Friday, June 24, 2011

Board #4

 Now, before I begin, let me tell you that it ain't easy to take these pictures when you live with a dog that associates "camera" with "walk":

Okay, now that we've gotten the ham outta the way, let's move onto the denizens of board # 4.

We start out with the run of the mill Hamms, a Zulu child. Next to him, we have a Hamms from the Florida trip, a smooshed twist-off.  Next up is a Huber, brewed by Joseph A. Huber, the second-oldest continuing brewery in the USA (dating from 1845).  Ironically enough, they are the brewers of the Berghoff brand at present.  Next is a Korr's Steam-brewed Beer, a product of Geyer Brothers, who ran the old Frankenmuth brewery until bought out in 1987.  The main plant burned in 1987,  but the remains were turned into a microbrewery, which was then destroyed by an F3 tornado in 1996.  How's that for hard luck?  I think my nephew had something to do with this one.  Finally, one of those rare Miller Lites that wasn't a twist off.  Another Zulu child.
Second row kicks off with a Miller Lite Florida twist off, nicely flattened.  Next up is another Florida stamp, an Old Style  twist off (the only branding is G. Heilman Brewing Co. who owned damn near everything for a while before overreaching , being bought with Junk bonds by Aussie Alan Bond in 1991, and going belly-up in 1996). Following him are his brethren, one a regular twist off (a Zulu child which hasn't taken the ages so well) and the other a non-twist that was a roadside find.  Finishing off row two is a Heineken Florida stamp.

Next up is a regular Heineken I pulled from the tar of Webster Road, on a walk with my nephew and his sister.  This was a famous walk in family history;  It was late in the weekend, and my nephew (who was only 3 years my junior) was known for getting a little irritable-and irritating- at this point in the proceedings.  He decided to take it out on his sister (who was about 5-6 at the time) by repeatedly depositing her face first on the asphalt.  Her response to this was to bounce up and scream, "You FOCKER!" (yes, she knew neither the meaning of the word nor the pronunciation).  Eventually the story got to my sister, who twisted it into "FOCKER, FOCKER, FOCKER!!!" where it has remained ever since.
Then comes a Labatt's 50 Ale that came through another nephew, whose mom I believe had relations in Canada.  Next comes your garden-variety Miller Lite twist off, followed by the typical Miller High Life tall twist (albeit a bit paler than the norm), and the common Miller twist off.  Line four starts with a non-twist Miller, then a GEORGIA-stamped Miller twist-off. Next are a pair of heavily-battered Lowenbraus ("here's to good friends/ tonight is kind of special/ the beer you pour/ must say something more, somehow/ so tonight, tonight, let it be Lowenbrau"), one black and one blue. definitely "casing the dumpster" caps. And finally, my first Michelob Light cap, a twist off road find.

That's it for board number four.  Next trip down memory lane will feature my beloved Old Crowns.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Father's day gift and new caps

Okay, so here's that Father's day gift I promised to show you all: (along with a little "extra")

That's right, a shirt full of beer caps with the logo, "Last line of defense".  Cool, eh?  On top of the "line" are three new babies, cork liner USA caps fresh from their tour of Australia.

Our babies du jour lead off with a 1954 Oertel's 92.  On its side is "Kentucky beer tax paid 7 5/7 cents- Oertel brg. co. inc., Louisville KY"  Which explains the little blue symbol (which also showed up on that Falls City Hi-Bru I got a while back) which finally dawned on me it was part of the KY state seal.  Next to him is a Heidel-brau from @ 1959.  It says "light pilsener" above the brand and "Beer" below it.  It bears the mark of MCC, which is the Mundet Cork Company.  Funny thing is, not long later this manufacturer of cork, insulation, and asbestos, was bought out by Crown cap and seal, the monster of the industry.  Crown quickly- within 90 days- sold off everything but the cork crown business, but it was about this time that asbestos became material non grata.  A ton of lawsuits directed at Mundet ended up in Crown's lap- and they had to sue to get their liability cut down to the $7 mil they paid for Mundet.  Finally, we have a Fauerbach from 1939 (according to Tavern Trove; CCCI gives a range of 1933-68).  Fauerbach was from Madison, WI and shut down in 1966.  Their historical webpage is pretty cool.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

And you think you're old...

