The can opener is one of the most identifiable kitchen gadgets all over the world. These incredible inventions have allowed us to open canned goods with moderate ease for quite some time. While the original, hand-held version of the can opener was created back in 1858, it wasn’t until 1931 that an electric model was invented.
This evolution into an electric model was impressive, but it didn’t quite take off as intended. The initial design doesn’t have much information about it other than it was based on the rotary wheel part of the hand-held version. It was also noted that this device could open up to 20 cans within a minute. To most people, this sounds incredible, however, despite this fact it wasn’t a device people wanted to use.
Another prototype was released almost 30 years later that was able to be wall-mounted. This was a great way to save space as well as have the convenience of an electric can opener. Once again, people simply weren’t interested. The hand-held version was a clear-cut way to open cans that people trusted. While it required more work than an electric can opener, people didn’t mind the extra effort in getting their cans open.
Later in the 1950s, Walter Hess Bodle was credited as being the first successful electric can opener inventor. With help from his daughter Elizabeth, they created a model that free standing, included a knife sharpener, and came in a selection of colors. Perhaps the colors are what attracted people to the device. The other components to the device didn’t really change other than the addition of a knife sharpener. If marketing has proved anything throughout the years, it is that bright colors that can be mixed and matched with interior decor will typically always sell!
Throughout the years, the best electric can opener hasn’t taken on much change. There have been upgrades to its weight limits for cans and a re-design of the wall-mounted version in the form of under-the-counter mountable devices. They come in all colors now to really suit the needs of modern kitchens that feature interesting themes or color schemes.
The biggest alteration to the electric can opener in more recent years would be the ability to have a battery-operated one. The battery-operated ones are even simpler to use than traditional electric can openers as they generally only require the push of a button. Batteries are installed on the unit, the unit is then placed with the magnet on the outside of the inner lid and the blade sits on the inner lid. When the button is pushed, the can opener is able to propel itself around the can with the magnet and rotary wheel moving it. The result is often a smooth-cut can lid that can be safely removed.
While traditional, hand-held can openers do still serve their purpose in today’s modern society, the electric can opener has finally found its permanent place in the everyday household. It may have taken a while to become widely accepted, however, when it took off there was simply no looking back!