The bottle cap was invented in 1892 by Baltimore Bottler William Painter. He patented the ‘crown cork’ or ‘crown top’ and soon thereafter started the Crown Cork & Seal Company of Baltimore. This simple method of crimping a thin piece of steel over the top of a bottle, with cork to form the seal, has lasted almost 120 years. A hook or hoop of metal can lift the cap off a bottle but our creativity has resulted in thousands of openers of all shapes and sizes.


On May 20, 1978, a group of 12 figural bottle opener collectors convened in Ephrata, Pennsylvania and formed the Figural Bottle Opener Club. (FBOC). At this meeting a committee was formed to draft bylaws and establish a code of ethics. The meeting became known as the club’s convention and, since that time, conventions have been held on an annual basis. Members now total over one hundred and hail from more than 25 states, including locations as distant as Maine and California.

At the yearly convention members meet, trade and participate in a figural bottle opener auction, which provides attendees with an excellent opportunity to add to their collections. At this time, club directors review and approve recently-found openers which qualify for inclusion in the club’s listing. Some of these are newly-produced by individual artisans or private companies. Members also resolve and discuss club issues, such as the quarterly newsletter, publicity, next year’s convention site, etc.

The club publishes a quarterly newsletter for members with news, photographs, and  stories of new finds.

You might be an artist who would like to introduce yourself and your work here or maybe you’re a business with a mission to describe.