Did some research into the approximate ages of my cork caps.  Bouncing between Crown Cap Collectors Int'l website and Tavern Trove.  Two of them avoided any detection- the Cock 'N Bull that I mentioned in an earlier post and a relatively new Japanese cap from Asahi, which I'm guessing was new when I acquired it in the mid-80s.  Two more- a modern looking Budweiser and a lookalike with a Kansas sunflower on the bottom- also defied me, but most Budweisers with the red ring around the edge like these had dated from 1945, and I'll list them there.  Some you've met on this blog previously, some you will meet later on.  All dates are from the earliest issue of the closest matching cap I could find on the two sites.

Cock 'N Bull, (book)1/(board)2
Asahi, 3/17

1965- Budweiser, blue background and white text, 3/23
1962- Breunig's, 3/20; Pabst Blue Ribbon, the familiar blue-on-silver, 3/16
1960- Flecks, 3/23
1959- Drewrys "big D", 1/3; Black Label "two swirl", 1/1
1958- Rainier, 3/23
1956- Berghoff "gold", 3/23; Rolling Rock, the PA 2 cents tax, 3/21; Black Label "one swirl"
1955- Rheingold, 3/15; Busch, 1/2
1952- Beverwyck Irish Cream Ale, 3/23
1950- Gunther "keystone tax", 3/20; Schlitz white background, 3/20; Burgie, 3/15; Regal Pale Ale, 3/15; Old Crown red, 1/5
1949- Blatz, 3/23; Drewrys "South Bend", 3/21
1948- Drewrys red mountie, 3/21; Hamms, both the red with white text and red with gold text, 3/21; Rolling Rock, the 1/2 pint tax, 3/21;  Pabst Blue Ribbon, gold background, 3/21; Gunther, VA tax, 3/15; Old German, VA tax, 3/15
1947- Schlitz, light-cream background, 3/21; Meister Brau, 3/21; Hamms, blue with white text, 3/21.
1946- Drewrys white mountie, 3/21
1945- Budweiser red ring (?); Budweiser, red ring, KS (?)
1941- Schlitz, dark-cream, 3/21; Pabst Breweries, 3/21
1940- Bud, 3/23
1937- Falls City Hi-Bru, 3/23
1936- Berghoff "famous black", 3/23
1935- Muskegon, 3/15
1933, Berghoff "Fort Wayne", 3/23; Miller "High Life Co.", 3/21; Alpen Brau, 3/20.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Board #3

Hello and welcome to board #3.  Next time, I'll have to show you the gift I got for Father's Day, but I didn't think about it when I had the camera out.  Very appropriate to the subject.  And on to the caps.

First we have another corkless '37 Chevy find- a gold and red Falstaff.  I thought I saw this on Tavern trove, but theirs are silver background and don't have the tiny lion's head at top right.  Next is the gold cousin to the silver-faced regular Falstaff we saw last time.  Surprisingly, both colors were ZapatAs.  In the middle of row one is a "union made/twist cap" Columbia- another of my nephew's long ago pilferings.  As I recall, I think Columbia was a Pabst offshoot. Then come my pride and joys- my Drewrys.  "Sparkling streams tumble down through the tall trees/ pure and clean, like the fresh taste of Drewrys/ better water makes a better beer..."  Where they found that near the South Bend brewery, I'm not sure.  The first one is your standard cap, a Zulu child. Then comes my all time favorite- the "BIG D" cork liner I found in the Chevy.

It, too, has lost the bright white of the text over the years, but I love it just the same.

Leading off row two is a Drewrys that replaces the blue-and-silver for red-and-white.  Then comes the first big mouth cap I collected- a Coors tall twist. This one and its next door little cousin were both road finds, exciting in a day when you still didn't see a lot of Coors in our area.  Next to it is another Chevy cap- a Falstaff "Tu-Way" with "Pry or Twist" in the black band with the arrow (lower left) and in the center a a Virginia silhouette with "2¢" inside and "VIRGINIA" printed beneath.  After that, we have one of those Falstaff "rebus" caps, where the puzzle is underneath supposed to be underneath the cap.  This one got misprinted, though, and most of the face (which should have the tankard sketched in black) is blank, and part of the rebus is up the side and a bit on the face.  How they managed that trick physically would be neat to know.

