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PFFFFT POP TIK TIK TIK HAAA Who do you know that hasntopened a soda can Most of todays population can identify thesound heard from opening a can However only a narrow fractionof those people probably know the history behind the tab thatcreates the sound I didnt know My roommates didnt knowYour pitbull Bubba doesnt know Well what is that metalthing-a-ma-jig on your can The pull tab otherwise known asthe pop-top flip-top and zip tab is clever ring-likedevice attached to a rivet that Ermal Cleon Fraze invented in1959 for opening canned beveragesBefore pull-tabs were introduced and popularized consumers wereforced to open their steel flat top cans with can-piercers orchurch keys Fortunately for us one sunny afternoon inDayton Ohio Ermal Fraze forgot his church key when he went ona picnic Instead he used the bumper on his car to pry open thecanAs the legend goes Fraze couldnt sleep one night so hedecided to tire himself by trying to solve the can openingconundrumHistorians probably leave out the certainty thatFrazes wife kicked him out of bed that evening afterembarrassing her in front of their friends Fraze hadremarkable judgement and considerable experience with metalforming and scoring because he was the owner of Dayton ReliableTool and Manufacturing Company After a long night in hisbasement workshop Fraze developed a lever system utilizing arivet attached to the can Because of the lever action and thepreferential scoring the can opened first at the top of thehole and a further pulling action tore the metal free of thecan along the characteristic scored outline The hole that wasleft extended a good distance from the edge of the can to orbeyond the center and so as the can was tipped for pouringor drinking air could enter the top of the hole and allow theeasy gurgle-free exit of the contentsPetroski 1992Aftersuccessfully creating the initial lever-rivet system to opencans Fraze later embellished the lever with a hole forgrippingHe received US patent No 3349949 for hispull-top can design in 1963
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