Talk Story with an Advertiser: Glass from the Past

By Brittany P. Anderson

Glass from the Past has been in Honomū for 30 years and is not your typical antique store. “Digger” David Ackerman, the friendly owner, has turned his love of digging for glass bottles and other discarded relics of yesteryear into a business that keeps people coming back for more. Glass from the Past offers an assortment of glass bottles, LP records, plantation-era home furnishings, vintage aloha wear, and retro kitsch.

Glass bottles are sorted generally by color, and use. “A lot of the items have a cool story and history,” David explains. He offers patrons a short oral history of any given item including the item’s use, where it was found, and details on how or where it was made. Bottles of every size and color line the windows and walls, illuminated by the Hāmākua sunlight. Customers from all over the world visit the shop with many returning each year to see what new item they can add to their collection.

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David and his wife, Elizabeth (Lizby), grew up in Kailua, O‘ahu where collecting sea glass was a favorite past time. David was intrigued by the small bits of glass and wondered what the bottle looked like prior to being worn by ocean waves. David was gifted a book on antique bottles of Hawai‘i and he was hooked instantly. David began digging in 1984 at a secret location he still uses today. His fascination with digging for buried bottles went from hobby to business when his home became overrun with treasures. Friend, Peaches Grove, convinced David to open a store in Honomū and on June 14, 1986 Peaches opened Glass from the Past with David. The original store was just down the street from where it is presently. Thirty years later, David is a mainstay at the store with Peaches and Lizby still working there as well.

Stroll down memory lane as you sift through the collection of LP’s that range from classic rock ‘n roll to vintage Hawaiiana. Then, check out the comprehensive collection of old license plates that adorn the back of the shop. A trip to Glass from the Past wouldn’t be complete without shuffling through the racks of classic aloha shirts and nostalgic mu‘umu‘u. If you enjoy treasuring hunting for antiques this is the place for you. ❖

Glass from the Past
28-1672 #A Old Māmalahoa Hwy., Honomū, HI 96728
Open Mon-Sat 10:30am–5pm/Sun 9am–5pm
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