With Chronology of Tin / Can Development
by Mike Reilly (completely revised January, 1999)
At some time, tin collectors want to know
something about the history behind their tins or more often, how old they are. Most of the
time, the tin will not have a date marked anywhere on it, and that's where some detective
work on your part is required. Dating tins isn't difficult to do, though it may involve
some of your time. This process can turn out to be both fun and personally rewarding. The following information can be used to help document the age of your tins.
You will be fortunate to date your tin
right away, most of them will require you to carefully study their appearance both from a
structure stand-point and how they are decorated or finished. Some very
obvious clues may not be sufficient, may be misleading, or have to be combined with other
knowns to arrive at an accurate or close approximate date.
Let's start off with some general things
that apply to most 20th century tins and to some 19th.
Addresses on tins can often be
linked to a time period, even down to the exact year, if you use an old city directory or
telephone book. If you're collecting local brand/company tins you probably have access to
a library or historical society that have these books. By looking up the business in the
directory you can determine when they moved to a new location or the address simply
changed because of changes in the city's addressing system.
If you're collecting a particular
brand or have several major brands in your collection, it really pays off to know the
manufacturer/distributor history. By tying in certain company events and changes, the
graphics and text on your tin may be able to determine the time period it was introduced
and used. Many companies have gone through name changes (ownership, brands, logos,
trademarks, mergers) because of growth or merging. Knowing when these events took place
and matching them to the name on the tin can help.
Along the same lines; if you also collect
magazines/newspaper ads for these companies/brands, they can date your tin by matching
your tin's description to that in the ad. Many ads have a date on them ( the page
they're on or the date of the publication you find them in) and are an excellent reference
tool as well as looking great themselves in your collection. Other point-of-sale (POS)
advertising, particularly die-cut cardboard, may also provide dates. Another source of
information could be a merchandise catalog. As an example, Sears, Roebuck & Co. sold
many products years ago and you may be able to date an item by its appearance in the
Some collectors shy away from collecting tins
with paper labels, but besides being very attractive, they can provide the name of the
label's printer or lithographer. Labels were not always printed in the same location (city
or state) as that of the manufacturer or distributor so you may have to make some long
distance phone calls or write some letters to learn about the printing company's history.
The date of manufacture (printing) may appear on it or sometimes be stamped on the
backside. This can only be determined if you're willing to remove the label from the tin.
Numbers on labels such as "553" may indicate
the year made. "553" is May, 1953. These numbers may also identify a label stock
number but most likely would be identified as No. 1227.
Note: Early paper labels may not have
listed or pictured the product within the tin or can.
Your tin may have graphics or text
that can be attributed to a particular time period. Match clothing, furniture, table
settings, automobile make, and slogans (ex. war slogans-BUY Bonds), etc., to other known
advertising items. Advertisers tended to use the most modern fashions on their labels.
Look for historical events and important people in the advertising. Much of it was used
only for a short time, usually no more than five years, after the event or person was
significant. There are some exceptions to this; images of Abe Lincoln and Ben
Franklin have endured for hundreds of years in advertising. You may need to invest
in some good history books, encyclopedias, and old product sales catalogs for reference
sources. (Note: In our time of nostalgia advertising- this may not be entirely applicable,
but other clues will provide more identification information.)
The construction of your tin may also
provide clues to its age. In the 1930's/40's tins were constructed of rather thick steel
sheet. As time went on, the tin manufacturer realized that all that metal wasn't always
needed to protect the product. They also found out that you didn't have to apply as thick
a coating of paint, ink, or whatever they used to maintain a somewhat durable finish. So
the coatings used became thinner. Paper label stock also became thinner
Note: Certain size tins were in use during
particular time periods.
Many tins have a copyright date on
them. In some cases this can identify its age, but be cautious. Copyright (and Patent
dates) can be misleading, appearing on the company's products for many years. A copyright
date may appear but the product may not have been actually marketed until the following
year or later. Find out more about Copyright and Patent information as you
read the listing below.
I'm going to be guessing here, but I
would think that the "Limited Edition" became widely used after the 1970's. Many
tins marked with this usually have a date associated with its issuance. It was also in the
'70's, 1973 to be exact, that the UPC (Universal Product Code) label came on the scene and
began appearing on products. So any tin with a UPC label was manufactured in the last
Don't forget about telephone
numbers. Up until the early 1950's, telephone companies used a two or four digit number,
sometimes with a hyphenated suffix. During 1954/55 (in the Milwaukee, WI. area), the old
LIberty, LIconln, BRoadway telephone numbers with five digits were introduced. About 1962,
rural communities around Milwaukee began using the full seven-digit phone numbers.
