Monday, August 23, 2010


Since Louise is not currently blogging edible celebrations, I felt I should link to an article in the Washington Post today about the 200th anniversary, said to be Wednesday, of the humble tin can (now made of aluminum, steel, plastic-lined metal or whatever).

Evidently August 25 is the date in 1810 when inventor Peter Durand took out the first patent on the tin can, along with various other food preservation containers. The article doesn't say exactly what event occurred on this anniversary, and I haven't found any other explanation. Louise once mentioned August 24 as can opener day, so I'm a bit puzzled. The can opener was not invented until 50 years after the can, and there were some heroic struggles while people waited!

The Washington Post author asks:
"What if gold prospectors relied solely on foraging on their treks out West? What if tinsmiths didn't handcraft 35,000 cans a day for meats and condensed milk during the Civil War? What if Chef Boyardee and Hormel Spam didn't nourish Patton's armies, whose soldiers wore can openers around their necks in communion with their jangling dog tags? What if canned food had never freed the American homemaker from time-consuming dinner duties?"
Wednesday, maybe, we should remember canned tomato soup and a cheese sandwich for childhood lunch. Or Andy Warhol making us revise our view of that can. Maybe we should think about canned fruit, or maybe about Sterno. Here's an article about the history of cans from Modern Mechanix of 1937:

1 comment:

~~louise~~ said...

Oh Mae, what a GREAT post!!! I'm off to read those links. I can't wait.

Thank you so much for keeping the candle burning while I'm gone.

Happy belated Canniversary!!!