Lansford Museum acquires rare bottle collection
BILL HARLEMAN/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Bob Perrin pauses after assembling a display that showcases the history of Lansford through its early bottles. Perrin donated the collection to the Lansford Historical Society Museum.
Bill Harleman, president of the Lansford Historical Society, said the society's museum has acquired the most extensive early Lansford bottle collection known to exist.
Bob Perrin of Coaldale, a well-known local privy digger, has donated a large number of local bottles from his personal collection, a gesture to provide cultural enrichment and educational opportunities pertaining to life in Lansford as told through its bottles.
The gems of early glass, some dating back to the 1800s, were dug primarily by Perrin at local outhouses through the years.
Over the past decade, Perrin has excavated over 1,000 outhouses and has become an expert in the field. He has donated many finds to benefit local historical societies.
"You only have to talk with Bob a few minutes to sense the passion he has for our local history," Harleman said.
"He becomes animated when telling about his latest dig and what he found. Best of all, he wants to share what he knows and what he finds, not just hide it away in his basement."
Perrin spent his early years in New York and jokingly calls himself "the Brooklyn Coal Cracker."
He served in the U.S. Army National Guard and also in the U.S. Navy, where he was deployed in South America in law enforcement operations.
He's proud of his Panther Valley roots and has volunteered to do history presentations on behalf of the historical society.
The public is welcome to view the bottle exhibit, which can be seen at the museum, 117 E. Bertsch St.