If someone knows when the familiar
1-800 and 1-888 numbers were introduced as well as the Area Code system, I'd like to hear
What I've done here is created a
chronology of tin container development along with certain events and laws that will
enable you to more accurately pinpoint your tin's age. Some of it may be very difficult to
use in determining a tin's age unless you're somewhat of an expert in production method
changes and how to distinguish various types of lithography or metal ornamentation. You
may need to consult other sources to gain a better understanding of historical, literary,
and art influences and when they were significant.
1300-1780 Canisters are hand-painted.
1600's - paper labels are attached to bails of fabric/cloth.
1700's - early in the century, labels are printed for medicine
containers, later for wine bottles and used to identify tobacco products.
1700's-1800's, Wrapper-style labels are used to enclose bottles
and tins to keep out dirt and hide any rust.
1798 Nicolas-Louis Robert invents a machine to make paper
in France. Early paper labels were printed on hand-made paper and wooden presses.
1798 - Aloys (Alois) Senefelder invents lithography or
1798-1810: Paper labels used for decorating.
1809 - Nicholas Appert wins Napolean's prize for canning food in
The Tin Can is Introduced
1810 - tins are patented in England by Peter Durand, "an
iron can coated with tin".
- Can Seams - The other major
technological change in cans was the type of seam closur;
granted a by King George III of England.
Early cans were sealed the sides and top
with lead solder first by hand, later by
machine. Solderless cans appeared in 1890s
quickly became the dominant type after the
introduction of the modern sanitary can
Hand-soldered seams - Globby, irregular
bands of lead solder along edges and around top, cap, and base of can.
Until the 1880s
Machine-soldered seams - Bands of lead
solder much thinner and more-evenly applied. After 1883
Double locking side-seams - First solderless
cans; side-seams crimped on inside or outside of can.
Commercially available by the late 1890s. Used on modern
Cans changed size over time, too, and some of these changes
provide clues as to their ages. This is particularly true
for evaporated or condensed milk cans. Note all measurements should be
made in inches and sixteenths of
1810-1820: Hole-and-cap -
Can lids have central cap where food was inserted before sealing.
No vent hole; cans often swelled or burst during cooking
1811-1830: Embossing used to decorate canisters.
1813 - Bryan Donkin and John Hull making tins for food in
1813 - British army supplied with rations in tins.
- 1818- Peter Durand introduced the tin
container in America.
- 1819- Fish, oysters, fruits, meats and
vegetables were being canned in New York by Thomas
Kensett, Sr. and Ezra Daggett.
1820s-WWI: Hole-in-cap -
Same as hole-and-cap, but with tiny pin-hole in center of cap to
act as a vent during cooking
1825 - "vessels of tin" are patented by Ezra Daggett
and Thomas Kensett.
- 1830s- Huntley and Palmer of Reading, England
were selling their cakes and biscuits in decorated tin
1837 - Full color pictures made with seven-stone color images of
red, yellow, and blue. Method perfected by Frenchmen, Godefroi Engelman and son, Jean. New
process was called "chromolithographie".
1838 - Captain Isaac Winslow, from the New England area, acquires
Louis Appert's patents for canning foods.
1839 (1837?) - Food packers Thomas Kensett of Baltimore and
William Underwood (Deviled Ham) switch from glass to tin containers.
1842 - Isaac & Nathan Winslow operate a can factory in
Portland, Maine for food-preserving. "Hole-and-cap" cans were made by hand,
about 60 per day per man. The circular tops and bottoms were cut out with shears, and
soldered to the body with the aid of a zinc chloride flux. The top has a filling hole
about an 1 1/2 inches in diameter with after filling was closed by soldering a slightly
larger tin-plated disc over it.
1847 - Allen Taylor invents a drop (pendulum) press for stamping out
the cylindrical can ends.
1847-1869 Stenciling and "paper transfer" are
methods used for decoration.
- 1849- Henry Evans, Jr. improved Taylor's
patent with the "Pendulum": press for making can ends.
Late 1840's-Early 1850's A combination press developed to
stamp out, flange, and make the filling hole in one operation.
- 1850-1860 - Louis Pasteur discovered that
bacteria caused food spoilage. By heating a "closed" can
these microscopic, single-cell plants could be killed. This could be done in
a hole-in-cap can
c.1850 - earliest printed American cans made by Reckow and Larne
in New York City.
