“Ring tabs came into existence in 1965 — and meet the minimum age threshold now!” Schroeder said.
“They were typically teardrop in shape, with some having rounded distal margins, others squarish … the big difference being the ring top. The early models had solid aluminum tabs, no hole, no ring. That distinguishes them right away.”
The ring-tab design was discontinued in 1975, after injuries were caused by people swallowing the metal tabs. It was replaced with a new modification called the StaTab, which used a flange of aluminum on the lid as a lever to press down on the sealed opening, a design that’s still in use today.
so how did you open the can to drink before beer tabs?
beer can openers!
you can still buy them on ebay...
so what if you didn't have one with you? as AncientGeezer noted on the historum website:
We used to have these things (picture). A guy who had one on his keyring was king. Ring-pull tabs were a hi-tech dream, even the ones that detached. If an opener was not available, human ingenuity kicked in--bayonets, chisels, a wildly wielded screwdriver, swiss army knife-- I have even seen the tappets on an A-series Morris with the crankshaft cover removed used.