Monday, April 25, 2011

Bottle Openers for Any Occasion - Eastern Iowa Life

“Just For Openers” to Display Bottle Openers for Any Occasion (Eastern Iowa Life) :
The options seem endless as longtime collector Scott Williams of Middle Amana shows me tray after tray of his huge collection. Many of them you can see for yourself from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday at the Marriott Hotel on Collins Road NE in Cedar Rapids. That’s when more than 30 collectors at the Just For Openers national convention will show collections and sell some openers to the public. (On the Web see

"In 1935, beer appeared in cans with cone tops sealed with crown caps, so the old openers were fine, This also brought the advent of flat-top cans that required a piercing opener. That opener’s heyday extended well into the ‘60s when the pop top, later refined to today’s pull tab that stays on the can, rendered it obsolete for opening beer cans.

Still, openers have been popular for generations and plentiful — in the old days, one was thrown in with a six-pack of beer — making them highly collectible for their shapes, sizes and unending advertising.

Scott’s oldest is an 1876 Anheuser-Busch corkscrew opener that could be worth $100.

“E-bay has tended to bring prices down,” Scott says. “It used to be hard to hunt them down, but now it’s easier.”

Among his unusual are a bottle-shaped opener with a corkscrew that unfolds, belt buckle openers and the cap lifter pocket knives with advertising which have become his specialty."
As he outgrew that, his openers filled a desk drawer, then boxes and now even wicker baskets and portable display cases as it numbers into the thousands.

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