- By the Mid-1850s small seamless cans were
- 1856 - Gail Borden began
canning condensed milk in America. To get the contents out of this can
you must remove all or most of the can end.
- 1856 Henry Bessmer of England discovered, as
did William Kelley of America in 1857, the process for
converting cast iron into steel.
1858 - Cans are positioned in solder bath to seal seam edges.
Output per man is now a thousand per day.
- 1859 A patent was granted for lock side seams
for cans in America.
1860's - Canning in America was an important business.
"beautiful women" were the main advertising subjects.
- 1861- 1865 - The U.S. Government, "The North",
purchased quantities of Borden's condensed milk for
military use. This proved to the public that canned products were safe and
1862 - the word "Trademark" began use but more used
- 1865 - Kerosene was first canned (in tall, rectangular cans
with small caps).
1865 - "Tax Stamps" required on
tobacco products in the U.S.
Post-Civil War Years
c.1865-1901: Ilsley of Brooklyn, N.Y. manufactures tins.
1866 - First known "printed" metal box. A seamless oval
tin holding a cake of solidified toothpowder made by Dr. Israel Whitney Lyon, a dentist,
- 1866-present Key Wind (key-wind
tapered tins after 1895) - Cans opened by using
a key to roll or tear away
a metal strip from the top or side of the can
used for coffee after 1917 (still used on some canned meats and
fish [corned beef, sardines])
1869 - the "lock seamer" is developed to form the body.
1869 - Anderson and Campbell begin preserving vegetables.
c.1869-1901: Norton Bros. of Maywood, Illinois (until 1880 company
was in Chicago) making tins. Made tins for Libby, McNeill & Libby.
1870's - Ginna of New York, N.Y. begins producing tins.
Hinged lid tins were on the market.
1870-1879: one-color lithography or planography, printed on a
colored base, in use.
- 1871- The first American tinplate works was
1872 - Libby, McNeill & Libby, Chicago, Illinois, develop
method for canning corned beef and other meats. Tapered tins, like
those still used for some brands of corned beef, were first marketed in
1876 - automatic soldering of ends.
1878 - Chase & Sanborn first firm to pack and ship brand name
roasted coffee in sealed cans.
1869 or late 1870's-1901: Daniel,
Joseph and Guy Somers of New York developed their lithography
techniques. Ginna and Co. of Brooklyn, New York, began producing
fine artistic lithographed tins. Howe developed the
"Joker" and "Little Joker" systems that automatically attached and
soldered can ends. The English required their can manufacturers
to stop soldering on inside side seams of cans. In
America, this practice was discontinued at a later time.
1880's - favorite advertising motifs
used company buildings and
1880's - "Packed with Choice Goods" an advertising
phrase of the time.
1882 - Chromolithography is introduced.
These tins were lithographed by using a series
of color plates. Multicolored tins were now on the market.
1883 - First entirely automatic can line started by Edwin Norton.
1884 - "Reg.", "Rd", or
"Registered" with a number used in England to indicate the year of manufacture.
A table of dates matching numbers reportedly exists.
1885 - Evaporated milk canned
in the United States. These cans are opened by
punching two holes on opposite sides of the can lid or
- 1888- Max Ams of Max Ams Machine Co. of New
York developed a double side seam and gasket for
cylindrical cans. This led to the "Sanitary Can".
The Gay '90's
1890's - earliest cylindrical cans with paper labels
may say "cut open on this line" or "cut off top". A line
or dotted line with cutting instructions was printed at the label's top. Top
was then cut off with a knife or cleaver. Early cans may include serving
directions - heating the can's contents in boiling water without removing
the lid. Other early cans had soldered tops that were opened by melting the
solder. Another type had a ring soldered that was pulled to open the lid. A
different version had a metal strip around the rim that was pulled (similar
to present day frozen juice cans with plastic strips).
1890's - blue and gray are popular advertising
1890's - labels are embossed with portions of the
design raised. They were often finished with gold leaf or a cheaper mixture
of bronze powder and lacquer (used like an ink).
- 1891- The McKinley Tariff Act greatly reduced
the flow of tinplate from Europe to America.
1891-1901: Hasker and Marcuse
Manufacturing Co. was founded in Richmond, Virginia. The flat top
tobacco can was introduced on the American market.
1891 - Color lithography now the rule in industry.
1892 - Anderson and Campbell incorporate as
"Joseph Campbell Preserve Company".
- 1895- The tapered meat can was improved by the
Norton Brothers of Chicago, when they added a scored key
wind strip to the large end of the can.
