Today is Beer Can Appreciation Day, because on this day in 1935, the first cans of beer were sold. Cans of “Krueger Cream Ale” were sold by the Kruger Brewing Company in Richmond, Virginia, with other breweries following suit the very same year. Here’s some fun resources about the history of the beer can. First, there’s a History of the Can (that’s all cans) while Rusty Cans has a more beer-centric timeline. Keglined has An Illustrated History of the American Beer Can and Timeline has another history that goes back to ancient times. And CraftCans has this infographic timeline showing “8 Decades of Canned Beer.”
Today in 1963, US Patent 3074678 A was issued, an invention of John Michael Mele, for his “Beer Can Holder.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
My invention relates to holders for cans containing beverages and more particularly to beer can holders.
As the pouring out of the cold beer into a glas will raise the temperature of the beer and also will reduce its gas content, it is considered preferable by many persons to drink the beer directly from the can through an opening cut in the cover of the can.
One of the important objects of my invention is to provide a convenient handle for the holding of the beer can and thereby eliminate the inconvenience of a direct contact between the fingers and the cold and moist beer can.
Another important object of my invention is to provide a beer can holder which collects the beer which may be accidentally spilled when cutting the opening in the cover of the can, thereby preventing the soiling of the table cover.
A further object of my invention is to provide a beer can holder which is very simple in construction, economical in manufacture, and which offers a very secure clamping of the beer can in the holder, eliminating the possibility of the rotation of the beer can in the holder and the resultant displacement of the discharge opening of the cover in relation with the handle.
Today in 1971, US Patent 3554400 A was issued, an invention of John S. Bozek, assigned to the Continental Can Co., for his “Nonflipping Beer Can End.” Here’s the Abstract:
An easy opening end particularly adapted for use on beverage cans, said end including an end panel, weakening line formed in said end panel and defining a removable tearout portion which extends generally from the central portion of said end panel to the periphery of said end panel, and a circumferential rib in said end panel, said rib being generally C-shaped in outline and having opposite ends terminating adjacent said tearout portion and reinforcing said end panel around said tearout portion to prevent premature rupturing of said can end along said weakening line, and a pull tab secured to said tearout portion for effecting the removal thereof, said rib being depressed to define an upwardly opening groove, and said pull tab having a free end overlying said groove whereby clearance is provided between said pull tab free end and said end panel to facilitate the initial lifting of said pull tab.
Today in 1955, US Patent 2698994 A was issued, an invention of Walter M. Hansen, for his “Beer Can Opener.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
This invention relates to a can opening device and more particularly to a high speed opener of the performating type.
The conventional practice of storing liquids for customer consumption in cans has presented a problem for operators of restaurants and taverns who necessarily handle a large volume of canned liquids in this form such as beer and fruit juices. The usual practice is to punch a hole in the tops of the cans through which the content is poured into the customers glass. Prior to this time such a can punching operation has not only proved dangerous and laborious but also time consuming in that seldom was the punch conveniently located and its use required two hands, one hand to hold the can while the other hand was used to do the punching. Injuries are likely to occur in case of slippage of the can from the hand of the opener.
It is therefore among the objects and purposes of this invention to provide a high speed can opener requiring only a straight thrust by one hand of the operator used to grasp the can wherein a pivoted cutting blade is brought into cutting engagement with the top of the can.
Today in 1858, US Patent 19063 A was issued, an invention of Ezra J. Warner, for his “Can Opener.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
I have invented a new and useful Improvement` in Instruments for Cutting Open Sealed Tin Cans and Boxes; and I do hereby declare that the following is a full, clear, and exact description of the construction, character, and operation of the same, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, which make a part of this specification, in which- Figure l, is a view of the whole instrument, showing the looped bar, (as Fig. 5,) swung across the piercer bar. Fig. 2, is a view of the same, showing another position of the looped bar. Fig. 3, is a view of the shaft, with the piercer bar. Fig. 4, is a view of the curved cutter, (as in Figs. l and 2). Fig. 5, is a view of the looped bar, (as in Figs. 1 and 2.)
I make the shank, A, (including t-he piercer-bar, B,) of steel, substantially, as represented in Figs. l, 2, and 3, with a suitable handle, as C, Figs. l and 2, and I make the point of the piercer bar, B, substantially, in the form represented at d, Figs. l, 2, &c., I make the curved cutter, a, of cast steel, substantially in the form shown in Figs. l, 2, and 4, and attach it to the shank, A, (as at 5,) by passing the end, a, Fig. 4, into a dovetail slot, so that it may be readily removed, in case of its being injured, or when I desire to change the position of the cutting edge from one side of the looped or swinging bar c, to the other or to have it cut in the center, between the two sides, and I bevel the edge on either side, or on both sides, according to the position in which it is to be placed for cutting. I make the looped bar, c, of steel, or any other suitable material, substantially in the form shown in Fig. 5, (and indicated in Figs. 1 and 2,) and attach it to the piercer bar, B, (near its end,) by a fulcrum or joint pin, as shown at c, Figs. l and 2, (and indicated in Fig. 3,) so that it may readily swing, or rock, from the position shown in Fig. 1 to that shown in Fig. 2.
