William Painter (inventor)

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William Painter
William Painter.jpg
Born(1838-11-20)November 20, 1838
DiedJuly 15, 1906(1906-07-15) (aged 67)
Burial placeDruid Ridge Cemetery, Pikesville, Baltimore County, Maryland, USA
OccupationInventor, Engineer
Parent(s)Dr. Edward Painter, Louisa Gilpin Painter

William Painter (November 20, 1838 – July 15, 1906) was an Irish mechanical engineer, inventor and the founder of Crown Holdings, Inc., a Fortune 500 company. He most notably invented the crown cork bottle cap and bottle opener.

Early life & career[edit]

Painter was born in Ireland to Dr. Edward Painter and Louisa Gilpin Painter. He was the third of seven children, although two died in infancy. At the age of 20, he emigrated to the United States in search of better opportunities.[1] He moved to Baltimore, Maryland in 1865 to begin a career as a foreman at the Murrill & Keizer's machine shop. He worked with manufacturers to develop a universal neck for all glass bottles and started Crown Cork and Seal[2] in 1892 to manufacture caps that could be used to seal the universal necks.


Painter patented 85 inventions, including the common bottle cap, the bottle opener, a machine for crowning bottles, a paper-folding machine, a safety ejection seat for passenger trains, and a machine for detecting counterfeit currency. He was inducted to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006.[3]


  1. ^ "Lemelson-MIT Program". mit.edu.
  2. ^ "History and Timeline - Crown". crowncork.com.
  3. ^ http://www.invent.org/hall_of_fame/292.html

External links[edit]