Growing up in Cagayan de Oro, we were made to believe that ‘TANSAN‘ is the local term for the metal bottle cap of soft drinks, beers and other beverages. Tansan is also very common in the city ingeniously crafted to resemble a percussion instrument used during Christmas caroling. But do you know that Tansan really came from Clifford-Wilkinson Tansan Mineral Water Co., Ltd., a popular brand of carbonated water from Japan?

Well, just to pique your curiosity, the Tansan brand came to the Philippines in 1902 (SOURCE) with the new invention – a metal crown cap. Prior to Tansan’s arrival, beverages used corks to seal bottles.

photo source: the pinoy warrior

Because of its popularity, Filipinos thought ‘Tansan’ is a descriptive word and not a subject of a trademark (SOURCE). It was also reported being copied by Tansan’s competitors.

photo source:

And this notion went on for several decades except perhaps for a few who have known its origin. Years passed until the info was shared in social media.

photo from PaperbugTV

By the way, the metal crown cap was invented and patented by William Painter (see below) on February 2, 1892 (U.S. Patent 468,258).

from Wikipedia

So now you know…Tansan is a brand and not the name of the metal bottle cap.

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