Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ken Weaver of RateBeer on Bottle Openers

Ken Weaver, of RateBeer Weekly, has just published a piece on the underrated and often overlooked but quintessential bottle opener in All About Beer Magazine. Titled "Opening Act: Prying into the History of Bottle Openers" (All About Beer Magazine, Volume 35, Issue 2, June 9, 2014), the article is also about bottle caps:
[O]n Nov. 5, 1889, . . . [William] Painter submitted the first in a series of three patent applications for a "bottle-sealing device." A second was filed in June of 1890, and the third (and most important) was filed just shy of one year later. All three shared a similar core design: a sealing medium in the form of a thin disk or plug, affixed firmly to the top of a bottle via a crimped metallic disk. The sealer was inexpensive, reliable, disposable (a total mind-blower at the time) and firmly attached. All three versions were accepted Feb. 2, 1892. The device was originally called the "crown cork."

One can, in a historically unlikely way, imagine the fallout in the subsequent months: a chorus of bottle caps knocked against stumps, countless visits to the dentist. Not exactly . . . . Painter's second submission . . . offered a visual solution for getting the thing off. A dotted, crowbarlike device appears in the drawings, hooked atop an affixed cap. "Bottle-openers devised by me of the character indicated and adapted to the removal of sealing-caps by engaging with their projecting edges," Painter reflects, "will be made the subject of one or more separate applications for Letters Patent." The modern bottle opener had been born.
Thank God! Else all that newly bottled beer with metal caps would have remained inaccessible even today! Prior to the metal cap, Weaver tells us, "glass beer bottles were generally sealed with either a fastened cork or a Lightning-type closure" of the type still used on champagne bottles today.

Cork? Just like in my story? Except for the fastenings . . .

Incidentally, what first caught my eye in the above photo was the top quarter of the image, which was all I could initially see as I slowly scrolled down, thinking, "What sort of photograph has Mr. Weaver posted now -- even if alcohol is an adult subject!"

Just scroll until only the top quarter or so of the photo is visible, and you'll see what I mean.



At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would of thought "Prying Into The Evolution" should've, even for a PhD to've been a sufficient hint.


At 10:33 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I'm a visual fellow, JK.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which, I'm to suppose informs me to your translating stuff?

For the masses? That fickle mass?


At 12:38 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Not sure what you mean, JK . . .

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd "visualize it" Perfesser but I've already gotten into enough trouble over on Malcolm's.

"A picture" it has been said, "paints a thousand words" and it would appear, very occasionally in PCdom a word can bring even those usually opposed to PCdom into the very same cadence.

Earlier in life I had this feeling/understanding things would not be so regimented and there wouldn't be so many impositions on stuff generally.

It would appear I'm not "evolving" as is currently expected apparently to handle what I'm reckoning is today's zeitgeist.

Don't take this next Jeff as I'm reckoning those "not of the Ozarks" might - I'm always looking forward to another sunrise (or a prurient bottle-cap removing device "coupled to" text containing the word Evolution in some sort of very close proximity) which generally tends toward - me enjoying another instance of Life's Giggles.

But. I am heartened that my graduating class of SHS never made a habit of aspiring to get on the Guinness list of Incredible Longevity.

Be just my luck I do it for 'em.


At 1:38 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I'm voting for your longevity, JK, and for our freedom of speech!

Jeffery Hodges

* * *


Post a Comment

<< Home