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11/25/2021
History of the crown cork
The crown cork is a type of cap used to close glass bottles. This closure is not only found above the most popular or craft beers, but also on top of wines produced with the classic method, for example in sparkling wine, soft drinks and much more.

Before the invention of crown corks, carbonated drinks, primarily beer, were sealed with simple caps made of corks. Being it a material coming from the cork (or cork oak) it is subject to possible infections originating from a fungus capable of giving the so-called "cork flavor" to the drink. Cork is also extremely porous, and this can lead to micro-oxygenation of the product which in turn can deteriorate the contents of the bottle. For these reasons, at the time, the average life cycle of carbonated drinks was very short.

Additionally, due to this type of closure, problems such as the leakage of liquid or even the evaporation of carbon dioxide from the bottle could arise during transport and storage.

Invention of the crown cork and the revolution in the world of carbonated drinks

But towards the end of the 1800s everything changed thanks to the ingenuity of William Painter, an Irish mechanical engineer who for years tried to find the best solution to seal glass bottles and, finally, on February 2, 1892, patented it: the crown cork. A metal cap, with a corrugated end that resembles an inverted crown, from which it takes its name, which allowed a perfect closure.

Painter's closure was not only an object never thought of or seen before, it was also simple and inexpensive to produce. Uniquely composed of a metal base, a cork disk to ensure airtightness and avoid the leakage of the liquid and a film which covered the disk to seal everything. All these layers of material were needed to keep the drink from coming into contact with the metal.

The invention of the crown cork marked the beginning of a real revolution in the world of carbonated drinks, extending their life cycle, allowing transport and increasing sales.

After the patent was registered, Painter founded the Crown Cork and Seal Company (now known as Crown Holdings) in Baltimore, a company specializing in the production of closures for the beverage world.

Around the 1920s, however, Prohibition caused the alcohol industry to falter, and the producers of crown corks were forced to find their fortune elsewhere. So, they decided to devote themselves to the production of closures for carbonated drinks. After this period of crisis, the crown cork becomes the most popular closure on the shelves.

The evolution of crown corks

However, as the years go by, as happens today, innovations become normality and when an innovation is used more frequently it leads to the creation of new needs. In fact, when Painter patented his crown cork in 1892, he did not think about the possibility of resealing the bottle, and that is why the screw crown cork (or twist) was invented in the 1960s. The special conformation of this cap eliminated the use of the bottle opener and allowed the leftover drink to be closed again.

Another major change of those years was the elimination of the cork disk inside the cap, which was replaced by a plastic compound.

Over the years the crown cork has become a very important detail, a real icon! Many of us as children collected the most colorful caps, and still in adulthood, many have become expert collectors of such a small but symbolic object.

Furthermore, this closure can also become a powerful means of communication, an opportunity to get in touch with customers thanks to its customization possibilities.
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