passed the company down to his 6 sons under the leadership of his eldest, Raymond Brown Jr.
The company changed hands within the family a few times throughout the next two decades ending in the hands of a neighbor named Borden James.
Over the years they have produced openers for Coca-Cola, Canada Dry, Pepsi-Cola, Orange Crush, Budweiser, Samuel Adams, Polar, Frigidaire, Fender and more.
Bottle openers only became common kitchen items after the crown top (also called the crown cork) was invented by a Baltimore bottler named William Painter in 1892.
All logos were colored by hand and finished products were hand boxed.
Business continued to grow and in the 1970's Raymond Sr.
Some openers abandoned the key shape altogether in favor of figurals, such as a man riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Metals used in these early, flat openers include cast iron, steel, and brass.
In a newspaper article from the ‘Daily Press’ in Newport News, dated October 11, 1936, Brown Manufacturing Company was noted as being the “largest single maker in the world of stationary bottle openers”.
According to the article, the company had the capacity on average to produce 20,000 bottle openers a week. purchased the Norfolk Coca-Cola Bottling Company and renamed it the Norfolk News Bottling Facility. Hamilton was awarded a patent for his invention of the 'Bottle Cap Puller'.
From the 1910s to around 1930, many of these openers also had a small square hole in them, which was designed to open and close the gas-powered Prest-o-lite valves on automobile headlights, which were common before electric headlights became the norm.