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INVENTOR OF POP TOP CAN DIES

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Ermal Fraze, who invented the pop top can because he had to open a can of beer on a car bumper at a family picnic in 1959, died after a battle with cancer. He was 76.

Fraze, who died Thursday at Kettering Memorial Hospital, obtained the first patent for a pop top can in 1963."I was only going to work on this thing for an hour and hoped to go back to bed," he once said. "But I was up all night and it came to me - just like that. It was all there. I knew how to do it so it would become commercially feasible."

Fraze was born on a farm near Muncie, Ind. After moving to Dayton, he assembled novelties for Cracker Jack boxes. In 1950, he opened what is now known as Dayton Reliable Tool Co.