Third row starts out with how the rebus cap is supposed to look- the first is an aluminum tall-twist (which didn't get the rebus) and the second the standard rebus cap. All three of these are Zulu children.  Next comes four Genessee's: #1 has the usual logo replaced with "TURN OFF", and "or use opener" beneath; #2 is a cream ale; next is your standard twist off; and finally an old (but not "cork" old) non-twist.  #1 was a roadie; #2-3 I think were Nephew caps- and the degree of crap on it tells you that Kerr (KPP) used the cheap stuff on their caps too- and #4 was a dump cap.  Next is a Fyfe and Drum Extra Lyte (another one of those beers that was among the first cans you got that were out-of-the-area beers), that as I recall I got from my nephew, who had acquired a couple of empty bottles from a fellow collector.

Next up is your standard tall-twist aluminum Hamms, a Zulu child.  The one that you can't hardly read- even in live action- is a Golden Goebel that was found at a dump, taken home despite the fact their was nothing visible on its face, and revealed to be a Goebel after a bath in boric acid (which was the common get-rid-of-rust solution). 

 Finally, a generic "golden amber"- one of a set of four generic caps that my nephew pocketed (while my back was turned) at a can show after I determined I wasn't going to spend what they wanted for them and walked away.  That was the same place that he brought a Kesslers cone-top to hoping to trade up.  And when this one dealer wouldn't trade for the can he wanted (because he would've been stupid to- Kesslers were relatively easy), he waited till the guy wasn't looking and switched them out.  Thankfully, my nephew has grown out of this short phase and become a relatively upstanding citizen.  I forget what the can he got was- except that it was worth a good $10-$15 more; all I remember is that when we tried to call my bro-in-law to get picked up, we couldn't get through on the pay phone because we were like a half-mile from the WMEE transmitters on Maples Road and the station bled over onto the phone line.  How's that for technology?

Friday, June 17, 2011

And now- Board #2

Since I cheated and did Time Machine last night, I now have time to come over here and go onto board #2.  Maestro, picture #1 if you please.

The slightly dinged gentleman leading off is a Budweiser ez-twist with the Georgia state seal at the bottom- another memento of the 1977 Florida trip.  Next is a Coulardot's Tavern child, a Blatz.  Two doors down is another, and you can see that one has a flat silver background, the other a polished silver.  The first was made by ZapatA, the other by WHS.  In between them is a "twist-Lift" Blatz- no brand on the cap- which I think was one of my nephew's "acquisitions".  The end of row one is a Little Kings Cream Ale.  I used to struggle with what to call these-  the bottle featured the brand name Schoengling's, the cap said "Cincinnati's Finest".  Then they came out with the jingle, "Little Kings Cream Ale, it's too good to be beer," and I knew what THEY called themselves at last.  This is a tall twist aluminum.

Row 2 starts with another LKCA, this time a regular size twist off, likely a Zulu child.  The rest of this row are Busch.  First we have a cork liner from the '37 Chevy.  Next are two twist offs, the second stamped Florida, and I believe both from the trip.  Finally a regular ol' cap from the day, a Zulu child.  Nearly identical to the much older cork, except the text is a hair bigger.

The second half of board 2 starts with a tall twist Busch, from its good shape I'd say another Zulu child.  Following him are a pair of "sparkling" Champales, "the champagne of beers".  The first is  Florida, the second a Georgia.  Next comes a Colt 45 tall twist- I think it was my cousin Ed that used to drink that.  At the end of row three is a Buckhorn beer, and I've been scratching my head over where I got that one.  I know Coulardot's didn't sell it, and I don't think it was a roadside find.  I might have traded a beer can for it, but I just don't know for sure.  Next is kind of an odd bird- a Cock'N Bull cork liner.  Apparently this was a ginger beer- and thus of dubious credentials for my standard, but I didn't know that back then (or until a few minutes ago).  It was brewed in Hollywood by a guy named Jack Morgan, who owned a restaurant of the same name.  We finish the board off with 4 Falstaffs. The first was a common twist off, a Zulu child.  The next has a bit of a story about it. In our old back yard, we had a string of out buildings along the west property line- a dog pen, an attached shed, an overhang with rabbit pens, and a two-holer outhouse.  The yard-wide strip between the property line and the buildings, separated by a wire fence and large holly bushes, became a repository for odd junk that just didn't fit any of the easy-to-get-rid-of garbage categories. One such object was a sink basin whose days of seeing home were over.  I think it might have been a drunken acquisition of my dad's, that didn't pass light of day inspection or mom's wrath.  In any event, I was snooping around back there one day and discovered a 24 oz. beer bottle- with this cap still attached.  It is a tall twist with a little bitty Georgia state seal on it.  How it got back there, I don't know, but I'm guessing it came up with my Mom's sister Lavonne ("Bonnie") and her husband, Roger, during one of their visits from Bartow, Florida.  Not quite as neat (back then) as the ancient dog's skull that worked it's way to the surface back there, but it lasted a LOT longer.

