Tin cans for food packaging have come a long way. From small jars used for preserving food to metal cans that can store food for longer, the history of food packaging has come a long way today. Let’s revisit the history and evolution of tin cans for food packaging.
A Brief History of the Tin Can
Tin cans for food packaging began when people wanted a way to preserve food for the army and navy. The can’s illustrious history began in 1795, when the French government, led by Napoleon, offered a 12,000-franc prize to anyone who could invent a method of preserving food for the army and navy.
The can’s history is a history of western civilization, and its innovation has been a source of prosperity in the United States. The first cans were created two centuries ago to sustain world powers on their global quests. The can was essential to big businesses and wider frontiers in boomtown America. Can manufacturing is now a major economic force; more than 130 billion cans used by Americans each year generate approximately $15.7 billion in direct economic activity. With plants in 33 states, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa, the industry employs over 28 thousand people.
Modern packing methods began to emerge after the American and French revolutions. The nineteenth century saw rapid advances in factory machinery that accelerated packaging processes. Commercial food containers were made of materials such as pottery, glass, and tinplated iron in the early 1800s. In 1813, the first commercial canning factory was established in England. During this period, canned foods included oysters, meats, fruits, and vegetables.
Decorated tinplated cans with biscuits and cakes became popular in the 1830s. Allan Taylor received the patent for the first machine to stamp cylindrical can ends in 1847, as other new processes helped speed up production. Eleven years later, Ezra J. Warner, an American inventor, received a patent for the can opener, which became popular among U.S. military personnel during the Civil War.
By 1875, the tapered can had become popular for canning corned beef and sardines. The first automatic can-making machine appeared in the 1880s, as a slew of modern inventions began to appear. The patent for aerosols, awarded to the team of Helbling and Petsch in 1899, was one of the most unique packing developments of the century. Aerosols enable the storage of liquid or gaseous contents under pressure in a container before spraying as a fine mist. A few decades later, a more modern version of aerosol cans were introduced.
20st Century Tin Can Food Packaging
Tin cans for food packaging has come a long way from its predecessors. Several materials have been used in the food packaging industry over the last century, but metals such as aluminium and tinplate have gained widespread favour due to their dependable strength and sustainability. Metal cans make the most sense for long-term food storage, according to history.
As a modern consumer-based society began to take shape in the early 1900s, new inventions flourished even more. Tuna canning began on the west coast of the United States in 1909. Continuous ovens were first used to dry ink on tinplate packages in 1914. In 1917, Bayer introduced pocket-sized aspirin cans. That same year saw the introduction of coffee cans with key openings. Prior to World War II, some other significant food packaging developments occurred in the twentieth century:
- Canned spam made its debut in 1926.
- Electric can openers were first introduced in 1931.
- Krueger introduced the first beer can in 1935.
In 1945, the first aerosol cans were mass-marketed immediately after the war. As the world entered the Cold War era in the 1950s, metal can manufacturers tested containers to see if they could withstand a nuclear explosion while still providing safe food. The outcomes were favourable. Then, in 1957, aluminium was introduced into the metal can manufacturing process, making metal cans even more durable. A few years later, the first all-aluminium beer can was introduced. In 1962, the first beverage can with a pull-tab was introduced.
MC Packaging: Singapore’s Leading Tin Can Manufacturer
MC Packaging has been producing high-quality tin cans for a global clientele for over 50 years. MC Packaging has cutting-edge equipment that allows them to produce food-safe and premium tin cans for food packaging companies.
MC Packaging strives to meet the needs of our customers by delivering high-quality products that are reliable in terms of both manufacturing standards and delivery time, as achieved through continuous improvement of our operational capabilities and product development through innovation.