1897 - The log-cabin-shaped syrup tin was
introduced, and discontinued after WW II (with modern
1898 - Charles M. Ames and Julius Brenzinger of the
Max Ams Machine Company develop the first open-top or "sanitary"
can. These first cans had a soldered lock-seam body, with ends crimped on
and hermetically sealed using with paper gaskets or a "sealing
compound". Initial results not very good.
1898 - American Tinplate Company is formed.
1898 - Cobb Preserving Company introduces the first
fully automatic canning line.
- 1898- Edwin Norton patented a vacuum pack tin.
Post-1900: Ellisco, Incorporated (first known as
George D. Ellis & Sons - 1843), begins making undecorated cans.
A New Century of Innovation and Mergers Begins
1900 - Tindeco (Tin Decorating Company) of Baltimore,
Maryland starts operation. By the 1920s it was the
leader in lithographed tin.
After 1900 - Hole-in-top (also called
Vent-hole, Matchstick-filler, or Drop-of-solder)
Cans have solid lids except for tiny pin-hole vent at center,
which was sealed with a drop of solder after the contents
were cooked. Evaporated milk cans almost exclusively of
this type by 1920. You sometimes can tell a can that held
evaporated milk from one that held condensed milk: if the can
was opened with two tiny punctures (ice pick, nail, knife blade,
etc.), it held evaporated milk. Condensed milk is too
thick to pour through these small openings. Those cans had to be opened by
partially removing the lids.
c.1900 - Litho stones were "stippled"
rather than engraved with lines. This permitted better blending of colors on
labels. Use a magnifying glass to examine label. Early stippling done by
hand in a random manner; later, Benday screens were introduced with the
stippled pattern aligned in rows.
c.1900 - "Patented" or "U.S.
patent" first used.
c.1900 - "Packaged by white girls only" seen
on certain Midwest food products.
early 1900's - sports (baseball and golf),
automobiles, trains and balloons were favorite advertising design motifs.
1900-1915 labels featured farm girl look wearing
1901 - A new improved version of the
"sanitary" can is introduced and by 1908 is in wide spread use.
Their sizes were originally designated by numbers, 1 for small through 10
for large or about 4/5 gallon. These tins/cans used a double
seam and no longer required soldering to seal them.
1901 - over 100 tin manufacturers combine to form the
American Can Co. headed by Edwin Norton.
1901 - Heekin Can Company opens in Ohio.
1902 - "patent applied for" first used.
1903 - Up to this year, no "wet packs"
(packing vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, etc) containers had any organic
coating or decoration (other than paper label).
1903 - The Cobb Preserving Company develops the first
"sanitary gold lacquer" finish for inside (and outside) cans.
1903 - Rotary offset lithograph press developed which
transferred the image from a rotating metal drum to a rotating rubber drum
and then onto the tin.
1903 - The Virginia Can Company combines with the
U.S. Can Company in Cincinnati.
- Commercially available by 1904 -
Sanitary: Cans made entirely by machine, with
one-piece lids no caps or vent holes.
No lead solder.
1904 - Sanitary Can Company is formed by the Max Ams
Machine Company, the Cobb Preserving Company, and jobbers Bogle and Scott of
1904 - Edwin Norton forms Continental Can Company.
1904 - Edwin Norton introduces the vacuum can (patent
issued in 1898?). The first vacuum-packed coffee (in one-pound cans)
was marketed by Hills Brothers in 1903/4.
1904 - Because of financial difficulties, The
American Can Co. closed 80 of its original 123 plants. William T. Graham is
1905 - Trademark law revision
prohibits use of American flag as part of a commercial mark or label.
The Law Steps In
1906 - Pure Food and Drug Act passed. Mandated
many health requirements, though no special wording. Also banned the word
1907 - "Prince Albert" hinged tobacco tins patented (also
see 1913 and 1914). These tins were made into the mid-20th century.
1909 - Beer first offered in cans but quickly failed.
Tuna also canned successfully for the first time.
1910 - Insecticide Act of 1910 mentioned up to
1910 - Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval - their
"tested and approved" seal.
1910 - the color violet is a popular with
c.1910 glossy-finish "shellacked"
labels replace gold embossed ones.
1911 - American Tobacco Company splits.
1911 - the Shelley Amendment (to the Pure Food
and Drug Act) prohibits false or fraudulent curative or theraputic claims.
- 1911- Most California can manufacturers were
producing sanitary cans.
