Interesting Ideas

These aren't just any drawings of bottle-cap people. These are the drawings filed in support of patent number 217,277.

The patent was issued April 21, 1970, to George Kasperan Jr. for his "Snack Server." This patent record is the only official document I've been able to turn up about these figures, despite extensive research.

Kasperan's exact role in the invention of the bottle-cap figure remains unknown. The figures, after all, were being made years before the patent's filing in 1969 -- absolutely as early as 1961 and almost certainly well back into the '50s. (There is a tendency to date them further back than is realistic. Most examples date no earlier than the '60s, and many are from the '70s, when, presumably, they were being built in infringement of Kasperan's claim.)

It's possible that Kasperan, who lived in Connecticut and died in 1992, waited to file his patent until long after he came up with the idea for the figures. Or perhaps he simply patented a variation on an existing invention. The style of figure shown in the drawings is one of the two most popular variations. The other had an incised rectangular body rather than a tapered one.

Someday perhaps a full set of instructions will turn up. In the meantime, you can review the patent document here and read more about bottle-cap art here. Or you can view an actual patented figure here.

This is an example of the patented bottlecap figure

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