Massive building projects that defy the imagination.

Can It Be Built? - Netflix

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2010-05-24

Can It Be Built? - Can opener - Netflix

A can opener (in North American English and Australian English) or tin opener (in British and Commonwealth English) is a device used to open tin cans (metal cans). Although preservation of food using tin cans had been practiced since at least 1772 in the Netherlands, the first can openers were not patented until 1855 in England and 1858 in the United States. These early openers were basically variations of a knife, though the 1855 design continues to be produced. 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. A breakthrough design came in 1925 when a second, serrated wheel was added to hold the cutting wheel on the ring of the can. This easy-to-use design has become one of the most popular can opener models. Around the time of World War II, several can openers were developed for military use, such as the American P-38 and P-51. These featured a robust and compact design with a folding cutting blade and no handle. Electric can openers were introduced in the late 1950s and met with success. The development of new can opener types continues with the recent addition of a side-cutting model.

Can It Be Built? - First, lever-type can openers - Netflix

Dedicated can openers appeared in the 1850s and were of a primitive claw-shaped or “lever-type” design. In 1855, Robert Yeates, a cutlery and surgical instrument maker of Trafalgar Place West, Hackney Road, Middlesex, UK, devised the first claw-ended can opener with a hand-operated tool that haggled its way around the top of metal cans. In 1858, another lever-type opener of a more complex shape was patented in the United States by Ezra Warner of Waterbury, Connecticut. It consisted of a sharp sickle, which was pushed into the can and sawed around its edge. A guard kept the sickle from penetrating too far into the can. The opener consisted of several parts which could be replaced if worn out, especially the sickle. This opener was adopted by the United States Army during the American Civil War (1861–1865); however, its unprotected knife-like sickle was too dangerous for domestic use. A home-use opener named the “Bull's head opener” was designed in 1865 and was supplied with cans of pickled beef named “Bully beef”. The opener was made of cast iron and had a very similar construction to the Yeates opener, but featured a more artistic shape and was the first move towards improving the look of the can opener. The bull-headed design was produced until the 1930s and was also offered with a fish-head shape.

Can It Be Built? - References - Netflix