From Antiques Roadshow.
APPRAISER: ...on A. Clemens, the guy who made this. He was born in 1856 and died in 1894. When he was five years old, he had what his family called "brain fever," and he went to the deaf-mute school in Iowa, and would come home in the summers, and he started going to this spot on the Mississippi River in McGregor, Iowa, collecting sand and sort of experimenting with making these bottles. He used a great big, over-sized fishhook, and like a popsicle stick, and he would take the sand, that he had collected along the Mississippi River, and then he would pack it in this bottle and manipulate it with the fishhook. He gained national fame for making these, and today, there's an exhibit on this guy at the Iowa State Museum.