Eagle Cap-Off Mechanical Bottle Opener
Normally, I wouldn’t take the time to write an entire article focused on an obscure piece of kitchen gadgetry from nearly 70 years ago. However, this is one bar tool that is too cool not to devote an entire page to. Devised in the mid to late 1940’s by the Eagle Lock Company hailing from Chicago, the Patent Pending Eagle Cap-Off Mechanical Bottle Opener is a true work of genius that unfortunately and shamefully never became the status quo for the typical bottle opening consumer. For reasons I can’t understand, the Eagle’s design never saw commercial success, but thankfully it didn’t completely disappear into obscurity. Featured in a Popular Science article circa September 1947, the Eagle Mechanical Bottle Opener is an extraordinarily complex device that could not be simpler to operate. With a simple squeeze off the levers the Eagle pulls upwards around the crimped edges of your favorite bottle of suds making a signature, and extraordinary silent pop, that leaves a small round indention in the center of the bottle’s cap. The hood of the Eagle then retains the cap rather than simply shooting it across the room or in my case, more often than not, down the small separation between my counter and fridge never to be seen again. If Da Vinci had been in need of a bottle opener, I imagine that this is what he would have designed. Having tried this device while visiting my family last Christmas, I fell in love with this remarkable piece of mechanical ingenuity and thankfully, I was fortunate enough to receive one for my birthday. Although these devices were very limited in production and never became a commercial success, luckily they aren’t impossible to come across. After checking out recent EBay auctions, I found a couple Eagle Cap-Off’s, although in far worse condition than my own(mostly rusted, but functional), for anywhere between $20 and $60 dollars. I know it sounds like a lot for a vintage bottle opener, but the Eagle Cap-Off is so unique and exquisitely functional, it’s absolutely worth it.