Next was the common Falstaff non-twist, whose paint job has struggled to stand the test of time.  A Zulu child.  And finally one of those really cool black and gold jobs from the sixties.  One of the few non-cork lined caps from out of the '37 Chevy. I struck out on learning more on that cap, but did learn that Hank Williams Sr. died drinking Falstaff.  Weird wild stuff, as Johnny Carson used to say.

That's it for now, kids.  I might have some more good news later today.

UPDATE:  After an hour of painstaking searching, I have uncovered the identity of WHS- W.H. Hutchinsons and Son, a bottler founded waaay back in Chicago, and sold in 1974 to National Can,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New babies from E-Bay 6-15-2011

Just got my latest prizes from e-bay- actually two sets, coincidentally from the same fellow.  James Shaw, I thank you. All of these caps are vintage cork-lined caps.  Scrappy, let's go to the film, er, picture.

Starting at 12 o'clock, that is a Berghoff, one of Ft. Wayne's home breweries (back in the day, that is). It says "Famous Berghoff Beer" and is a "WHS" cap. I have had zero luck trying to find out what manufacturer that is, but thanks to google, if I ever need to find a cap manufacturer in China or India, I'm all set.  According to Tavern Trove, this cap was made in 1938.  Heading clockwise, we next have its sister Berghoff.  She is an Armstrong.  Then we have the interesting story of this 1933-40 Bud cap.  This is not a Budweiser- as the logo "Manhattan Brewing co., Chicago Ill."   on the side proves.  The Manhattan co. was a pre-prohibition company eventually owned by mobster Frank Nitti.  Bud emerged as one of its many brands after prohibition ended (although the factory never stopped brewing beer when it could get away with it), but in 1947 new ownership got rid of every vestige of the gangster tainted past and was reborn as Canadian Ace, whose cans I have seen many times.  This cap was made by Sealex.

Following Bud is a Falls City Hi-Bru, with "Kentucky" on the face and "Kentucky beer tax paid 15 cents" and Falls City Brewing co., Louisville KY" on the side.  Tavern trove has this cap as 1935 (perspective time- this cap is @ 75 years old!).  Bottom of the circle is a Flecks, which was brewed by the Fleckenstein brewery in Faribault, MN (dead south of Minneapolis/St. Paul), from a recipe started in the old country (Germany) in 1577.  He's a CCC (Chicago Crown cap).

Next on the upswing is a Beverwyck's Irish Cream Ale, a CCS.  It was an Albany, NY, company that according to Wikipedia produced ICA from 1933 to 1950, though Tavern Trove lists the cap as a 1952.  Next up is a pretty blue 1951 Budweiser, a ZapatA.  The top of the circle but one is a Rainier from 1957, with a little gold banner that says "Truly  Mild"- not much of a beer description these days.  He's a Crown Cap Company, with the 3 concentric "c"s on the side.  And that brings us to the star of our show.

This is a Berghoff that I assume is among the oldest in my collection.  On the top ring, it says "D-ST Permit 7-u-710"; underneath that, "12 flu oz";  under the main logo, "Ft. Wayne, Indiana"; and on the bottom ring, "does not contain more than 4% alcohol by volume".  Of all the caps I've found on e-bay, this was the ONE hell-or-high-water cap for me.  I love the Ft. Wayne brewing tradition, as well as the state tradition, which is why these, along with my ancient Falstaffs, Drewerys, Old Crown, and Sterling, are the prize of my heart.

