Bottle experts tapped for Nev. boomtown book signing

TONOPAH, Nev. — Two of America’s outstanding bottle experts are teaming up for a joint book-signing event during Tonopah, Nevada’s, 43rd annual Jim Butler Days. Michael Polak, author of “Antique Trader Bottles Identification & Price Guide, 7th Edition” (Krause Books, 2013) and Fred Holabird, author of “Nevada History Through Glass: The Nevada Bottle Book, Volume 1” (self-published, 2012), will be signing books May 25, 2013, from 1-4 p.m. at the Central Nevada Museum.

Michael Polak antique bottles

Mike Polak, Antique Trader columnist and author of Antique Trader Bottles Identification and Price Guide

Polak is thrilled with the opportunity. “I’ve been visiting and digging in Tonopah, Nevada, since 1975, and have enjoyed the museum since it opened in 1981, so I’m really excited about doing the book signing along with Fred, who I’ve also known since 1981.” He continues, “The main idea behind the event was to not only offer two comprehensive reference books on Nevada bottles and history, along with bottle collecting and identification, but to bring attention to the Central Nevada Museum. They do a fantastic job of presenting and preserving the history of Central Nevada, with its many displays and exhibits of mining artifacts and related materials.”

Holabird, who has been involved in mining history for more than 25 years, also sees it as an opportunity to bring more attention to Nevada’s fascinating history as evidenced through the region’s bottles. “Tonopah has long been a central point in Western bottle collecting. As a silver-gold mining camp steeped in tradition, Tonopah held some of the first of the Western bottle shows, one of which I attended in 1973. In a land of boom and bust mining camps now gone to ghost towns, Nevada is like no other state. Ghost towns such as Belmont, Belleville and Goldfield were hot spots for bottle diggers, producing some of the best embossed bottles ever found. Tonopah was the central point for all this activity.”

Jim Butler discovered silver-rich quartz in Tonopah, Nevada, in 1900, setting off one of the

Fred Holabird, author of The Nevada Bottle Book.

Fred Holabird, author of The Nevada Bottle Book.

biggest mining booms in the Silver State. Every Memorial Day weekend the city of Tonopah holds a festival in Butler’s honor, drawing thousands to the Central Nevada town to enjoy a parade, dirt track races, state mining events, children’s events, a street dance and vendors.

Holabird adds, “Today, visitors can be part of Tonopah’s historic celebrations at Jim Butler Days, visit surrounding ghost towns such as Belmont and Goldfield, and take in the incredible Tonopah Mining Park, one of the finest mining museums in America.”

The Central Nevada Museum offers an in-depth look into Nevada history Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (closed Sunday, Monday and holidays or when staff is not available.) Admission is free. For more information on the 43rd Annual Jim Butler Days (May 25-27, 2013), the Tonopah Mining Park and the Central Nevada Museum, visit or call 775-482-3558.

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