1912 - Al Bruns starts the Metal Package Company in
Brooklyn. Reputed to be the best lithographer of cans in the country.
1913 - Robert A. Worstall develops a pale finishing
varnish based on tung oil and a special milky Congo resin (much resin came
from Africa and the Far East) for the Ault & Wiborg Company. They in
turn sell it to the Federal Tin Company of Baltimore for use on their Prince
Albert cans. Use of this varnish produced a much whiter portrait of the
prince in the oval medallion.
1913 - the Gould Amendment (to the Pure Food
and Drug Act) required the contents quantity on labeling.
1913 - R.J. Reynolds test markets four brands of
tobacco - Reyno, Red Kamel, Osman, and Camel. Camel wins out an is
introduced to the public in Dec., 1914.
pre-WWI advertising features
women with waist-length hair.
World War I, the Roaring '20's and
1914 - Continuous ovens for drying inked tinplate are
1914 - Copyright symbol letter "C" in a
circle is first used.
WWI - home canning tins with embossed lids listing
vegetables are introduced. They had an easy closure mechanism.
1916 - "Double-Tite" and later
"Triple-Tite" covers developed for paint containers and other
similar products requiring frequent reopening.
19-teens (?): Metal Package Company, Boyle Can
Company (Baltimore), and Shallita Brothers (New York) form the National Can
1919-1933 Prohibition - "2.75% alcohol
limit" and "for medicinal purposes only" wording used. The
word "beer" couldn't be used.
1920's - Citrus fruits and tomato juice appear in tin
containers. The hole-and-cap tin pretty much gone from use.
1920's - the "roll-form" and
"wing-form" tin production methods are introduced and increase can
1920's - "salt added" and "sugar
added" wording must be included on labeling.
c.1920's - Art Deco style becomes popular.
1920's - "packed in sanitary cans" or
"hermetically sealed" phrases not seen much due to increased
public knowledge of cans and their uses.
1921 - Campbell's acquires the
1921 - Dewey and Almy introduce a natural rubber
latex compound to aid in sealing certain types of cans.
1921 or 1922 - "C Enamel" developed
containing small amount of zinc oxide to combat sulfur in such foods as
peas, corn, beans, meats and fish. The zinc oxide gave the "sanitary
gold lacquer" a translucent appearance. This
coating prevented discoloration of vegetables and other
reactions with the metal can.
1922 - Joseph Campbell Preserve Company becomes known
as Campbell Soup Company.
1924 - The "key-opening" feature and
"vacuum packed" begins with coffee cans.
1924 - earliest "bathing beauty" seen on
1927 - Technique of photolithography developed.
1927 - Caustic Poison Act requires labels to
add dangerous chemical warning and antidotes on products.
Pre-Depression, Smokestacks commonly seen in
advertising as a sign of a prospering business.
early 1930's - Photomechanical half-tones, using a
fine dot matrix, replaces the "stippling" (see c.1900 for info).
1930's - orange color becomes popular in advertising.
1930's - Women in advertising have the
contented, wholesome housewife look.
1930's - Many labels show recipes for the product
inside the can/tin. "Union Label" becomes an important addition on
many labels (primarily used to designate a unionized printing shop).
1930's-50's Designs become more stylized.
Photographic labels on slick, shiny paper popular (except during WWII).
Block lettering and geometric designs are used.
1932 - "Reg. U.S. Pat. off." (Registered
with the United States Patent Office) first used.
1933 - "Internal Revenue Tax Paid"
on labels from 1933 until March 1950.
- 1935- The invention of C-enamel allowed the
flat top and bottom beer can to be introduced. Later that
year the cone-top beer can was also introduced. The "Church Key" was
invented to open the flat top beer can. This opener makes
a triangular shaped hole in the can's top. The cone-top can
allowed beer bottlers to retain their old bottling equipment.
1935 - Beer is canned for the domestic market.
1935-mid 1950's: Cone-top beer can.
1937 - The oval cans for hams, chicken and other
lunch meats come on the market.
1937 - Electrolytic tinplate first produced for the
general market by the Gary Sheet and Tin Mill. Product quality - flaked,
discolored, wouldn't lithograph or solder.
1938 - Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act
requires labeling of certain products - showing the food's name, the net
weight, and the name and address of the manufacturer or distributor. A
listing of ingredients was also required on most items.
1938 - The standard wrap around label for the number
300 or 303 can (sizes of today's canned peas) first used. Prior to this,
most labels didn't wrap around the side of the can/tin.
c.1940 - "Patent pending" first
World War II Era
1940's Pin-up girl types in advertising,
appealing to servicemen.
