The Bottle Cap

February 2nd Celebrates  The Bottle Cap

Today on Days to Remember we celebrate how on February 2nd 1892, William Painter patented the bottle cap.

When you think of the bottle cap, not too much thought goes into how it was developed.

Today’s bottle cap is the screwed on kind, but years ago you had to have bottle cap opener just to open your beverage.

Since the bottle caps were made out of steel back in the day, to keep the fizz in the soda from going flat.

However how did William Painter create the bottle cap?

Born late November in 1838, William Painter was an inventor by the age of twenty. His invention of the bottle cap and numerous patents on its technology are what elevated him, and later made him a role model, for other inventors.

He was born in the United States though, he originally came from Ireland, when he immigrated to United States he moved to Baltimore, Maryland in 1865 to begin a career as a foreman at the Murrill & Keizer’s machine shop.

On February 6, 1894 William Painter received a patent for a “Capped Bottle Opener.” Two years earlier Painter had received three patents for a “Bottle Sealing Device.” Prior to his 1892 invention, over 1500 types of bottle stoppers had been patented. Between 1882 and 1890 alone there were three hundred and thirty-seven stopper patents.

William Painter on February 2 had an earlier filing date of November 5, 1899 with a renewal date of October 6, 1891. This patent dealt with a cap which had a loop formed in the sheet metal top. By inserting a pointed instrument into this loop the cap could be forced off.

After William Painter patented his “Crown Cork”, he founded Crown Cork and Seal Company in the Canton area of Baltimore, Maryland.

He developed machinery for production and implementation and then set about the task of marketing the idea.

An advertisement in the September 15, 1894 issue of the Western Brewer showed a variety of ways to remove the crown cork including using a corkscrew tip, a pocket knife blade and a spoon handle.

Today not all bottle caps are twist off, brewery companies still use the steel bottle cap to control the fizz.

Back in the hay day of the bottle caps they were commonly referred as crown corks, and were normally made out of metal usually made from steel or aluminum with polyethylene lining to prevent the metal from contaminating the liquid in the bottle.

Did you know the twist off plastic bottle cap first appeared in the early 1960s?

Plastic bottles, on the other hand, are usually made from a different kind of plastic called polyethylene terephthalate, which can be made into other things like garden rakes, and brooms, and ice scrapers. In other words it was manufactured by a tough plastic to keep the fizz in the bottle from going flat.

Where would be without the bottle cap?

For one thing carbonate soda drinks would taste flat, here’s to the bottle cap, as we celebrate how on February 2nd 1892, William Painter patented the bottle cap for our convenience.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell
jdmitchelldesigns@gmail.com

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