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Today in 1955, Aaron S Lapin received a US patent for his invention of a “Dispensing Valve for Gas Pressure Containers”. What makes this patent stand out from other patents awarded on this day, is the application of the valve – Lapin designed it in 1948 as the dispensing mechanism for his ‘Reddi-Wip’ whipped cream dessert topping, an instantly ready and foamy whipped cream in a spray can.

Chocolate pannacotta from my recipe book, cape gooseberries from my garden and whipped cream from Aaron Lapin's awesome tilt-opening dispensing valve.(© All Rights Reserved)

Chocolate pannacotta from my recipe book, cape gooseberries from my garden and whipped cream from Aaron Lapin’s awesome tilt-opening dispensing valve.
(© All Rights Reserved)

In essence, a soluble gas (typically carbon dioxide), is mixed into whipped cream in a can equipped with Lapin’s special valve. When the tilt-opening valve is tilted, the gas expands in reaction to the lesser atmospheric pressure outside the can, and pushes the cream through the valve. When the tilt-valve is let go, the elasticity of the valve seal causes it to return to the closed position, thus retaining the rest of the pressurised content inside the can.

So, a clever mechanical invention allowing us to enjoy fluffy, whipped cream without any effort – now there’s an awesome invention!

Oh, and speaking of awesome, today also happens to be ‘International Day of Awesomeness’ (hashtag #idoa). As the website states, “People are awesome every day, frequently don’t realize it, and their feats of awesomeness are rarely recognized. We aim to fix that, with a special day to both perform and celebrate feats of awesomeness!”

Here’s to awesomeness, here’s to whipped cream, and here’s great inventions. Have a great day, all!

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