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Bill has cans from the first released versions of many local favorites, such as Budweiser, Miller and Coors. He has kept a copy of each new variation as the beer can designs have evolved over the years. One of these changes most people might not remember, are the metal beer cans from the 1930’s that required a tool called a “church key” to open them. Six packs made during this time by D.F. Sampson with the American Can Company, came with instructions on how to open them printed on the can, along with a church key opener which was included. There are different theories about how the tool got its name. The term “Church key” goes way back and was a simple device used to pry open a new type of bottle closure that was invented in 1892 — the bottle cap or “crown cork.” For anyone unfamiliar with the gadget, a typical church key is a triangular tool used for piercing cans and has a slotted or hooked part for prying off bottle caps. Pull tabs for cans weren’t invented until the early 1960s. Some like to think that the name came from European monks who first brewed beer and kept it locked up in cellars. They held the keys to both the church and the beer. Others think it was a snub directed at the religious groups that supported prohibition after it ended in 1933. “It is said if you used a church-key opener (i.e., you drank beer), you would be less likely to open the door of a church to attend service,” according to the Churchkey Beer Co. in Bellevue, Wash., at www.churchkey.com. An exciting discovery came after a family member, told them about some six packs of beer dated from the 1930’s, that were found in pristine condition in the attic of a house in Brush, Colorado. As Bill proudly displayed them he said, “They look like they just came off the line yesterday.” Due to space limitations, he limits his collection to items primarily from the 1960’s and older. He doesn’t include glass bottles because of their breakable nature. Originally Bill also collected wild life mirrors, steins and many other things, but he’s since honed down his collection to his absolute favorites. He credits his inspiration for collecting old bock beer advertising posters to a life-long friend, Jerry Trowbridge, (aka Mr. Bock) whom he met at a beer show in vLESTERS continued on page 24 Let Your Home Reflect Your Style! FREE In-Home Design Consultation With Our Professional Designers 2401 Broadway, Yankton • 605-665-3719 • slumberland.com Monday-Friday 10am-8pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday Noon-6pm HERVOICEvMAY/JUNE 2019v23

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