In 1988, Bill was at an auction in the Midwest and nearing its conclusion, he was approached by one of the assistants, “Bill, do you want a shoebox full of bottle openers?” He said, “what the heck…okay.” He had never really thought about bottle openers but later, as he was looking through the box, he discovered some very unusual ones.

His wife enjoyed visiting antique stores – mainly just for the stroll and the “hunt” (searching for something special). Bill would join and take the obligatory tour, but end up back in the car after a few minutes reading the newspaper, but on one trip, he noticed a very unique bottle opener and then another, and this is when the collection started to form. Before, he had nothing to look for but now he had a mission.

Retired, Bill would visit garage sales, thrift stores and auctions and he would often locate amazing openers for a quarter. In the early years, he wouldn’t spend more than two dollars, but then his family, relatives and friends would give him openers and many were very special and clearly cost more, so the limit was slowly raised. Obviously, this made gift giving easy for his family – he would always get openers.

The collection was first displayed in the garage and soon it filled half a wall. It wasn’t that long and an entire wall was covered, and then another and so on. The most rare openers where displayed inside the house in the “TV room,” then, downstairs in display cases. After several years of collecting, the opener collection had grown to thousands and in 2002, Bill and his son did the first “official” count and the number was 3723. Since that time, the collection has more then doubled in size and he has openers from nearly every corner of the world including Thailand, China, Japan, Costa Rica, Russia, India, and from all over Europe.

Bill continues to collect and he now has a “Man Cave” where the openers are displayed. Certainly, it would be great if the collection could be available to the public, but it is a private collection and he has no intention of selling any openers. So, for now his site is the only way to view the collection.

THANKS for looking at Bill’s Bottle Openers.