Retro technology from my kitchen drawer
By James Grahame
Much to my hungry heart's despair, I misplaced my can opener last week. It reappeared shortly before I resorted to bashing a tin of beans with hammer. It was enough to force me to realize that I've been taking my little tin-opening friend for granted. It's stood beside me through thick and thin and never once complained about noxious substances or my strange addiction to Heinz Baked Beans.
My faithful companion is a secondhand "Made in the USA" Swing-A-Way that's been with me for at least fifteen years. An updated version of the same device is still on the market, and it hearkens back to the good old days when things were constructed out of solid steel and intended to last a lifetime. The design definitely puts function over form. I dimly realized my Swing-A-Way was a worthy Retro product when I researched the company and discovered they were founded in 1938 (the spiky bottle opener attachment should have been a giveaway, too). Swing-A-Way participated in the Space Race, too; one of these incredibly high-tech devices was used to stave off starvation on NASA's ill-fated Skylab missions in the 1970s.
Alas, my nippy little friend has seen better days and refused to pose for a photo. I called Bohus in a panic and asked him to venture into his kitchen in search of his can opener. Luckily, he is one of the millions of people on this continent with the good taste to own one of these magnificent beasts. Available for under ten bucks at a kitchen store near you. Unless you live in Iceland.