To use this instrument, I swing the loop bar substantially to the position shown at c, in Fig. l, take hold of the handle, C, and press the point, a, of the piercer-bar, B, through the tin in the desired place, turn the instrument, and insert the point of the curved cutter, a, through the perforation already made, (when the looped or swinging bar, c, will be substantially in the position shown in Fig. 2,) and work the handle, C, (in the manner of a brake.) Then the handle, C, is moved in the direction indicated by the dart in Fig. 2, the loop bar, c, will be held against the surface of the tin, while the curved cutter, a, will be forced between its parts and cut the tin smoothly through, and when the handle is moved in the opposite direction the instrument may be pushed forward for another cut, and so on, thus allowing the operator to cut as fast as he can move his hand.
The advantages of my improvement over all other instruments for this purpose consist in the smoothness and rapidity of the cut, as well as the ease with which it is worked, as a child may use it without difficulty, or risk, and in making the curved cutter susceptible of being removed, so that if one should be injured it may be replaced by another, thus saving all the other portions of the instrument, and consequently much expense, and in that the piercer will perforate the tin without causing the liquid to fly out, as it does in all those which make the perforation by percussion of any kind.
Today in 1952, US Patent 2623672 A was issued, an invention of James H O’Neil, assigned to the Continental Can Co., for his “Beer Jetter.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
The invention relates to new and useful improvements in a method of packaging beer in containers and more particularly in open top cans. The elimination of air from the head space of the container before sealing is recognized as desirable. Many expedients have been proposed and utilized for this purpose, including the directing of a jet of inert gas into the beer beneath the surface thereof through a nozzle submerged in the beer in an open top can for causing foam to ll the head space and force the air therefrom. The wide open mouth of the open top can presents difficulties when attempts are made to direct a jet of inert gas into the beer from a point above the surface of the beer, because the jetted stream entrains surrounding air which is driven into the beer along with the inert gas causing an excessive amount of air to be entrapped in the beer and foam. Also, the velocity of the jet must be controlled to avoid blowing the foam from the surface of the beer thereby causing excessive foaming and Waste of beer.
An object of the invention is to provide a method of directing inert gas into an open top can partially filled with a gas containing beverage which includes the step of first covering the mouth of the can so as to provide a closed head space with a vent opening leading to the atmosphere and then directing a jet of inert gas through the closed head space at a point above the surface of the beer at a velocity sufficient to cause the gas to penetrate the surface of the beer for causing the beer to foam and iill the head space with foam.
Today in 1937, US Patent 2102208 A was issued, an invention of Alfred L. Kronquest, assigned to the Continental Can Co., for his “Process of Packaging Beer in Open Top Metal Containers.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
This invention relates to new and useful processes for the pasteurizing of the beer.
The present invention has to do with a method of making and treating a container so as to provide a suitable coating covering the entire inner surface of the metal container so as to prevent the beer from contacting with the metal at any time. It is well known that when metal sheets are coated with an enamel that has no clouding effect upon the beer, the bending or drawing of the sheet to form the ends and to form the body seams, is likely to fracture the enamel coating temperature necessary to heat the sealed container so as to expose the metal there beneath. Even if the can body and the bottom end thereof is coated with enamel, the shaping of the parts is likely to fracture the enamel coating and render the container thus formed unsuitable for 5 the packaging of beer.
Today in 1948, US Patent 2455496 A was issued, another invention of Thomas Kaskouras, for his “Can and Bottle Opener.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
My invention relates to an opener adapted to open a can or remove a bottle top.
Today in 2001, US Patent 6321927 B2 was issued, an invention of Michael Cavella, for his “Beverage Can Seal.” Here’s the Abstract:
A seal for use on a container such as a beverage or food storage container and more specifically such as a soft drink, beer, or soup can where the seal prevents contamination of the rim or lip, trough and area adjacent to and surrounding the drinking aperture as well as between the drinking aperture and the nearest rim. The seal covers the inner surface of the rim but does not restrict use of 6-pack rings or the like, nor does the seal interfere with stacking of the cans. The seal further includes a peel tab.
Today in 1969, US Patent 3480175 A was issued, an invention of Nick S. Khoury, assigned to the Continental Can Co., for his “Single Pull Ring Tab.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
This subject has to do with easy opening can ends having a tear portion defined by a weakening line and wherein a pull tab is attached to the tear portion to effect the removal thereof. The pull tab overlies the tear portion so as to protect the tear portion against accidental removal. By having the pull tab coextensive with the tear portion, more space is made available for a larger tear portion.
This invention relates in general to new and useful improvements in easy opening containers, and more particularly to a novel easy opening panel construction of the type having a tear portion defined by a peripheral weakening line and a pull tab secured to the tear portion and adjacent a starting end thereof to facilitate both the initial rupture of the container panel and the tearing out of the tear portion.
When a tear portion of an easy opening container is placed in the end panel of a container end, in the past the extent of the tear portion has been restricted by the size of the end panel. This has been because the pull tab has normally provided an extension of the tear strip. In accordance with this invention, it is proposed to have the pull tab disposed coextensive with the tear strip whereby the starting end of the tear strip is not restricted to a position immediately adjacent the center of the end panel as has been customary.
Another feature of this invention is to position the pull tab in overlying relation to the tear portion whereby the pull tab protects the tear portion and prevents accidental rupture of the container panel along the weakening line defining the tear portion.
Still another feature of this invention is to provide adjacent the tear portion upstanding ribs which support the pull tab in an elevated position above the tear portion to further prevent the accidental rupture of the container panel along the weakening line defining the tear portion.