Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Chase & Sanborn Coffee Can

Submitted by Allee Willis May 16th, 2010

These days I’ve dialed back down to decaf but every Sunday morning begins with a nice steaming cup of this stuff.  Now it’s slightly more exotic brands than Chase & Sanborn but this is the one that got the habit rolling back in the ’70s for me. Though the can may be a little battered now it actually represented lots of breakthroughs in coffee can packaging that revolutionized the industry.  For one, the No-Slip Strip, a little sardine like key that you broke off the bottom and used to wrap the metal strip that held the can together into a neat, tight coil avoiding bloody fingers that were inevitable without such an instrument.


Despite the company merging with Nabisco in 1981, a lot of Chase & Sanborn cans still exist today because the key allowed the can to open without squashing its shape so many people kept them to store a bunch of other junk in.


This can was also the first of Chase & Sanborn’s “Pressure Packed” models, an innovation that insured the coffee stay fresher longer inside its little coffee tomb.


Fresh is what I need today given the amount of coffee/decaf I will be chugging as I’m immersed in making sets, props, ipod playlists, name tags and the like for a huge party I’m throwing here next Sunday in addition to whacking away at several song deadlines and attempting to talk myself into working on my first ever performance in 35 years which I’ve also threatened to do this summer. It may not be Chase & Sanborn that I’m swigging back but memories of twisting open this can and THAT smell hitting my nose as I made a cup of coffee before starting out on my day in New York, banging on the doors of record companies trying to get a job, is enough to keep my senses alive and keep me slugging through the day.


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