50th Anniversary Of The Aluminum Can

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the debut of the aluminum can for the packaging of, originally, Coors beer followed by other beers and soda drinks. I remember my dad seemed to really enjoy the taste difference over the old steel cans when Budweiser and Schlitz adopted the lightweight metal containers.

The advent of the aluminum can, besides allowing for the easy recycling of the container, also led to the almost total obsolescence of the can opener due to the creation of the pull-top-tab that the aluminum can made possible. Those pull-tabs, unlike the stay-tabs of the past 30 or so years, were razor sharp lethal weapons, especially to people walking barefoot where someone may have pulled the tab and dropped it to the ground.

In fact, as I recall, it was the danger of those tabs that seemed to cause a whole separate practice to arise; the creation of pull-tab bracelets, necklaces and “chains” constructed by bending the sharp tab around successive tab rings. I used to know girls that made it an art form.

Happy Anniversary and thanks on behalf of all the can-crushers who like to show off in bars.

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