Bottle Opener

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Bottle or cap opener, stainless steel, with three different lifting edges, each marked: "TUMBLER CAP LIFTER", "PRY-OFF Lid Flipper", and another marked with an arrow and "INSERT/UNDER CAP/TURN LIKE KEY". Maker's mark on top left: "EKCO/A&J/U.S.A.". Also marked: PAT. 2,571,401".
U.S. Patent 2,571,401: Raymond H. Williams, October 16, 1951, Chicago, Illinois, assignor to White Cap Company, Chicago, Illinois.
Maker is Ekco Housewares Company, of Chicago, Illinois, which purchased A&J Manufacturing Company of Birmingham, New York in 1929. A&J was at the time the largest producer of kitchen tools.
Currently not on view
date made
Ekco Housewares Company
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
place used
United States: Ohio, Columbus
Physical Description
stainless steel (overall material)
overall: 1/2 in x 4 in x 1 5/8 in; 1.27 cm x 10.16 cm x 4.1275 cm
ID Number
accession number
collector/donor number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Mary Eloise Green
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History


I'm thrilled to discover today that Raymond Williams's jar cap lifter has been honored with residency at the National Museum of American History! I came into possession of mine in the 1990s during a visit to a Goodwill store in San Francisco where I lived at the time. For $1 I acquired a large plastic bag full of dirty, rusty kitchen utensils and in the bag was a treasure trove of USA-made culinary equipment. Mr. William's exceptionally useful tool kept company in the bag with J.A. Ronning Jr.'s similar vintage opener for screw caps -- USP #2,931,258. I hope Mr. Ronning's tool is also in your museum. If it isn't, I will make provisions in my Will to donate it to the museum. Thank you for honoring these lowly but indispensable objects!

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