and hung on the 1,000, and I was about to shoot back a chest-thumping reply noting that I had a collection of almost 2,000, when I noticed the reference to "western, pictures and bottom labels." I quickly clicked on "Cancel" and reconsidered.
Ken Schwartz is well-known in bottle-collecting circles, less so among shot collectors, even though he is one of the hallowed circle of collectors who contributed to HSG and OASG. My next contact with him was via snail mail, in the form of a five-page photo collage that he'd reproduced on a color laser printer. I wish I could hand out hard copies to share with you here, because then you'd understand my wife's reaction as she looked over my shoulder and we both gaped at the contents of the envelope that had just dropped though the mail slot. The pages showed views of a large room, sized somewhere between a chapel and a full-blown church, with a cathedral ceiling that capped walls dripping with pre-pro signage and glass. At the top of the first page, Ken had scrawled: "Robin, this is my collection. Room is 1200 sq. ft. Ė Ken Schwartz."
My wife looked up slowly and stared at me as I tried to breathe, now fully in the grip of Force 10 glass lust. "Don't even THINK of it..." she warned, the sentiment left hanging in the air to ensure that the germ of hope was drowned painlessly at birth.
Ken has since become one pre-pro's stalwart supporters. We're able to showcase his collection here because he pulled all of his 860+ glasses from their display cases, washed each one, and then photographed them for inclusion in the shot database. The results of his efforts filled a 700 Mb CD-ROM and, after processing them, swelled the main shot database by 646 new entries. You can view all of Ken's glasses here, either in a collection of showcase pages designed for maximal visual impact, or in a full indexed catalog.
In August 2006, I had the chance to spend the day with Ken and his remarkable collection of shots, bottles and related items. You can read all about this visit and tour his Temple of Glass in the following pages.
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