Telegram-Tribune Burgermiester beer ad touting the invention of the pull tab opener April 18, 1963 ©The Tribune
He forgot to bring the "church key" can opener to a picnic and ended up opening cans with the car bumper. Back then steel cans had flat tops that required the triangular can opener used to open evaporated milk cans today.
Today if you used a car bumper to open a tin can you would destroy the plastic bumper and still be thirsty.
The trick was scoring an aluminum top enough so that the opener would work but not weaken the can so much that it would explode from internal pressure during transport. The solution was using the lid material to create a rivet that would hold the tab in place.
Fraze further refined the product, within a few years the ring tab was invented, just in time to cut bare feet on beaches. I'm not saying this ever happened to me, but, salt water and sand don't mix well with flesh wounds. Litter and useless necklaces were the byproduct of ring tabs.
He would later refine the design again to create the lever top we know today that can stay attached to the can.
If you have a chance to time travel back to the early 1960s don't invest in church keys. The pull tab turned out to be more than a fad.
Unfortunately for Burgie the pull tab was not enough stay ahead in the brewing business. Bugermiester filled its last beer can in 1978.
The 1905 founders of the temperance newspaper, the Telegram, must have been rolling in there graves to see full page alcohol advertising in the Telegram-Tribune.
A bit of hyperbole in the headline. If someone would invent the self-delivering and self opening can that would be a great leap forward. Clap twice and there it is…I'll call it "The Tapper."