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Can Opener Day

Does it seem odd that there is a day dedicated to the can opener? Well, did you know that there was about a half century between the invention of canned food and the invention of the can opener? Maybe after all those years of people struggling to open cans without one, they thought the can opener needed some recognition. There was some canning of goods in the Netherlands before 1800, but it was not until 1810 when the preservation of food in cans was patented. By the 1820's, food was being canned in Britain, France, and the United States. But, the first can opener was not patented until 1855 in Britain, and 1858 in the United States. Prior to this, phrases such as "Cut round the top near the outer edge with a chisel and hammer" were written on cans. The early can openers were primitive, however, and the first rotating wheel opener was not patented until 1870. This too was problematic, as the can had to be pierced before the opener could be used. In 1925, a second serrated wheel was added by the Star Can Opener Company, which greatly improved the functionality of the opener. This opener was improved in 1931 so that it had pliers-like handles and could hold a can on its own. This two wheeled opener that held the can is the main style that is still in use today. The first electric can openers were patented in the 1930's, but it wasn't until 1956 when a free standing electric opener by Udico became successful.

How to Observe

The day should be spent using a can opener! It's pretty obvious that you probably should be eating canned food on this day too. You could also try to open your cans with a hammer and other implements to gain a better appreciation for the luxury that is your can opener!

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