canIt’s the time of year when gardening cooks are busily canning the fruits of their summer-long labors. The idea of canning foods for preservation is certainly not new; the Dutch were preserving fresh salmon in tin cans back in the 1700s. While its not used by home canners, the tin can has been the main method of food preservation for a couple hundred years now.

By the early 1800s, tin cans were in wide use throughout Europe and the United can1States. Trouble was they weren’t that easy to get into. “Cut round the top near the outer edge with a chisel and hammer.” read the instructions on one such can.  Or smash with large boulder, perhaps.

It wasn’t until the 1850s that can openers began to appear, various tools that pierced the can and sawed it open. One interesting device that appeared in 1866 was a tin can with its own opening device attached. Patented by J. Osterhoudt on October 2, it was a can with a slotted key attached. By inserting a tab on the can into the slot and continuously turning the can2key, the can would peel open. This ingenious and frequently frustrating can and key combo is still in use today, primarily for sardine and Spam-like products.

October 2, 1890

In a few weeks, thousands of people will go to thousands of Halloween masquerade parties – and many of them will wear the most famous of comic disguises, a pair of horn-rimmed glasses with a large plastic nose, bushy eyebrows and a mustache attached. Add a stooped posture, a cigar, and a leer – and you’ve got it – the essential Groucho.

Groucho was, as every child of five knows, the ringleader of the trio (sometimes a quartet) known as the Marx Brothers (along with Chico, Harpo, and sometimes Zeppo). A fifth brother, Gummo, appeared only in the early vaudeville act.

Groucho (Julius Henry) was born on October 2, 1890. During his seven-decade career, he was known as a master of quick wit and rapid-fire, impromptu patter, frequently filled with innuendo.  He made 26 movies, 13 of them with his brothers Chico and Harpo, and many with Margaret Dumont as a stuffy dowager and the butt of Groucho’s jokes. The films included such comedy classics as The Cocoanuts, Animal Crackers, Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, Duck Soup, A Day at the Races, and A Night at the Opera. He also had a successful solo career, most notably as the host of the radio and television game show You Bet Your Life.



Inspirational Quote for 10/2/16



2 thoughts on “October 2, 1866: Open Says Me

  1. “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know.”

    (a great line, but more dear to my heart is the the last line)

    “Then, we tried to remove the tusks, … but they were embedded in so firmly, we couldn’t budge them.”

    (no, not this line… the next one)

    “Of course, in Alabama the Tusk-a-loosa. But that’s entirely ir-elephant to what I was talking about.”

    (sweet home, Alabama)

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