Can openers date back to the 1820s – nearly a century after canned foods were first introduced. These early openers were basically variations of a knife. The first can opener consisting of the now familiar sharp rotating cutting wheel was invented in 1870 but was considered too difficult to operate for the ordinary consumer. In 1925 the Star Can Opener Co. modified the patented ‘wheel’ design from 1870 by adding a second, serrated wheel. Can openers today use this same basic design.
Founded in 1938 in Saint Louis, Swing-A-Way is the oldest surviving firm that manufactures can openers according to the principle mentioned above. They create the highest quality, most dependable can openers on the market. This benchmark can opener is easy to use, indestructible, and was selected by NASA for their Skylab Space Station. As of 2005, unfortunately, this great American classic became a subsidiary of Focus Products Group, LLC and shifted its production to China. The best European alternative is the Zangen-Sieger by Westmark.
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