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The humble can: 200 years of awesomeness

30 Aug

I received an email the other day from Tom Megginson, a creative director with Ottawa-based marketing firm Acart Communications who wanted to let me know that he had mentioned me on his blog. After giving it a read, I simply had to point to it here – not because I’m in it, but because his posting is hilarious.

In what can only be described as an “ode to a can,” Tom pays homage to the humble tin can. Yup – that piece of metal that over the past two centuries has housed everything from soup to Spam to beer. We rarely think about the can, but as Tom humorously sums up in his post, it’s been an incredibly important piece of hardware.

As I delve into in Sex, Bombs and Burgers, the can was the first and most important step in food processing – it was the first technological breakthrough that made long-term storage and transportation of food possible. Not only did that enable further exploration and study of the world, it also aided military forces by providing durable food for troops far away from home.

But, as Tom observes, the trusty and reliable can is now under threat from something called the retort pouch, or lighter and better packaging developed – ironically – by the military. I won’t spoil the rest of his post, but I recommend you give it a read.

One thing I’m left wondering, though, is whether the beer pictured at the bottom of his post will ever come in a retort pouch. That would be weird.

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2 Comments

Posted by on August 30, 2010 in food, packaging, war

 

2 responses to “The humble can: 200 years of awesomeness

  1. Tom Megginson

    August 30, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Thanks for the good word, Peter!

    I just finished you book last night, so now I’ll be addicted to your blog for my daily fix of SB&B…

     
  2. Orwell's Bastard

    August 30, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Must be lack of sleep or something. I was laughing by the time I hit the line about whup-ass.

     
 
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