Beer and Soda Bottle Opener Bliss

September 24th, 2008

In this article John Stanley talks about collecting antique beer and soda bottle openers, including figurals and other varieties. Based in Durham, North Carolina, John can be reached through his website, Just For Openers, which is a member of our Hall of Fame.

My mother brought home a bunch of openers back in 1977, and that got me started collecting. I thought it would be pretty neat to do because nobody else was collecting them. Then I heard about a national club in 1982, and found out there were hundreds of others collecting bottle openers. The club is called Just For Openers, and we have about 250 members. So much for being the only one!

Harley Davidson Opener

Harley Davidson Opener

Bottle openers were introduced around 1894, when they put the first bottle caps on bottles. They needed a cap lifter for them, and William Painter, from Baltimore, Maryland, invented it. Actually he was trying to invent the bottle cap, the crown cap. But because he needed it, he came up with a little cast-iron opener to pop that cap. And they caught on… both the crown caps and the openers. It spread all over the country.

Since then, thousands of styles of openers have been made. Our handbook pictures about 1,200 different beer bottle openers. When you get into general openers, there are 2,000 or 3,000. I collect beer, soda, a little bit of everything. The more unusual an opener is, the more I like it.

One of my favorite styles is what we call the flat figural. There’s one shaped like a baseball player, one shaped like a car, one shaped like an eagle. A lot of these were made from 1910 to 1920 before Prohibition, just as a promotional mechanism for the breweries and soda companies that made them up. There’s one shaped like a dog that was put out in the ‘30s.

A lot of them had the brewery name and the brand name. Some just had the brand, but they almost always had some kind of add-in business name. The little car-shaped opener, you’ll see a lot of garages and car dealerships back then who used it. Most of them are small, 3 to 4 inches, something you could carry in your pocket. They almost always had a key ring hole in them so you could put it on your key chain.

Any kind of company back then used them. It wasn’t just beer. It was Coca-Cola, all the major soft drink companies. Anybody could have a few hundred to a few thousand made up, depending on how much money they wanted to spend. They were fairly cheap.

Most of the beer openers were made in the northern Midwest or on the West Coast. There are a few southern breweries, but you don’t see a lot of those. Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, they had by far the most breweries. There are a lot of different beer openers from those states. As you might expect, Anheuser-Busch is popular with collectors, especially the newer stuff, they put out the most openers. But most guys collect from their part of the country. Our convention this year was in St. Louis and there were probably five or six guys there that either collect just St. Louis or just Missouri.

Collectors Weekly: Who manufactured the openers?

Stanley: There were probably 15 or 20 companies we know of. One that many collectors like is Vaughan, out of Chicago. They actually made openers up until 1984, and they made a lot of different styles. There was also the Williamson Company in Newark, New Jersey, which did corkscrews and openers. And two or three companies in New York City. Making a metal opener with an engraving of a figure on it is something that would be hard to do today, because of the know-how required, but it was no problem back then.

Circa 1900-1919 B-21 Mobile Auto Co.

About 20 years ago, I tried to look into having a baseball player made. And one die company up in Ohio thought they could do it, but to make the die was going to be about $2,500 or $3,000. You can get them made in Asia if you have contacts over there. They make them in brass, and it’s not that hard to do. They can make them pretty cheap because of the labor cost.

We’ve been able to identify most of the early manufacturers because most of them would stamp the opener somewhere, especially pre-1920, with their company name. But between the two world wars, a lot of them didn’t make it. Prohibition caused a lot of problems besides the breweries being forced out of business. Companies like those that made the openers lost a lot of customers.

The heyday of collectible bottle openers, as far as the figurals and the really neat designs, would have been 1910 to 1920. Prohibition kicked in in 1919. There was a revival in ‘33, you see quite a few good ones from that era, but starting about 1950, it got down to the basic can-pierce type opener that a lot of people still have around today.

There are a lot of really neat and hard to find figural openers. Take a look at my website, the one at the top that’s from the Narragansett Brewing Company. It’s an Indian, and it’s one just about everybody wants because it’s such a neat piece. And the other one I show there, actually from the ‘20s or ‘30s, is the Harley Davidson. There’s a little guy on the motorcycle.