I've got more caps coming in, but they are shipping from Australia and might be a while- kinda a funny place to get American caps.  If I find out any more about these little pride-n-joys, I'll let you all know.  Bottoms up!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A weekend of newbies

I found me 4 caps on Friday right here in the neighborhood, which I exulted about on TAW.  My son KC brought 2 over that his lady friend drank and then came over later today with three more (plus a comic book) that he found on a walk.  While he was on his way, Scrappy and I shook down the neighborhood for yet another.  Here, then, are the new little guys in the collection:

Just offset from 12 o'clock is a Budweiser- the "league-leading" 28th- which says "FLAVOR-LOCK CROWN".  This was from KC's Sunday walk.  at 1 o'clock is a Bud Light Lime that was among my 4-cap Friday haul. At 2 is a Busch.  I have a similar cap to this, but the "twist off" and arrow are on the face on it, and everything is gold on blue, where this has the twist off (very tiny) on the side and the face is not monocolor.  He's the one we found this afternoon at the edge of a carport. 3 o'clock is a Miller  which has the "small" rather than "large" Miller above the High Life.  I just had recently found a tall twist like this; this was a Friday morning acquisition , just feet away from the BL Lime.  Beneath it is a Miller High Life Light- only my second- with the yellow ribbon indicating that had it been mailed in, Miller would have chipped in 10 cents to their veterans' program.  I'll make it up to them in some other way.

 At about 5 o'clock is a Miller Lite "2006 World Beer Cup" that has spent some time in the parking lot until Friday;  7 o'clock is a George Killian Lite that I had to pry from the tar in front of a dumpster on Friday, and it was a battle! I just found a Smirnoff Ice last week, and spent, IDK, a half-hour trying to find out if it was a beer or not.  Since several state legislatures are currently debating that very question for tax purposes as we speak, I said, "Okay, then, a "malt beverage" is a beer. "  Then Ashley drank a Smirnoff Ice raspberry burst (same cap, magenta rather than red) and it had a little brother.  That's him at 8 o'clock.  At 9 we have another of Ashley's conquests, the equally hard to determine Jack Daniels Down Home Punch.  After another half-hour long search, I finally found it described somewhere as a "premium malt beverage" and in she goes.

Next is a Sam Adams Noble Pils, which "contains all 5 Noble hops".  Noble hops are apparently the top of the line, four varieties that are official (and I guess one of the two English varieties that are sometimes included) and only Noble when grown in the area that gave each its name : Two from Bavaria, one from Bohemia (Czech Rep.) , and one from Baden-Wurrtemburg.  KC found it on his Sunday walk.

My four finds on Friday were enough to celebrate a great weekend; Another on Sunday in the same area, plus KC's 2 donations and three finds make it spectacular.   And, later this week I'll have some more e-bay babies, including one I'm still picking up bits of dropped jaw from first seeing it- put it this way: I got it for 64% of my high limit, and I generally am a pretty chincy, incremental bidder.  So I really, REALLY wanted it.

The Set-up

Before I start on the next group of caps, I'd like to whine about the difficulties in setting even such a humble site up, in the hopes that someday Blogger might see it and say, "Y'know, we do get a LOT of complaints about that..."

First thing that slowed things down (after I finally talked myself into this and convinced myself that the pictures I can take would have to do) was the name.  Not so much choosing it, but the spelling.  I left the second "c" out of collection, and only saw it while trying to deal with the second problem.  Thought I was going to have to delete the blog at first, then saw I was being a double idiot and edited it.

Lesson #1 for Blogger:  Spell check on set-up, too.

Next, I selected for my header a pic of me with the two caps I found in Johnny Appleseed Park a few weeks back.  And, as usual, it was way too big (excuse me, WAAAAY too big) and Blogger gives few options for resizing.  Suggestions included shrink to fit (which was an option I didn't have on pictures downloaded from my computer) and changing a certain piece of html code (which I couldn't find on my header). Finally, after reading so many "Blogger is stupid" complaints that I thought I was listening to Laurie playing a new online game w/o the rules, I found the suggestion to download the pic to Photobucket and re-size it.

Lesson #2 for Blogger:  give us a sizing option on set-up, huh?

