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Thread: Bottle opener whats-it?

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  1. #1
    us
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    Bottle opener what's-it?

    Sorry for yet another "what's it?". I've been in lurking mode lately, but am trying to get back into it. I'm pretty sure this is a bottle opener, but why the "hook" thingy on the end and screwdriver? Is this an early multi-tool? I found it recently along a railroad that dates from 1840 to present, lol. Civil War stuff to early 1900's mostly on this hill. Thanks...
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  2. #2
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    Re: Bottle opener what's-it?

    Good to see you back again! Your item sure looks like an old iron bottle opener, similar in design to this one:
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    “It is best as one grows older to strip oneself of possessions, to shed oneself downward like a tree, to be almost wholly earth before one dies.”

  3. #3
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    monty

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    Re: Bottle opener what's-it?

    Checkmark! Monty
    Don't make me loose the hounds! If you dig, Cover up your holes.

  4. #4
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    Re: Bottle opener what's-it?

    I didn't remember the hook thingy on the openers. Do you know how that was used? I guess the screwdriver is just a "multi-tool" aspect. Thanks for the id...

  5. #5
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    LET FREEDOM RING! WP

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    Re: Bottle opener what's-it?

    Yep, a classic "Church Key."

    Best,
    Scott
    CAN YA DIG IT?
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  6. #6
    NGE
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    Re: Bottle opener what's-it?

    The "hook" looking thingy was for poppping the caps off of milk bottles, the paper kind of caps.........NGE
    Exposure to the Son prevents burning

  7. #7
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    Re: Bottle opener what's-it?

    aquachigger ~

    I saw your green check mark but didn't think you would mind this additional tid-bit of information regarding your "cap lifter." (Which is what they were typically called at first).

    Based on what I know about early openers, yours could very well be one of the earliest made for "Crown Closure" soda and beer bottles. As you can see in the following pictures, your opener is "almost" identical to the style patented by William Painter in 1894. (Painter also invented and patented the crown closure bottle in 1892).

    (The only thing that confuses me is that the hook part on your particular opener is on the open end. Painter's is on the handle end. I will do some additional research and see if I can determine whether William Painter patented a variation. Plus, I will go back and see what I can find regarding the two illustrations I posted below that show the hook on the open end like yours).

    The little hook on the end was primarily intended to remove the seal on what were referred to as "Loop Seal closures," which were still in use at the time when the Crown was invented. The Loop Seal closure was patented in 1891. Once the loop seal bottles were phased out around 1900, the hook was used for a multitude of things, including the opening of milk bottles.

    As for the wide part, that was intended as a sort of "bottle stopper" after the bottle was opened.

    Regarding the term "Church Key," the following says it best ...

    "The expression church key is much older than the device that leaves a triangular hole in beer cans. It goes back to early days of the brewing business when beer was first dispensed in bottles. The expression church key is old in the brewing business because it looked like the open end of the kind of heavy ornate key used to unlock church doors."

    I hope you find this information helpful and of interest. If you can somehow clean up your opener, and it has the "William Painter" name or patent number on it, you could really have something there. Too bad its rusted.

    SBB

    Pictures ...

    1. William Painter Patent # 514,200 February 6, 1894.
    2. Loop Seal remover hook.
    3. Bottle stopper (plug) aspect.
    4. Church keys (antique - notice open ends).
    5. Loop Seal Closure Patented April 7, 1891.




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  8. #8
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    Re: Bottle opener what's-it?

    aquachigger ~

    I did some additional research and was able to determine that the opener like yours, which is the one with the hook on the open end, is in fact a William Painter "variation." I haven't found the exact patent info yet, but it was likely filed under the name of ...

    "The Crown Cork & Seal Company"

    ... which Painter founded in 1892.

    William Painter patented "numerous" types of openers.

    My guesstimate is that your opener dates circa 1894-1900

    If I find the patent illustration for your exact opener, I will come back and post it.

    SBB
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  9. #9
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    Re: Bottle opener what's-it?

    Lastly ...

    Here is the earliest known and confirmed "Crown Closure" soda bottle. Even though William Painter patented this type of closure in 1892, this 1895 example is the earliest known.

    (I purchased this bottle off ebay about a year ago).

    Murdock & Freeman ~ Portland, Maine ~ One of the first Crowns ~ 1895
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  10. #10
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    Re: Bottle opener what's-it?

    Super followup posts, SODABOTTLEBOB !! Very informative Thanks for taking the time to put it all together.
    “It is best as one grows older to strip oneself of possessions, to shed oneself downward like a tree, to be almost wholly earth before one dies.”

  11. #11
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    Re: Bottle opener what's-it?

    Quote Originally Posted by creskol
    Super followup posts, SODABOTTLEBOB !! Very informative Thanks for taking the time to put it all together.
    Super follow-up indeed! It's not often I learn something that I should have known about since my early collecting days. I really appreciate you taking the time to post all of that. I'll run it in electrolysis and see if I can get some info off of it. If I do, I will post it in this thread in a few days at most. Thanks again!

  12. #12
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    Re: Bottle opener what's-it?


    aquachigger & creskol ~

    Thanks. I'm glad you liked it. I hope you like this one as well, which is a hodge-podge of openers, all of which are most likely William Painter patents. Unfortunately, only one of them is marked. Apparently the others are not marked, but if they were the individuals who posted them failed to mention it. The one that is marked has ...

    PT 90 - 91

    Even though I'm not exactly sure what the mark means, I really don't think its a patent number or date. More than likely its just a "part" number of some kind.

    In any event, here's a little stocking-stuffer for you, which should give you some idea of what your type of opener looks like in a non-corroded state.

    SBB

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  13. #13
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    Re: Bottle opener what's-it?

    That is some good information/Iding.
    God and country.

  14. #14
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    Re: Bottle opener what's-it?

    birdman ~ Thanks

    And speaking of Christmas stocking stuffers, I just purchased this opener on ebay for ... $25.99 (Free Shipping).

    The seller didn't say anything about it having a makers marks, and I didn't ask. But I hope it does. I'm certain it is a William Painter patent and will look nice placed in my 1895 Murdock & Freeman soda bottle. I'm convinced these early openers are kind of scarce. I will tell you more about it once it arrives.

    ebay link:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/160688227469...84.m1439.l2649



    SODABOTTLEOPENERBOB



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  15. #15
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    Chris

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    Re: Bottle opener what's-it?

    Welcome back Beau. God Bless Chris MERRYCHRISTMAS
    ​EVER WONDER WHERE YOUR THOUGHTS COME FROM ?

    Anger is what keeps you emotionally lost in your head and blind to reality.


    A lie doesn't become the truth just because people believe it.


    ​The Key...http://antidoteforall.com/

 

 
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