I have collected soda bottles for about 30 years. I am not a serious collector...in fact, I didn't start the collection myself. My dad worked for the power company for many years in construction and also the retail end of it, so he was always on the side of the road somewhere. As they were digging for poles or underground cable they would often times unearth old bottles. He not only found soda bottles but medicine, liquor and sometimes baby bottles.
He always brought home his finds, but they remained in 5 gallon buckets or on shelves in the basement. He enjoyed looking at them and pulling them out and showing us kids from time to time when we'd be cleaning out (re-arranging) the junk.
When I moved out into my first country home that my sister and I rented, down the road from our parents, we needed something to decorated with. I thought of the old bottles and asked for a few of the cleanest ones to take with me. The liquor bottles were used as vases, the soda bottles with graphics were used as art, and the old ink and baby bottles made nice little accents on top of books in shelves.
From then on, when friends and family came across an old bottle they began bringing them to me...and the rest is history. I still look for the freebies...ones found digging around in forgotten trash piles on old homesites, and in old buildings but I will buy a few here and there for a reasonable price.
The bottles in our dining room are displayed all along the plate rail and on top of the corner cupboards with a few pieces of Coke memorabilia. We've been very fortunate to find original Coke trays...again free...by digging in someone's trash and we found a Coca Cola dip pen in the old house that once stood here at the Ranch.
Now that our daughter is in Oklahoma I have a fine excuse to visit Pop's Soda Ranch.