So I go to photobucket and try to sign up for a free account to re-size my one lousy picture.  Put in screen name (cw martin) and password ( containing one or more of the following: !@#$%^&**()_+).  Sorry, can't have a space in your screen name.  WTF not??? Okay, so out goes the space.  Sorry, name already taken.  How about cwmartin1? sure, that's okay.  Sorry, password cannot have symbols, only letters and numbers.  WTF?  Hello, what about security?  Fine, here, let me take !@#$%^&*()_+ out.  Okay, you are the proud owner of a free photobucket account.  How about paying some money to make it a premium account?  To re-size one lousy picture? I think not.

Lesson#3 for all you websites- security in passwords is generally recommended.  ALLOW SYMBOLS!!!

Figuring out how to re-size was simple- figuring how to get it onto my header was not.  Especially as I was tired (I'd been suffering from some kind of fatigue spell all day) and frustrated, and kept forgetting to save this, check that, uncheck the other.  Finally I had the right picture, now to choose the font for the title.  Hmm, this "lobster" looks neat, let's try it.  Sorry, we won't let you have that one on your header. WTF?  Okay, fine, let's try this one. Or this one.  In fact any of the others on the list gave me something- except lobster.  Fine, do this one instead.

Lesson #4 for Blogger- if you can't USE it, don't LIST it.


Okay, onto the next picture.  Maestro, if you please:

This is the bottom of board one in book one.  You might recognize the little West Virginia silhouette map in the middle of the first on in the top row.  That is indeed a WVA A-B Natural Light, complete with STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA and the state motto (in Latin, natch) printed on it.  Another Florida trip baby.  Next is one final ABNL, this one a straight opener needed cap.  These all have the trademark KPP on the side, which I believe is a symbol Kerr used for their caps.  Next we have another Black Label; this time the center band simply says Union Made.  I believe he is a Floridian like his brethren.  The remainder of this page is Budweisers.   The next cap (fourth on the top) and the one in the middle of the second row differ in that the top one is a metallic silver background (made by KPP) and the bottom is in flat silver ( made by ZapatA, which was a Kansas outfit who had some lawsuit problems in the 1980s). They likely both came from the tavern in Zulu, and weren't as common there as you might think.  As I've said, my dad was a PBR man; His one brother, and my brother-in-law, were Falstaff dudes; another uncle was a Blatz guy; among the other long timers were aficionados of Old Chicago and Strohs.  Very light on Miller there, though Miller Lite was making some inroads.  I'd guess the biggest seller was Falstaff, followed by PBR and then Bud.

Anyway, a simple Bud twist-off (or use opener) rounds out the top row. On either side of the bottom row are two more Floridians; one says "e-z twist GEORGIA", and the other says "e-z twist FLORIDA".  Flanking the ZapatA cap are two aluminum "tall twists"; the second one of those much rarer red background-silver text ones.

This will go a bit faster in future posts as I run out of stories and extraneous crap to lead off with (maybe).
Bottoms up!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Here We Go!

I'm going to see how I like this- a continuing story on my humble little cap collection.  Let's start out by settling the stage.

I started this collection out in my callow youth because I figured, with all the dudes doing beer CANS, I could be a big frog in a small pond.

WRONG!  I have since found out that there is a whole crown cap collecting society out there, with conventions, dues, newsletters, and collections covering not only beer caps but pop, associated alcohol, and and at least one guy who even takes caps off STP cans and the like, as long as they're crowns (for the uninitiated, these are the standard, crimp-edged bottle caps, as opposed to plastic or aluminum twist offs), and some of them number in the tens of thousands.

As I found this blog, I am at 449 caps, all beer or the near-to (such as cream ales and this ambiguous Smirnoff Ice).  Up until a couple of months ago, when I discovered collectors sell all kinds of caps on e-bay, the vast majority of caps I had I found;  Very few, amazingly enough, did I drink myself, since the collection had basically been in mothballs the majority of time between high school and now.  Since then, I've added around  125 little guys through the magic of online auctions.

Damn near any variation of color, text, trademark, etc.

If I can tell what it is, even if I have to angle it just right, or wet it to see words.  Rust and flatness are no object; That doesn't mean I'll buy a totally trashed cap on e-bay, but I'll dance in the streets if I find one in the streets.

