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Dayton Walk of Fame: Ermal C. Fraze

Ermal C. Fraze (1913-89) invented the easy-open “pop-top” can, resulting in the creation of over 500,000 skilled jobs the world over. This invention prompted an investment of about $7 billion with new aluminum rolling mills and an expansion of the can industry worldwide. For the 400 local employees at Dayton Reliable Tool, Ermal Fraze’s invention provided good, dependable jobs. He was one of the early pioneers of the developing tool and die industry: His inventions helped put Dayton on the map for both its prolific inventors and world leadership in the tooling and machining industry. In his memory, his family contributed generously to the Lincoln Park Amphitheater in Kettering, known as the Fraze Pavilion, which provides countless opportunities for citizens to enrich their lives through the arts.

Inducted: 1997

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