Re: The Pull Tab


If you aren't of a certain age, you may not remember pull-tabs. And if you are really young, you may not even remember the controversy they engendered not too long ago. Along with the much-ballyhooed Y2K bug, their appearance on a UNESCO list was the story of the new millennium. In the late 1990s, when the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced plans to publish of the second millennium's most significant Cultural Artifacts—the so-called 100,000 Wonders of the World—aficionados of the beverage can Pull-Tab ("Tabbies," as they affectionately refer to one another) were hoping that their favorite invention would finally garner the respect that this significant innovation so clearly deserved. Most Tabbies, you see, remember the dark days when one had to bring some kind of can opener with them in order to enjoy canned beverages—and, likewise, most Tabbies can relate horror stories of being caught on an outing or picnic without one. So when Ermal Fraze invented the pull-tab in 1959, like Prometheus, he bestowed upon a thankful humanity a gift that many likened to the discovery of fire—or at least the invention of manufactured firelogs like Duraflame. And, as such, most Tabbies believed the importance of Fraze's invention would land it in that coveted Top 100 spot on UNESCO's list. Much to their horror, however, the Pull-Tab ended up coming in at number 87,151—just beating out Sony's Betamax but losing to Ronco's Mr. Microphone. There were, of course, complaints and protests and four or five hundred lawsuits from different organizations and lobbying groups outraged that their products hadn't received adequate consideration and a commensurate ranking on the list. So, as a result, the release of the Official UNESCO Second Millennium List has been held up by various courts in different countries for the past twenty years. It is hoped that the different lawsuits will all be settled and the rankings finally made official before the start of the next millennium. We'll keep you posted.