“Does anyone have a bottle opener?”

I swoop in to save the day.  Just as I’m opening a cold brew (Stone IPA, if I recall correctly), I snapped the plastic opener in half and stared at the unopen beer in disbelief.  MacGyver was rolling in his grave, embarrassed that his fan neither had a stainless steel opener, NOR knew how to open a beer without a tool.

Two days later arrived my very own Nite Ize Multi-Tool.  Boy, MacGyver would be proud.  

Eight tools on one keychain – a box cutter, a bottle opener, wrench (.25”, .3125”, and .375”), ruler (inches and centimeters), carabiner, AND flathead screwdriver.  And the main design problem that this keychain is solving?  Multi-use, durability, and allowing me to drink my cold brew.

Focusing on one function of the keychain, the bottle opener was first patented by American inventor William Painter.  Why’d he create this “churchkey” bottle opener?  Because he also created the bottle cap or “crown cork cap” (U.S. patent #468,258).  If you think breaking your bottle opener is embarrassing, try breaking the cork on a wine bottle and having to push the cork inside the wine.  Ouch!

The bottle cap “used a metal lid lined with a thin cork disc for improving the seal and protecting the drink from metal’s toxicity.”  It’s evolved from metal to plastic – likely because it’s cheaper – and grew in demand with the explosion of soda in the States.

But the actual design of the bottle cap opener has stayed largely consistent since the patent in 1894.  

Aside from a materials change, and a German scientific addition to shorten the “number of flanges from 24 to 21,″ in bottle caps, the bottle opener looks pretty similar to 1894.  Sure, we have fancy multi-tool keychains and different cosmetic or branded bottle openers, but the technology has largely stayed true to the original patent

Thanks Mr. Painter, for making cold brews easy to open, refreshing, and worthy of praise even by MacGyver!

Source: Amazon, Whynotbe, and Lemelson.