Title: Can openers – a brief history lesson Word Count: 352 Summary: Many people tend to assume that can s and can openers were invented aro und the same time Keywords: cans, openers, ringpull Article Body: Many people tend to assume that can s and can openers were invented aro und the same time, as it is now con sidered essential to have a can ope ner in order to open a can. This is not, in fact, the case: cans were invented in the early 19th century, in order to store food for the nav y, while can openers weren’t invent ed until a man named Ezra Warner ca me up with the idea half a decade l ater. In the meantime, people had t o come up with creative ways to ope n the cans, often using sharp knive s, or a hammer and chisel. The can opener we all know and love today dates back to 1925, although it was only a minor modification t o the original 1870 design, adding a jagged edge to the cutting wheel. It is a testament to their utility that the only change since has bee n the introduction of electric can openers, but electric can openers a re still by no means ubiquitous, an d it is rare to find a kitchen that doesn’t possess a can opener in th e classic design Even though pull-to-open cans were invented 50 years ago, people still open millions of cans every day us ing can openers, as cans are much c heaper to manufacture when they don ’t include a ringpull. There is als o a certain nostalgia value in open ing a can with a can opener if you haven’t done it for a while – altho ugh it can also be a little dangero us if you cut yourself on the sharp metal edge of the can’s top. However, the classic wheel design i s not the only kind of can opener a round. Another one that is very com mon is the P-38 pocket can opener, used in the army and often given ou t with food aid in the developing w orld. It is much cheaper to make th an a normal can opener, as it uses much less metal, consisting only of a metal blade with a ‘hook’. For t he experienced, it can even be much faster to use than a normal can op ener, and it is certainly easier to carry and store.
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