The Cap-Off represents a piece of America...Past and Present
The Cap-Off is a high-quality, all metal, handcrafted, mechanical bottle opener that was manufactured almost 70 years ago. When the Cap-Off was first made, people took pride in craftsmanship and quality tools. Even though it hasn't been in production for decades, the Cap-Off has stood the test of time and we believe it deserves a new beginning. That's why we have reinvented the product and brought it back for the next generation of beer lovers!
The reciprocating plunger type bottle opener later known as the Cap-Off was invented by Hosmer Blum. A US Patent was applied for in September of 1945 and later issued in 1951. The rights to produce and market the opener were acquired by Eagle Lock Company out of Terryville, CT in the mid to late 40s. Eagle Lock Company was founded in 1833 and was at one time the largest trunk and cabinet lock maker in the world.
Through our research, we could not find any information as to why they decided to manufacture the opener or what it had cost back in the 40s. To our knowledge, it does not appear in their product catalogs from the time period which leads us to believe it was purely a promotional item for Eagle Lock. The Cap-Off was even featured in the well know magazine, Popular Science, in September of 1947. The opener was advertised and intended to be safer than using a pry off opener for reasons of breaking bottles, injury, etc. From what we could uncover, the Cap-Off was manufactured for less than ten years in very small quantities and Eagle Lock Co. eventually went out of business in 1975.
I (Mike) was first introduced to the Cap-Off by my step-father about 5 years ago. My step-dad used it to open beers when company was over and I always remembered thinking it was a pretty cool bar tool. A few years later, I was very enthusiastic about the craft beer craze and even started homebrewing when I decided to source one of these vintage openers on Ebay. There were not a whole lot of them available and some were in really rough shape so I had to do some hunting. I finally found and old Cap-Off with the original box and man was it awesome! The way it removed the caps was so effortless, the beer just seemed to taste better when I used it. Regardless...every time I busted it out people were always intrigued by what it was, where I got it and how it worked. At that point I (Mike) decided to start researching the history of the product and why it never saw commercial success. One thing lead to another and now Matt and I are fully entrenched in everything Eagle Cap-Off!
Matt and I (Mike) used to work together and when he left the company to pursue another position I purchased a vintage Cap-Off for a going away present. Matt loves craft beer...especially his IPAs, which we always had in common so I thought he would just flip over this unique, antique opener. Sure enough he loved it and asked where I had bought it. After explaining that it was 70 years old and they are no longer manufactured, we decided that it was our mission to bring it back! Aside from our enjoyment of the craft beer community, we loved that it was handcrafted in the USA and had form as well as function. The present Eagle Lock Company LLC was established in late 2014 and is now producing the new and improved Eagle Cap-Off!