Friday, January 18, 2013

January 19 is Tin Can Day but we don't know why

Our crack research staff, still very much in the doghouse over the Women in Blue Jeans incident, seems to have made a sincere effort but, despite that, we can't determine why today should be designated as Tin Can Day.

But most of the Usual Suspects say that Saturday will in fact be Tin Can Day and we can find no compelling reason to overrule them.

We can find that a British merchant, Peter Durand, received a patent for the tin can in 1810 -- but on August 25 of that year. And Wikipedia reports that Durand is not the actual inventor of the tin can, nor did he claim to be. According to Wikipedia, Durand's patent application "clearly mentions that the idea of the invention was communicated to him more than a year ago by a friend abroad." Wikipedia says the "foreign friend" was a French inventor, Philippe de Girard, but this 1937 article from Modern Mechanix says that credit for developing the idea of the tin can should go to a different Frenchman, Nicholas Appert.

Thomas Kensett got the American patent for tin cans in 1825 -- but we haven't been able to find exactly when that patent was issued.

We did find out that, these days at least, "tin cans" aren't made of tin; they're made of tin-plated steel or aluminum.

January 19 is also National Popcorn Day. If you're lucky, your neighborhood tap provides complimentary popcorn at the bar or even in the booths. That seems worth celebrating -- and there's no controversy about that.

Tin can image obtained from Wikipedia.

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