Stumbling Upon Promotional Products in the World #6

  • Aug 9, 2019

Stumbling Upon Promotional Products in the World #6

  • Found: Antique store in Bowling Green
  • Item: Double Duty can and bottle opener
  • Promoted Brand: North Dakota watering hole


Your A-Z Swagman enjoys perusing antique stores. Often I’ll be looking for old cameras or letterpress type blocks – both beloved tools of past(ish) trades. Often, I’ll also come across some unique examples of promotional products used in early marketing. Usually not as old as the first promo items in the US: Washington’s 1789 commemorative buttons!

This tool accomplishes the two main purposes of a promotional product – it conveys a message from the advertiser and it is useful to the client. Nowadays, there’s less call for the can-piercing part, as our beverage and oil packages have changed dramatically. Once upon a time, our mothers created birthday drink by combining big cans of Hawaiian Punch with ginger-ale (and maybe a floating block of sherbet!) Now, the giant rat (along with other venues) has a drink dispenser for kids to create their own concoctions.

The other main function of this tool is opening bottles. While there are numerous plastic bottles in the beverage industry today, capped-glass bottles still remain popular among certain beverages (some once described as liquid bread).

What your A-Z Swagman cannot figure out is the use of the red tip at the opposite end. Is it simply decorative? My hypothesis is that it can be used to push the sharp metal when the punch doesn’t open the can enough.

In researching this tool, I was able to find other examples of it, including some that came with boxes! From those boxes, I was able to determine the manufacturer (but I believe they’re no longer in business). Also, the one showing C & J’s Bar & Grocery (upper left) had a description that indicated that business was primarily around in the 1970’s.

I am happy to say that even though I wasn’t able to find the original manufacturer, it appears that other promotional product suppliers have a modern take on this tool. Pictured below is just one of many Church Key style kitchen tools available for decoration.

And, since the punch cans are not as common nowadays, why not look at some other bottle opener ideas.

OK, that last one wasn't a combination tool  it was just cool!

 Remember, your brand’s message works best on promotional products that are useful to your clients. Contact your A-Z Swagman at or your A-Z representative to talk about ideas for your brand!

Any products found were obtained legally and photos are of the actual item. Current available items mentioned are subject to availability and prices or specials mentioned in the entry may not be current. Opinions and assumptions of the products shown are exactly that -- educated opinions and assumptions based on years of experience in the graphics and marketing industry, as well as some light online research. Any errors are regrettable and will be corrected as necessary. No offense is intended by any conclusions drawn by your A-Z Swagman. Any feedback from the marketing firms that produced these promotional products will be incorporated into a follow-up blog entry! 

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