I can't really describe that; walk with me someday when I come across a new one, and look into my eyes at that moment, and you'll see.
I used to love spring, because I could get out and walk the roads and parking lots, searching.  I used to imagine a magic magnet that I could attach to the car to suck up any caps we drove past; I'd still love to have a metal detector for that same purpose.

This is something I've been refining very recently.  At the core is a little notebook that records them by brands, with physical descriptions.  This has now been keyed to a notebook which has them (up to that point) in alphabetical order so I can find them not only in the little notebook but in what I'm keeping them in.  And that is three (at this point) photo albums, duck-taped to the stiff page and with the plastic cover taped down when the page is full.  I currently have 22 pages full, 4 rows of 5 caps, and about 40% of #23.

I"m going to put pictures of them on here, a few at a time, as well as update you all on the new conquests.  If nothing else, it will keep me from boring you on Tilting At Windmills.  To demonstrate, here's the start of the pictorial history of the Cap Collection!

You'll have to bear with; any one who's a regular over at TAW knows my camera is a real piece o' work, but it's what I have to work with.  What you see before you is Book one, page (or board) one, the top two rows.
That mammoth thing you see in the leadoff spot is actually a third type of cap, a ring-pull.  It belongs to a Mickeys malt liquor, although it has no brand ID on it. I have (I believe) three ring-pulls; the manufacturer on all is American Flange.  As I sit here, I recall this being found in a dump- whether in a nearby woods or the one we found in the hills of Pokagon, I'm not sure.
Next to him is a very flat Andeker twist off.  As I recall, Andeker was a cheap Anheuser-Busch knock-off, fairly popular in the early to mid seventies.  This was a roadside find, surprise.
The remainder of the top row and the beginning of the bottom are Black Labels.  My dad was a BL drinker when I was a baby, the pictures say;  He was a PBR man by the time I can remember.  The first and third ones are cork-lined;  this is the oldest type of crown, and was phased out by the late 50's in most cases.  The difference between the two is twofold; and because of my excellent photography (which I shall henceforth stop apologizing for), you'll have to take my word for it.  The main difference is in the "B"- the first one has a double loop at the top, and the third has but a single loop.  The other diff is a copyright mark at the end of the final "L"- a trait it shares in common with the mid-seventies non-cork between them.  Why is there such an odd difference?  Well, the first was manufactured by Chicago  Crown Cap, the third by Armstrong- the same Armstrong who has moved from bottle caps into flooring these days.  This is where the part about my dad drinking BL comes in:  He used to have a 1937 Chevy, painted a pathetic combo of a lavender-blue-purple that legend has it he and a brother or buddy conjured up on one of his many intoxicated afternoons.  By the time I was a kid, it made an appearance on the road about a half-hour at a time every second or third year.  It was mainly a maternity room for stray cats by then, and it was in the cushions of its back seats where I found these two, along with others we shall see later.

The regular that sits between them is a crown cap & seal which I acquired, as I did so many, from Cliff Coulardot's tavern in downtown Zulu.  We were regulars there, and it was sitting in the family room there that I first got the idea for this venture.  The cap box was an old tin thing mounted to the wall in the hall between the family room and the bar side, right across from the men's room.  What I wouldn't give to see that place again (as it was), with Cliff and Bill still harassing me... but I digress.

The two at the beginning of row two have different messages across the middle.  The first says  "Florida/union made"; the other says "union made/twist cap"  Both are prizes from the trip to Florida I made with my big brother Tom's family back in 1977.  Following them are two Ballantines:  the first is a flat "spin pop-top" with just an arrow at the bottom (obviously a parking lot baby); the second is a "spin pop-top/ ale"
 that is one of a handfull I acquired through illicit means (i.e. my nephew would go to the store with my sister, my mom, and me.  He'd point out a cap, ask if I had one, and one PSSSH later...).  The silver guy on the end is an Anheuser-Busch Natural Light ("Natty Light" before they discovered people might ask for them more often if they didn't need to make a speech to get it) with "FLORIDA" printed on it for tax paid.  Another from that Florida trip; I believe I nearly doubled my collection in two weeks time back then.

Okay, since I was so long winded at the beginning, we'll stop for now.  Next time, we'll have the rest of page one, at least, along with a discussion of how Blogger could make setting a blog up a LOT easier.

Bottoms up!