The Crown Cork was invented by
William Painter, an American
of British descent who lived in Baltimore a century ago.
Painter was a keen investor, he took out over 80 patents
during his busy lifetime, not all to do with bottles!!
Hi first British patent relating to bottle closure or capping
of some sort was obtained in 1885, this patent involved
a "disc" capping of flexible material such as linoleum, which
could be holed with a special piercing tool. Over the next six years
various changes were made to his original ideas, and soon a crimped
metal bottle top crowning bottles of a special new lip / neck design
evolved, known as the Crown Cork closure.
They needed a lever devise know to open the new bottles,
so they invented the Crown seal bottle opener or bottle lever.
Dating openers is very difficult, but registered numbers on some openers
gives us some idea. The number RD. 702661 and 708483 first
appeared in 1923 and 1924, the earliest types of openers had a
round looped head, they had stamped lettering and usually were
only quite small, about 2 3/4 inches long. The other quite common
type of cast iron opener that you see has the numbers
RD. 811274 on one side and PT. 466444, a design registered in 1936.
When you delve into collecting cast iron openers you will
see just how many different types are available out there.
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written originally by Richard May, England.