Today in 1935, US Patent 1996550 A was issued, an invention of John M. Hothersall and Dewitt F. Sampson, assigned to American Can Co., for their “Container Opener.” There’s no Abstract, but the description states that the “invention relates in general to container opening devices and more particularly to a punch opener for producing a substantial pouring opening in containers having projecting end scams or joints.” Essentially it’s a church key that includes a bottle opener, as well. Here’s how this church key is special:
The principal object of the invention is to provide a container opener which at one stroke or turning movement produces a substantial pouring opening in a wall of a container through which the contents, be they fluid or granular, may be readily dispensed.
Another important object of the invention is to provide a container opening punch or cutter adapted to work on the lever principle and which employs a projecting end joint of a container, for example, the end seam, as a fulcrum or pivot point about which the cutter may be rocked into opening position in a single arcuate movement.
Another important object of the invention is the provision of such a rocker punch whose operating parts are all adapted to be formed out of a single piece of steel or other suitable material in a few simple die operations, and which, because of its simplicity of construction, can be produced inexpensively and automatically with a view to supplying the public with an efficient opening tool at small cost.
Still another important object of the invention is the provision of such a punch opener which is adapted to produce a substantial and complete pouring opening quickly at one arcuate movement of the opener. While such rapidly and completely created opening is desirable in connection with containers filled with most products, dry or wet, from the standpoint of the time element, it lends itself exceptionally well to and solves a real problem in the opening of containers filled with effervescent liquids such as beer, where a quick and adequate opening will prevent ebullition and spilling of the contents.