Circa 1910-1929 B-13-130 Abner-Drury

Quite a few openers also had knives or other implements like corkscrews or even nail clippers. We call them multi-tools. There are some that are cutters and then also have a little buttonhook for lacing up shoes. In the 1910s and ‘20s, guys got into seeing how many tools they could get onto one piece that you could carry in your pocket. And they wanted try to patent something different too. Many openers also had a square hole to turn on the old gas carbide switch on headlights, and you could use it on the gas tank as well.

When Adolphus Busch (the original guy) was getting older around the turn of the century, he had quite a few made up in Germany, and handed them out to friends or whoever. There’s quite a few variations of the knives he gave out. A lot of them are really ornate, real pretty, and they’d have a couple of knife blades or a corkscrew. And a lot of times he had what they call a stanhope located in the handle. There was a little lens magnifier, and you could hold it up to the light and look in and he’d have his picture in there. Certain guys, that’s pretty much all they collect, those Anheuser-Busch ones.

Occasionally someone will still make still make a figural opener today, Anheuser-Busch or somebody, once in a blue moon. There’s a guy in our club from Connecticut who made one for Anchor Steam in San Francisco. It was a little bottle-shaped opener that goes on the key ring, made out of titanium. Pretty neat, and very durable.

Collectors Weekly: What was the inspiration behind your website?

Circa 1909-1920 G-5 Poland Water

Stanley: I still work full-time so I don’t get to spend a lot of time working on it. Its just to give people a basic feel for the opener collecting in general. It’s laid out by state because a lot of people collect that way, or they collect the brewery from a certain state. We also have our little handbook on the site, there’s a lot in there. It’s a big PDF of a color book we did about 10 years ago. The guy who started our club, Don Bull, and myself, did it. It’s got nice color pictures, that give you an idea of what the openers look like.

I mostly collect American openers, but I’ve got quite a few Canadian and some Australian and a few from Europe. The European had just a few basic styles, they don’t have many figurals. For example, I’ve got a medallion opener, like a big silver dollar with an opener above it. On the medallion, they advertise different towns or people. It’s just a basic style. There were a lot of different English breweries and Australian breweries, and they had basic cast iron openers, not a lot of variety.

Collectors Weekly: Where do you find new openers for your collection?

Stanley: eBay has certainly become the main source. Plus we do a lot of trading between club members, and I used to find them at flea markets and antique shows. There’s three or four national beer clubs and they have annual conventions and shows almost every weekend, so you can find them at those shows.

I collect certain styles, plus the figurals, so I have a long list. There are almost 16,000 known collectible beer openers, and I have about 3,000 openers in my collection, so I’m not trying to go after all of them. But we have two or three guys in our club that have them. if you’ll look on the website, you’ll see a little video about Art Santen in St. Louis, who has about 40,000 in his collection. He buys about anything he sees, although he’s slowing down now in his older years.

Circa 1940-1959 N-519-1 Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Greenwood

I display my collection in a little glass top showcase with cardboard sides. That way I can carry them to shows pretty easily. And I’ve got some frames up on the wall too. I started collecting in 1977. I had an opportunity in the 1990s to get a lot of the ones I wanted. I’ve got so many different areas I like, it gets pretty overwhelming.

The reason you find out about most people starting to collect openers – I hate to say this – but its because they’re pretty cheap as a rule. You can get them for a buck or two, 50 cents or whatever. You can get a bunch that way. But at some point, you get so many and you got to start paying more, hundreds of dollars. And when you get into the corkscrews, it can get pretty pricey. I have quite a few but mainly the ones with beer advertising.

Collectors Weekly: What resources can you recommend to potential bottle opener collectors?

Stanley: The guy that I wrote the book with, Don Bull, started Just For Openers in 1979. But I didn’t sign up until 1982. We have an annual convention in April each year. This past year we had 39 members come, and a lot of them bring their spouses. Mainly we do room-to-room trading, and then in St. Louis there were three local collectors who had open-house tours and we went and saw their collections. Saturday of the show week, we get a big ballroom where everybody sets up and arranges their stuff. And we’re open to the public so they could come in to look and see. But there’s a lot of room-to-room dealing.

