Instructional Flat Top Beer Cans
The earliest beer cans required a can opener (church key) to open them. Since the idea of beer in cans was new the breweries added instructional panels along the seam of the cans.
The first opening instruction beer cans were produced in 1935. Until 1937 many of these early cans included the FULL LENGTH OPENER panel like the can shown here on the top right.
As beer drinkers became more familiar with opening beer cans the breweries slowly reduced the size of the instructional panels. Both the can on the left and the bottom right represent instructional beer cans from the 1940's.
Most breweries phased out opening instructions during the 1940's, but some companies continued to include the pictures through the early 1950's. Most of the 1950's opening instruction beer cans that were produced are among the most common available today.