The Church Key: An Item (That Was) In Every American Home

have you ever been walking around and

fun an old rusted can with two triangle

holes punched into it one hole possibly

slightly bigger than the other what are

these holes what made them how old is

this can and why is one hole slightly

bigger than the other well if you stop

asking questions I will answer them well

this is the church key otherwise known

as a can punch every house 50 to 80

years ago had probably at least one of

these things inside of it these are

still very abundant in antique stores

today for a very low price as they were

very very common the first church key

was invented in 1892 and looked a little

like this although a bit bigger this is

a pepsi-cola one from our nineteen fifty

now don't be alarmed between the big

difference of church keys as they are

both church keys and I'll get into their

similarities pretty soon the reason why

the church key on the left is called a

church key and this is how the name came

is because it resembled a church key or

I guess any skeleton key this one

actually goes into some of the older

doors in my house but these are for

another video

anyways you can see the similarities

between the two this model right here is

can be called a church key because as

you can see this looks like the steeple

on a church up here with a little window

there's the door and these are the walls

kind of neat huh the older design of

church key was only really used to open

up bottles as you can tell because these

are still in wide use today but you just

go like that and it opens up the bottle

this newer style of church key came

around and maybe the 30s maybe early 40s

and this style both features the bottle

opener as I said there was a

molarity between the two types and this

new little triangle shape right here

that triangle shape is meant for opening

cans at the tip of the church key

there's a little notch that goes that's

like that I like to call it kind of like

the egg the egg tooth of the church key

because it's meant for stabbing so I've

already demonstrated to you how you

would open up a can like this these

church keys were mainly used with beer

and soda cans hence why jiffy beer is

advertised on this rather rare Church

key where they found at an antique store

they would also be used with condensed

milk a lot of condensed milk cans if you

got a can of soup that didn't have its

own built-in opener on it which means

that it would probably not be a chunky

soup chances are it was meant to be used

with one of these or else one of the

openers where you go like that around

the can and it comes with its own

individual own opener that can be a

topic for another day so let's talk

about why there are two holes and what

the different hole sizes are using a

church key punch so the reason that

there are two holes is for ventilation

it's not two drinking holes I guess if

you make them the same size it could be

but over here this is what you'll most

commonly see one all a full hole one

maybe half that's really all you need

and so with the ventilation hole it

won't go look look look look instead it

would be one like long smooth flow of

the whatever's in there because it'll

have this separate ventilation hole now

that we have all the facts out of the

way let's talk about the decline

of the church keypunch to answer that

question we would have to go back to the

year 1959 in 1959 engineer her mouth

phase invented the easy open can that is

a rare sight right there to have a

cancel have one of those on it so these

are the things that you see on the

beaches that kind of look like that just

look like that punched out hole right

there with the big loop on slightly

after the easy open can was invented in

1959 the decline of church key punch

cans sank these were a huge success and

were around for many years and these are

still around in a lot of countries

here's an example of a Pepsi Cola can

from 1979 featuring the easy open pop

tab pull tab kind of thing one thing you

may be wondering about the tricky

punches well what about this use for it

right here the bottle opener well they

were invented advancements in that too

including like just a normal standard

loop bottle opener you could still use I

guess one of these church keys these

older style ones and there are ones like

this this is one of my first woodworking

projects I bought this 1932 drink

coca-cola bottle opener off of ebay for

a couple bucks and I made a little mount

for it now in this video I'm not really

going to get into any of the specifics

about these pull tabs on here these

because that is a topic for another

video that we will be looking at a

modern use for the church key well would

be one the bottle opener still is

perfectly functional on modern bottles I

know I've used it on them

two on soup cans like how one of the

ways that it was originally intended not

the main way and three its main main way

which would be to open soda cans like

this the way that I do it is to have one

punch on each side of the wide tip or

the wide hole there in the final way

that you can use a church key punch

would be in retaliation of using one of

those crank can openers but I would not

suggest it for baked beans

anyways that's a little snippet on a

really cool device that is still cheap

and abundant to get a hold of a lot of

this history behind it and still pretty

usable thank you for watching