The problem is that there’re so many openers; you like this, you like that. The sooner you can figure out what you really like and concentrate on it, the better off you are, but it is tough to decide. It took me a few years. eBay is by far the best source for openers, but you won’t ever see any more openers than you will at our convention every year.

There are also the two books we’ve done. One’s called Just For Openers, which has all our beer openers plus some soda. The second one’s called Just For Soda Openers. Most collectors start with either one or the other. In fact, these handbooks, which we did in ’98, are how most guys tend to find out about the hobby.

Most soda openers are similar to beer openers but there’s a few distinct soda styles. Coca-Cola made by far the most different styles, and there are certainly a few Coke openers with no company name on them. There’s a couple of Dr. Pepper openers. And Pepsi.

Narragansett Indian A-60-1

Another good resource is the club’s quarterly newsletter that comes out every three months. For probably the first 10 years, in a lot of the early issues, Don was able to find and publish the patent information. I do usually go to the Google and try and search the patent information to see if a piece was patented. That way you can find out who came up with the idea. Don was pretty successful with that, with the older openers. Google’s got a patent search and then you can just Google it, too, so either way. You don’t get a hit too often on the historical part, but every now and then, something hits.

There’s also a guy, Alan Petretti, who does a big Coca-Cola book, annually, and he’s got four or five pages just for Coke openers in there. You can find a little information that way. And the handbook that’s on my website, that Don started that in 1979, we just agreed to put it up and let people download it and print it. There’s quite a bit of information there.

(All images in this article courtesy John Stanley of Just For Openers)

74 comments so far

  1. Kevin Loose Says:

    I have a wallmount opener from Sprenger Brewing Co. Lancaster PA.It’s a man toasting with a mug of beer.I believe it is cast iron. Any info about this opener would be appreciated.Thanks

  2. Gig OBrien Says:

    I found a bottle opener with KUEBLER BEER Easton, Pa o it. I can’t find it anywhere on the internet. Did you ever hear of it?

  3. paulajane berman Says:

    I have a bakelite opener with a cup on one end. about the size of the cup on the one M-131 in the 2009 just for opener handbook. Need to know what the cup was used for. it is not rounded like a mellon baller, flat on the bottom but the edges are a tiny bit flared like an old mellon baller. thank you very much, Paula

  4. Janet Stamper Says:

    I have a hand held 1926 bottle opener with the words SAV-KAP and BOSTON around the circular top. The top is a bottle opener and the handle is a can opener I think. I would like to know if it has any value other than that it belonged to my grandmother.
    Thank you

  5. Larry Roy Says:

    I have a bottle opener shaped like an looks like either cast or pewter. it has iroquois on the forehead and iroquois bev corp. buffalo ny on the back. can you tell me anything about it? thank you

  6. James King Says:

    I also have one:

    I have a bottle opener shaped like an looks like either cast or pewter. it has iroquois on the forehead and iroquois bev corp. buffalo ny on the back. can you tell me anything about it? thank you


  7. Philip Says:

    Would like info and current value of an opener I have. It’s a small flat piece 3 3/16 long, 1 1/8 wide and 1/16-inch thick. Silver-colored metal. It is the image of a hand with finger pointing. Half of the image is a coat sleeve. Engraved on the finger is “YOU PAY”. It is a spinner novelty with a tiny indention in the center that formed a tiny “nipple” on the back. It can be placed on a hard surface and spun. One side is engraved with “MILLHISER COTTON BAGS/STRONG COTTON BAGS/RICHMOND, VA”. The reverse has “SPIN TO SEE WHO PAYS/B&B MADE IN U.S.A.
    I know the company was in business in the ’30s and recently sold out to another company. I’ve looked at many pages of breweriana collectibles and similar topics, to no avail.
    Can you help? Thanks!

