Tuesday Open Line

Being able to store and distribute food before it spoiled became easier in the young United States on this date in 1825. That’s when Ezra Daggett and Thomas Kensett were granted a patent for the tin can. Heating and sealing food in glass jars had started a few years before in France, and the British Royal Navy was being supplied with canned foods by 1820. Borrowing the practice, the U.S. became the eventual world leader in canning. Even though today frozen foods, plastic containers and concentrates are widely available, canned foods are still popular for their long shelf lives. It takes more than 17,000 people in more than 170 establishments to manufacture all the metal cans we use each year, an industry doing annual business worth more than $14 billion. You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey, at <www.census.gov>.