Canned food with pop-top lids! Whose idea was this? If I manufactured canned food, I would realize that my product is not the favorite of most cooks these days - it's hard to compete with fresh-from-the-garden and flash-frozen produce. Knowing this, I would not antagonize my customers with these pull tabs that are guaranteed to break nails and create spills when they're finally tugged open!
My pantry isn't stocked with lots of canned items and I bet yours isn't either, but sometimes even the best cook needs a can of beans or crushed tomatoes or (as was the case recently when I made Russian Salad) canned pineapple. And canned fish may also be in your larder - either tuna, or some smaller, smellier fish like the ones being canned below in 1915.
As a side note - I'm going to think of this woman the next time I have a tedious job to do. Imagine having to arrange little fish in little cans all day! When you think of the pop-top can in this light, it seems a small thing, but the point is, until recently most cans were can opener ready. And while some, like the pineapple, can be opened with a can opener on the other end, many cannot. Take tuna - the opposite end is rounded so you're forced to use the pull-tab which (for me, anyway) guarantees a little blob of tuna flying across the counter. It's not like there's a shortage of can openers - they're widely available and cheap. And, as the ad below (from 1902) says, a sure method to avoid blood poisoning!
This is my message to you people who make canned food - stop putting pull-tabs on your cans! Go back to the standard can and let us use our trusty openers. After all, that's what Napoleon had in mind when he prepared for the Russian campaign by stocking up on canned food! And we all know how well things ended for him . . .
I'm off to open some cans while daydreaming of a vacation on Elba!