  8. JACK Says:



  9. Kenneth E. Willis Says:

    Hi everyone I think paulajanes opener with the cup on the end is a melon scoop. I also have one just like it. with the bakelite handle. I just joined the JFO club last year. I have over 500 openers in my collection. DEc.29th my local newspaper did an article on my collection . It came out pretty good i have had quite a few inquiries from people about it.The paper is the Morris Daily Herald from Morris Il. it was in a section called the Boomers , DEC 29th , from the baby boomers collections and hobbies etc. I am not sure if it is online or not but they might be able to get you a copy. I think they are fascinating to collect and also the history behind them is so interesting. They tell us so much about our history in the USA and the world.Does anyone know that they when they first started to make openers .I thought it was the civil war but I just read that it was many years before that, perhaps even mediviel days…

  10. margaret jones Says:

    l have got 2 bottle openers which my father left. He always said they may be important to a collector.

    MACKESON 1. PT 466444.

    “DRINK TIZER” Rd.702661

    l would like to know if he was right.

  11. kathy ricketts Says:

    I have an opener that is some sort of metal with apelican type bird painted green-gold head and beak. The back reads “made in Israel”. Does it have any worth? The other opener looks like it may be brass and is an odd character with a face and two arm type things on each side. Opener is oval and at bottom. Reads COLUMBIA going up length of opener. What do you think? Thank you

  12. Elyse Eikennberry Says:

    I have this unique bottle opener from my Great Grandmother( who lived in PA.) Ir’s metal, about 4″ tall & is a sailor with a ciggarette in it’s mouth, paintedred,white& blue.he’s wearing a red hat, bluelong shirt, clasped white hands (with a small rusted out hall (1/4″) at he middle clasp in his hanss, white pants and black shoes. On the top of his red hat sits a pretty good size white bottle opener. On the back of his blue shirt is a paaton #. The first # ir 2 is a bit rusted so hard to read’ it’s either: PAT M31150 or maybe PAT 1431150. Underneath it reads made in Japan. I have kove’s antique & collectors book which shows this opener for 35$ but that was over 10 nyr’s ago’ I really want to sell it as I’m not a collector and it’s simply taking up space doing nothing I want it ti go to a home where someone will appreciate & treasure it. IS anyone interested in it like you, JOHN(my heroe,hehe)? I have another i’ll write soon about but nothing as unique and charming as thid one. ANY interest or info.?? PLEASE LET ME KNOW as due to hard times I’m seliing almost everything that people collect.PLEASE HELP ME (sickly cough, cough …Les Miserables…sickly cough from poor little sickly dying girl….) get it? Thanks for ANY help. GOD bless and stay safe

  13. Rick Says:

    I recently received a gift from my dad of an old coca cola pocket bottle opener. It is approx 40 to 50 years old, because I remember it on his key chain when I was just a small boy. He has carried it all his life, and he is now 80. it is the standard flat design , approx 2 inches. it reads DRINK over the opener end and COCACOLA IN BOTTLES in the middle. On the back side is VAUGHAN OHIO. Do you have any picture of one like this that would give me an idea of year and value. Of course it is worth more to me than any posted value for the memories of my child hood. Thanks.

  14. Karla Says:

    I just received 2 openers, one is for 2 way soda and it says “did you get it today?”
    and the other is in the shape of Peru and looks like a piece of a puzzel that would make an entire map. Any ideas, I just thought they were neat.

  15. Julie Says:

    I have a coca cola opener approx 3″, looks like a bottle cap. Says, Drink Coca-Cola Gedep.Merk Any thoughts? Thanks.

  16. Pam Says:

    Hi Maribeth and all my fellow surfers. I have a Busch saloon or tavern? can opener. It is the type were the can is placed in the round center and a handle is then pulled down, opening the can. Made of probably white metal, but a possible cast iron, it is 12-14″ in height, and solid black with busch logo. Anyone have any information? Your help is appreciated.

  17. Pam Says:

    Above can opener is pre amheuser=busch merge.

  18. dale Says:

    I have a coca cola bottle opener [refered as wire type]approx three
    inches long and 7/16 = wire diameter, it has the letters EKC on one
    edge and chgo on the other edge what do these letters represent, and
    also when would this have been made [approx], look foward to youre reply.
    Many thanks.

