A walk through the new gardens of my home is a regular thing . . . barefoot! I’m one of those guys that, as my father would, break just about every toe over a lifespan; and our lifestyles would pretty-much be lined up as well. You see he would walk barefoot around the house, both inside and out as well. And when he stubbed his toe, he would curse just as I do. Friggin’ hurts sometimes.
Walking around my property, I would dodge obstacles as I would see them. Sometimes I wouldn’t see the hidden object and would end up realizing I had injured myself, perhaps days later. A cut, a scrape or a bruise. Just walking around the kitchen could possibly create hardships. The damn corner of the counter would sometimes seemingly jump out and slam you in the hip. And with my age, comes medications to thin blood; and that would translate into huge bruises that somehow appear out of nowhere. Yeah, a lot of things lined up . . .
Anyway, walking around the property the other day I find a torn aluminum can sticking out of the dirt. “Damn kids”, I thought to myself. Drinking beer (kids) and shooting up the can with a pellet gun; they would just leave it there. It gets covered somehow and reappears another day in the future.
I pick up the can to throw it in the recyclables and realize it has the old-school pull tab top. I think to myself, “I haven’t seen one of these in a long time”. Looking closer at the can I see it is stamped with Anheuser Bush near the now gone pull tab. After clearing away much of the packed-on dirt and wiping the top with my finger, I realize the words “Pitch In” is also stamped near that missing pull tab. I quickly realized this is an old can . . . and my kids weren’t drinking beer that long ago . . . hell, I don’t think I was drinking beer that long ago.
I did a little research on the “Pitch In” marketing promotion. I quickly found this: http://www.aluminum.org/product-markets/aluminum-cans
The History of Aluminum Beverage Cans
The modern aluminum beverage can traces its origins to 1959, when Coors introduced the first all-aluminum, seamless, two-piece beverage container. Recycling was instituted at the same time (Coors paid 1 cent for each can returned to the brewery). Aluminum cans made inroads into the soft drink market in 1964, when Royal Crown Cola released both its RC Cola and Diet Rite beverages in two-piece, 12-ounce aluminum containers. In their first year on the market, 1 million cases of soda were packaged using aluminum cans. In addition to being lighter in weight than their steel predecessors, aluminum cans provide a superior surface on which to print text and graphics. This capability increased the opportunity to establish and promote shelf presence and brand awareness.
The first aluminum cans required what was known as a “church key” for opening the end of the can prior to consumption. As legend has it, the inventor of the pull tab, Ermal Cleon Fraze, found himself without a church key while on a family picnic. He resorted to piercing his beer can on the fender of his car, and in the process lost much of the can’s contents. Fraze, who owned the Dayton Reliable Tool Company, set about devising what would become the pull tab—an aluminum tab attached at the rivet that, when pulled, would come completely off the can. In 1975, Daniel Cudzik of Reynolds Metals invented the “stay-on tab.”
Since I have a very strong background in environmental programs, I realized the “Pitch In” campaign was at the beginning of the now recycling programs that almost all Americans are familiar with. This was the beginning of a revolution to clean up America. I also have found that the years of my youth (‘60’s and 70’s) were the beginning of using aluminum as a regular packaging for beverages, since the so-called “tin can” was found to be less in favor of the market for carbonated beverages.
I have found that many evolutions of recycling have emerged throughout the years; but I find it very interesting that I found this old can that can be dated . . . and let my kids off the hook.