When Harland Johnson opens the door to his showroom, thousands of tiny bottles materialize, arranged just so on the white shelves at the room’s perimeter. He has 23,658 as of this writing.
Johnson estimates that his miniature liquor bottle collection is one of the most extensive in the world. “I know of four other collections that exceed 20,000,” he says, but notes that not everyone discloses their numbers. The world’s largest collection belongs to The Mini Bottle Gallery, a museum of 53,000 bottles in Oslo.
Johnson keeps his collection in a showroom carved out of his Madisonville home’s large garage. He built a wall to enclose the space, installed more lighting, added air conditioning and put down thick carpet to protect the bottles from clumsy hands. Whiskey, rum, tequila, vodka, cognac, gin, scotch, liqueurs and even some wines line the shelves Johnson made in his workshop.