  19. Kyle Bridgman Says:

    Curious about an opener I have. It is flat, shaped like a soda bottle about 6-7 inches long. Looks like cast iron with red an green glass inlaid on the bottle. You can see through the glass and the cap of the bottle looks like it is porcelain instead of glass. The word “Cola” is across the middle of the opener in cast iron with red glass around it. The only other word in the word “Taiwan” on the back at the top where the opener is. Looks really great with the light shining through. Haven’t seen one like it on any of the sites I’ve looked at. Any info from anyone?

  20. Kathryn Cooney Says:

    I have in my possession a “Top Off” Jar and Bottle Screw Top Opener. Ed Lund Company Burlington Vermont – Patent Pending. I believe that this opener is over 50 years old. I was wondering how I go about finding out its true value – if anything. Thank You. I would appreciate a response.

  21. John Stanley Says:

    1) The Sprenger Wall Mount was made in the 1940s to early 1950s. Many cast iron pieces were made by Wilton a manufacturing company in Pennsylvania. It is a fairly desirable beer advertising opener and also wanted by cast iron collectors. If in very nice condition value is $300-$400. If in average condition around $200.

  22. John Stanley Says:

    2. Kuebeler Beer was made in Allentown, Pa. A very popular beer in the 1930s-1950s. They produced several different style openers.

  23. John Stanley Says:

    3) On the M-131 the cup end is used as a bottle resealer for crown caps.

  24. John Stanley Says:

    4) Unfortunately your Sav-Kap opener is pretty comon and even turns up 25-30 on display boards. value would be $2-$5.

  25. John Stanley Says:

    5) Your Iroquois Indian opener is most likely made of aluminum and was made in the 1950s. A fairly common figural beer opener worth $10-$20.

  26. John Stanley Says:

    6) 5) Your Iroquois Indian opener is most likely made of aluminum and was made in the 1950s. A fairly common figural beer opener worth $10-$20.

  27. John Stanley Says:

    7) Your spinner opener is JFO style A-21 and is a common style opener with many different. Over 100 different beer ads are known alone. The opener was made from the 1930s thru the 1950s. Your ad would appeal to a Virginia collector. Depending on the ad, values range from $2-$100 with yours in the $8-$10 range.

  28. John Stanley Says:

    8) The opener is not common but not rare. Value would be $5-$10 but I have seen examples with decals added including one for Coca-Cola. I do not believe the decals were put on by the manufacturer. Your opener was most likely made in the 1940s.

  29. John Stanley Says:

    9) Kenneth Willis answers PaulaJane’s question and I think he is correct.

  30. John Stanley Says:

    10) Both of your openers have foreign patent numbers with the Tizer being English and the Mackeson either being Canadian or Australian. They are not that rare and value would be $3-$5 each.

  31. John Stanley Says:

    11) There are many brass figural openers from Israel and a few collectors do like them. Most are not very well made and have little value to advertising collectors. Some figural collectors picked them up but the value is minimal $1-$5 each.

  32. John Stanley Says:

    12) Elyse your opener might have some value to a Japanese collector but once again a newer opener (post WWII) that would have little value, $5-$10 to an advertising collector and it must be more a kitchen collectibles collector. If you want to sell, eBay is the way to go.

  33. John Stanley Says:

    13) Rick your Coca-Cola opener is one of the most common style Coca-Cola openers (JFO style B-14). In good condition, without a town name, value is $10-$20, with a town name ($25-$75). They were mainly produced in the 1930s and 1940s.

  34. John Stanley Says:

    14) Karla, your 2-way opener is very common and most are worth $1-$2 and were made starting the late 1940s and are made up today. The Peru piece being a foreign opener has minimal value also. Is jsut may be a puzzle piece and has a part that looks like an opener.

  35. John Stanley Says:

    15) Julie, sounds like you have a 1980s-1990s plastic opener and sounds like it could be foreign. Value would be $2-$3.

  36. John Stanley Says:

    16) Pam, sounds like you have a JFO style K-type or bar mount. These were made from the 1940s to the 1960s. Busch was its own brand and most Busch brand advertising openers started appearing in the 1960s. If in good condition the value is $20-$40 depending on who wants a large opener.

  37. John Stanley Says:

    17) Pam, it is not a pre-Anheuser-Busch merge piece as that occurred in the 1860s.

