If you read our previous post about Marianne Boers’ paintings of Reynolds Wrap boxes, you might have noticed the “key.”
Reynolds Wrap used to print a picture of a key on the lower right hand edge of their box’s flap. This started in 1961 and ended sometime around 1970. The idea came about as a solution to the unintended consequences of a number of other Reynolds Wrap packaging innovations.
Reynolds was the first to add a serrated blade to every box. At first they used ordinary unsealed tuck flaps on these cartons. Then it occurred to someone that, since consumers used foil to wrap their food, this might not be so hygienic. People might open up Reynolds Wrap’s boxes in the store and handle or otherwise contaminate the product. So the company then came out out with a new “sealed, sanitary package.” In their effort to unseal these “sanitary” boxes, however, some customers must have sliced their fingers on the serrated blade. Which is where the “Easy Key-Opener” came in.
Now, it’s not like a sardine can where they provide you with an actual key. It’s more like a diagrammatic suggestion that you might want to use a key (rather than your finger) to open this carton.
TO OPEN: Lift Key Tab.
Pop open carton along line.
You may notice that they call it a “key tap” on the box, but it seems to have a number of different names. More names (including the inventor’s), after the fold.