Design For the Real World: Pop-Tab

Design For the Real World

Friday, June 24, 2011

In 1960, zip tops made opening aluminum cans more convenient — and dangerous. Those razor-sharp metal tags you ripped off and threw away were a hazard for the thirsty.

That all changed in 1972, when a young engineer named Daniel Cudzik was hired by the Reynolds Metals Company to help them enter the fledgling aluminum can business. Since its invention, Cudzik’s pop-tab has by one estimate conserved half a billion pounds of aluminum, and quite a few thumbs.

See the design: Daniel Cudzik's original patent application, with drawings, for an aluminum can with an "easy open wall."

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Kim Gittleson

Comments [3]

Felix from Europe

I heard he lives in Florida now, nice retirement.

Nov. 13 2012 01:44 PM
samuel lee albert from CT

I is important to reconize the things we take for granted. It is easy to say that it is a simple design after the fact. Coming up with it in the first place and have it be simple shows true geneous. If it has not been said, thank you Mr. Cudzik. you changed the world for the better. I also love soda, cheers! you stand as a peer beside the inventer of super glue, farnsworth, tesla, and the gut who melted the candy bar in his pocket dicovering microwaves. Rejoyce that you are not a peer to the guy who discovered nitrogliserin, and blow himself up doing so.

Nov. 07 2011 01:24 AM
Bryce from Iowa

Nice! Having heard the pop-tab sound effect in the intro to Design for the Real World for years, it's nice to hear it profiled.

Jul. 20 2011 11:57 AM

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