  38. John Stanley Says:

    18) Coca-Cola wire openers for the most part are very common except for a few pre-1930 ones. Yours is a later one put out by Ecko of Chicago (probably a 1950s to 1970s time frame).

  39. John Stanley Says:

    19) Your opener is a Taiwan knockoff of a 1950s Coca-Cola stained glass opener. The original has some value $40-$50. Yours would be minimal since it was made in Taiwan sometime since 1980.

  40. John Stanley Says:

    20) Kathryn, your “Top Off” jar opener is from the 1930s or 1940s. without some kind of advertising on it, it has little value except for maybe a collector of kitchen items ($3-$5 value).

  41. steve turner Says:

    My friend has a coca-cola bottle opener that is shaped like a coca-cola bottle and says coca-cola on the bottle then at the bottom of the bottle it changes into an arm and four fingers with a thumb underneath.The thumb catches the edge of the cap with the four fingers setting on top of the cap.We have looked high and low and have not been able to find one like it.Hopefully you can shed some light on this and give us history of this piece.Thanks for your time.

  42. John Stanley Says:

    41) Steve without a picture for sure, this piece sounds like something made the last 20 years. Can you send a picture to ?

  43. Annie Vann Says:

    I would like information on the value of a 24k goldplated Holsten Beer bottle opener in the shape of a pointed finger.

  44. John Stanley Says:

    Annie, your opener has a value of $3-$5. Being foreign the value is minimal for a recently produced opener like this one. A figural opener collector may pay a little more if it is a style they would like to own.

  45. richard price Says:

    do you have any suggestions on locating enambled slide type beer openers?

  46. Alfred Oldham Says:

    I have a blade type bottle opener. One side has Coca-Cola in bottles and the other has drink Goldelie Ginger Ale. It is in fancy script, and I think that is what it says.
    I cannot find anything about that brand of ginger ale.
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Alfred Oldham

  47. John Stanley Says:

    Richard, the best places to locate slide type openers are eBay, Beer Shows and through the Just For Openers club.

  48. John Stanley Says:

    Alfred, it depends on what style your blade type opener is? Goldelle Ginger Ale was a 1920s/30s soda drink and can be found paired with Coca-Cola on several different style openers. I do not have a history of that brand.

  49. Phil Bedford Says:

    I have a cast iron bottle opener with RD702661 on both sides (I believe 1923?) and PEPSI – COLA on both sides of the shaft. It seems to differ from other similar openers in that the moulding at the hanging hole end is slightly sculptured outward rather than circular, concentric with the hole. Would this be of interest to a collector and/or any value?

  50. John Stanley Says:

    Phil, you have a English patented bottle opener that is a circa 1923 patent. The opener does appeal to Pepsi collectors but is common enough that it’s value is $3-$5.

  51. fred Says:

    I have a cast iron drunk on a lamp post opener complete mounted on ashtray. I have
    seen these and other similar figures such as cowboy on sign but none with ashtray.
    Was told it was 1920s but not sure. looks like a P or B on bottom Any info ? thanx

  52. John Stanley Says:

    The drunk on a lamp post cast iron comes with and without an ashtray. It is fairly common either way. These were made from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s. Value is $5-$25 depending on condition but so many have been sold on eBay the value is not much. Not sure about the stamping on the bottom.

  53. Jason of Palmyra Says:

    My grandmother gave me a Coca Cola bottle opener (wall mount?) with the markings:
    Starr “X” , Brown Co.
    N. News, VA
    PATD APR , 1926
    Is it actually old or worth anything?
    Thank you,

  54. John Stanley Says:

    Jason, your Coca-Cola wall mount is common and can bring $2-$10 depending on condition. They have been made from the 1940s until today with many variations. Yours is an older one.

  55. Sandy Says:

    I found an Eagle Top Off bottle opener in a Free box at a garage sale. Has the Pat. Pending on it and also the raised eagle. It’s in good shape. What would be the value of this???

  56. John Stanley Says:

    If it the “Chase Patent” Eagle, $40-$50. Without a picture any other design would most likely be under $10 in value.

