Canned Beer, Macs and unfinished novels

January 24, 1935: an invention that will change the world

Some days as I write this column, it’s a real struggle. You navigate the history books in a desperate search for one interesting moment to find a cultural desert. As if there was anything cosmically aligned to make a single day in history completely devoid of intrigue.

Not so on January 24 in history.

So much has happened on this day that I had to limit this entry to some of my favorite picks.

First, in 1935, a New Jersey company called Krueger Brewing revolutionized the beverage industry. For the past two years the brewery has been working on a canned version of their beer.

Prohibition was coming to an end and the beer market in the USA was about to explode. Krueger teamed up with the American Can Company and only accepted the idea if the tin company assured them they would only have to pay for the equipment if the experiment was popular.


can of beer – Canva

After two years of testing sold to friends, today in 1935 Krueger shipped canned versions of its full-strength brands of Krueger’s Cream Ale and Krueger’s Finest Beer to Richmond, Virginia, their furthest point of distribution.

And with that, canned beer was born. Soon the Felinfoel Brewery in Wales would do the same. Then the sodas would start to be canned.

Thanks to this single innovation, we have the iconic image of Homer Simpson drinking a can of Duff. What better cultural rethink than this?

computer to replace home computers

On the same day, another innovation came to the USA. On this day in 1984, Apple released its first Macintosh personal computer. The Apple Macintosh, later called the Macintosh 128K, redefined the idea of ​​computers.

He went on to define the idea of ​​the first Mac, an office computer and a home desktop. He says that Macs are still one of the biggest adages on PCs nearly 40 years later. Cheers for that Steve Jobs!


Apple Computer chairman Steven Jobs is confident in his new “Macintosh” personal computer after a shareholders’ meeting in Cupertino, California, January 24, 1984. – PAUL SAKUMA/1984 AP

A great career begins

The year is 1927 and you want to capture the latest movie by looking at the photos. You’ve heard that there’s a great title called ‘The Pleasure Garden’ from this young new director, Alfred Hitchcock.

Hitchcock’s first feature film is released today. The silent film about two chorus girls in London may not yet contain all the auteur’s adornments, but many have noticed the similarities. It has been especially compared to the opening ‘Vertigo’, where the choir girls descend a spiral staircase.

Released that day, “The Pleasure Garden” became a hit in the United Kingdom and paved the way for Hitchcock’s career, which would continue with films such as “Rear Window”, “Psycho” and “The Birds”.

A great book ends too soon

One of many strange chapters in literary history is the eternal riddle of Czech writer Franz Kafka. Little success in his own life demanded that on the death of his friend Max Brod he destroy his remaining works.

When Kafka died at the age of 40 in 1924, Brod would ignore his request. Over the next few years, Brod would publish Kafka’s works posthumously. This included his unfinished novel ‘The Case’.


franz kafka – anonymous

In 1927, Brod published Kafka’s first novel, the incomplete ‘America’. Brod gave it the title because Kafka called it “American novel,” but he himself named it “Stoker” after the first chapter short story.

Following in the footsteps of Karl Rossmann, the European who traveled to the United States to escape scandal, the film features Kafka’s typical humor, paranoia, and disturbing surrealism. In short, very Kafkaesque.

Despite his promise, Kafka abruptly stopped writing America on January 24, 1914. Although the ending is somewhat complete, there are gaps in the manuscript that we will never know what to fill.

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