Today in 1879, US Patent 220595 A was issued, an invention of Edward Fitch, for his “Improvement in Tapping and Venting Barrels.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:
This invention relates to an improved method or process of tapping and venting barrels, casks, or other vessels containing liquids, and consists- First. Of a faucet provided with an air-duct passing partly through the same lengthwise, preferably near the upper side thereof, and terminating near the inner end of the faucet in an opening upon the side of the faucet.
Second. This air-duct is controlled by the spigot of the faucet, and is opened or shut by turning the spigot. The spigot is provided with two openings, one above the other-the upper one for the admission of air to the airduct, and the lower one for the emission of the liquid contents of the barrel. The lower opening is made larger than the upper one, and in such position in the spigot that by partially turning the spigot the liquid will flow while the air-duct remains closed, and by further turning the spigot the air-duct will also be opened. The spigot can thus be made to open both passages at the same time, or to close both passages at the same time, or to open the lower passage for the flow of the liquid while the upper or air passage or duct remains closed.
Third. The head of the barrel,’cask, or other vessel to be tapped and vented is provided with an air duct or passage passing in a straight line through the substance of the head at right angles with the axis of the barrel, and opening at the lower end of the said air duct or passage in the upper side of the orifice in the said head through which the liquid is to be drawn, and at the other end thereof into the barrel at or near the junction of the head with the staves of the barrel, thus opening a duct or passage from the orifice in said head to the air-chamber in the upper side of the barrel when the same is placed upon its side in position for drawing the liquid.