  57. Charles Milks Says:

    While in Cuba 1956 aboard the USS Saratoga CVA-60 shakedown cruise I picked up Starr “X” opener Lo Mejor Hatuey. It was our favorite beer at that time. It has a number 46 on the back with Made in U.S.A. Is it worth anything in todays market? Please advise. Thank You.

  58. Charles Milks Says:

    How can you tell original Starr “X” openers from new reproduction openers? Confused. Please advise. Thank You.

  59. John Stanley Says:

    57) The Lo Mejor Hatuey has minmal value being foreign , $5-$10. I am sure it has more sentimental value to you. The number 46 is a mold number. Usually 12 openers were made in each mold and each one was numbered.

  60. John Stanley Says:

    58) Starr openers are being made today. The only true reproductions are made of brass from Taiwan. There are different metal contents depending on age and newer castings are not as sharp with detail. So do not confuse a newer made Starr opener as a reproduction, it is just more recently made. John

  61. steve meyers Says:

    I have a vaughen six way opener. Any idea what the six ways are? we have found five.

  62. John Stanley Says:

    What are the five ways you have figured out?

  63. Alan Spencer Says:

    Hi John,

    A simple question. Stamp collectors are known as “philatelists”, is there a name for the collectors of bottle openers? Thank you.

    Regards, Alan.

  64. John Stanley Says:

    Sorry, we are just bottle opener collectors. No fancy name.

  65. John Losego Says:

    I have an old bottle opener that looks like the one in this eBay listing :160694054415 – except that mine reads”DRINK A BITE TO EAT” at the top and “AT 10,2&4 O’CLOCK” on the bottom. The other side is the same on the bottom but reads “DRINK Dr. Pepper” and in small print “VAUGHAN CHICAGO” at the top. It was with my grandfather’s stencil kit that he used to paint mailboxes during the Depression. It has been a keepsake for a long while. I would be surprised if it was worth more than $10 but I am really interested in the Dr. Pepper tie-in. I have found references to the ad slogan being used between 1920 and 1940. That is a long time – how might I be able to narrow down the date of my opener?

  66. John Stanley Says:

    Your openers is from the 1930s and very common. Worth $2-$3. Dr. Pepper put a lot of advertising and this opener falls in that category. John

  67. Carol Corcoran Says:

    I have an old beer bottle opener made of wood, which has a handle that’s been carved into a bust of a man wearing a tall top hat & very detailed nose & wide smile w/tiny teeth. He’s dressed in an open-collared shirt & a belt w/an average sized rectagle buckle. I can’t find any ID marks or writings so I can’t identify it – I don’t have an application on my old computer to enable me send a photo to you. Does any of this sound familiar to you?

  68. Lyle Ennis Says:

    Should old bottle openers be cleaned and if yes with what?

  69. Pat Spengler Says:

    I have a metal bottle cap and opener: Sav Kap Boston – Pat Dec 7, 1926. I cannot find it on the internet. Can you give me any info and value to this?
    Thank You

  70. John Stanley Says:

    67. Wood man sounds like an Anri piece maybe. Hard to say without a photo. Sorry I cannot help more. John

  71. John Stanley Says:

    68. If old openers are rusty or dull you can certainly clean them. I use Oxalic acid if they are rusty. Dissolve some acid with water and let the opener soak for a few hours and up to a day if needed. I then use a 6″ buffing wheel with white compound to shine them up. John

  72. John Stanley Says:

    69. Your 1926 patented opener is fairly common and has a minimal value of $2-3. It is also made with a corkscrew attached and is worth $30-50 with a corkscrew. John

  73. Barb Wigren Says:

    I have a flat brass bottle opener stamped with “Gilt Top” BEER S.B.&M.CO. SPOKANE, WASH. It has a square hole in the opener end, and a round hole in the opposite end. Could you tell me any information about this opener? Thank you.

  74. John Stanley Says:

    Your brass opener is from the Spokane Brewing & Malting Co. and was made in the 1910-1920 time frame. Square hole was used to turn on old gas headlights for cars. There are about 50 different known U. S. beer advertising openers in this same style. Your opener is not rare but also not common. With full black paint worth $50-75.

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