Collector Hooked on Openers Prized Possessions Will Be on Display This Week in Lisle

By Allen, Kari | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 28, 2000 | Go to article overview

Collector Hooked on Openers Prized Possessions Will Be on Display This Week in Lisle


Allen, Kari, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Norm Jay knows where some of the best bottle and can openers in the world are probably kept.

"In the glove compartments of cars and in fish boxes, too. A lot of people don't attach any value to this," the Wheaton man says.

But Jay does.

His attachment to openers of all sorts is apparent to anyone standing in his basement.

Openers are hung on a paneled wall, dangling from the types of hooks that often hold keys. A rotating display showcases hundreds more, and parts of his collection, including corkscrews, are stored in glass cases.

He owns mainly beer openers of all shapes and sizes: pieces shaped like bottles, tigers, legs, pencils, fish, pretzels and turtles.

Unlike some collectors, Jay isn't interested just in openers of a certain year, state or kind. He likes 'em all.

"I've always been challenged by the thrill of the hunt," Jay says.

He and other members of Just For Openers are venturing this week to a convention at the Hyatt in Lisle, to see if they can hunt down anything else they like.

Jay expects about 50 of the group's 325 members from around the country to attend several days of the convention.

The expo was open to club members from Wednesday through today and will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Collectors of beer, soda and cigar box openers and corkscrews will be able to buy, sell and trade pieces to add to or weed out their collections. …

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