Cobalt is an element – atomic number 27, a shade of blue, a gay bar in DC, and an iconic bottle. Those bottles an obsession with Mr. Ernie Dimler are the pride of the Maryland Glass Corporation. Calling Mr. Dimler a bottle collector misses the point. Calling him the Indiana Jones of the cobalt glass world wouldn’t be too wide of the mark. When Indy says, “that belongs in a museum” he could well be speaking for Dimler.
In the course of building his collection, Ernie has become part archiologist, part historian, and part businessman. Collecting for Dimler is not simply an ongoing tour of yardsales, flea markets, second hand stores. The role dumpster diving plays in his efforts isn’t quite clear. That is likely because consumers haven’t been tossing Bromo bottles into the trash for decades. Ask Ernie about a dig at a trash pit and he will regale you with tales of – well, would adventure be the right word?
The best way to get an idea of how Ernie works is to drop by the Bromoseltzer Arts Tower on just about any given Saturday and have a chat.
The Maryland Glass Room is more than a few bottles on a shelf. The collection includes a variety of Maryland Glass bottle applications. Blue bottles are more than something pretty to look at. Highlighting more than glass, the museum also houses the business papers of Maryland Glass Corporation, Bromoseltzer memorabilia, and photgraphs and artifacts opening a window into the daily lives of the company and people who worked there.