WWII - one color labels with eagle and war equipment
pictured for military use.
Early 1940's - Continental develops the one pound
"bug bombs" for military insecticide use.
1940's-50's Cartoon-like figures appear on advertising
showing product or pointing to the instructions.
1941 - Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval - seal changed
to "guaranty" seal.
1943 - one and two digit postal zone codes introduced.
- WWII - It appears that the hole-in-cap was
taken out of production.
1947 - First low cost aerosol insecticide can sold to
public by Continental. Had concave top and bottom with a special valve
soldered to the can. (As early as 1945?)
Prosperity Around the Corner
Late 1940's-early 50's Thin, well-dressed women are drawn
in a stylized technique.
after 1949 - Registered symbol of letter "R" in
a circle is first used.
1950 - Oleomargarine Act requires conspicuous labeling of
1950 - Federal Court of Appeals rules that "purpose
of the drug" must be included in the drug label directions.
1950's - Pacific Can Company joins National Can
1950's - turquoise is a popular color.
1955 - Campbell's buys the C.A. Swanson Company.
1955 - Microwave ovens are introduced and labeling
reflects new cooking directions.
1956 - Since before 1913, the American Can Co. had not
bought or merged with other companies. It now bought interests in
collapsible metal and plastic tubes, Dixie cups, and a variety of products
from the Marathon Corporation.
1958 - Motor Oil sold commercially in aluminum cans.
- Late 1950s- A soft aluminum top was added to
the metal flat top beer can.
1959 - First all-aluminum beer can sold by Adolph Coors
The New Health Conscious Public
1960 - American Can Co. has about 80 can factories and
forty-two metal decorating plants.
1960 - Federal Hazardous Substances Labeling Act
puts warning labels on hazardous household chemical products.
1962 - Good Housekeeping Seal reads - "Good
Housekeeping guarantees - If product or performance defective, replacement or
refund to consumer." The pull-tab beverage can was introduced in
1963 - Zip Codes are introduced and appear on product
1963- The aluminum tear-top can and the D & I (drawn and ironed) aluminum can
1965 Tin-free-steel cans are made.
1965 - "Warning, the Surgeon General has
determined that smoking may be hazardous to your health."
1965 - elegant table setting with candelabrum and product
popular in advertising.
1966 - Fair Packaging and Label Act - all consumer
products in interstate commerce must be labeled with accurate information.
1970 - "Warning, the Surgeon General has
determined that smoking is hazardous to your health."
1972- The State of Oregon required beer can tabs to remain with the can.
1973 - Nutrition labeling required by FDA on food
packaging containing one or more added nutrients, or where labeling or ads
included claims about product's nutritional properties.
1975 - Good Housekeeping Seal changes due to Magnuson-Moss
Warranty Act. "Good Housekeeping promises a limited warranty to
consumers - replacement or refund if defective."
1980 - Zip+Four zip code introduced.
1980- 3M developed a peel scotch tab for drink cans.
early 1980's - "Use by" or "Sell by"
(Expiration dates) printed on packaging.
1980's-90's Tuna fish products labeled "Dolphin
Free" or "Packed in the USA".
1984 - Sodium or salt labeling required on nutrition
1985 - Messages about tobacco dangers to pregnant women
appear in advertising - containing carbon monoxide, cause cancer or emphysema,
1989 (November) - Health warnings placed on liquor
bottles in U.S.
c.1990 - "Fat-free" added as a selling feature.
1990 - Nutrition and Fair Labeling Act creates
strict definitions of terms: free, reduced, lean, less, light, extra lean,
low, fewer, high, more, and good source. Also established guidelines
for links between foods and health related conditions. Note: Because Act
was not mandatory until 1994, some labels may be found overprinted to conform
with new law (this allowed manufacturers to use up existing advertising
materials in stock.)
1990 - PLU numbers (bulk produce numbers) appear in the
form of stickers on produce.
1990 - "% Alcohol" replaces "proof"
as standard of measure on liquor products.
1992 - Terms "fat-free",
"low-cholesterol" and "lite" are regulated.
1994 - Food labeling requires metric conversion of
1994 (May) - "Nutrition Facts" appear on health
label listing percentage of daily nutritional values. All ingredients and
additives used as preservatives, and all vitamin info must be printed. The
term "ice milk" is eliminated.
1995 (June) - "Underage Sale Prohibited" first
used by Philip Morris company.
1996 - "skim milk" becomes "fat
1998 "1% lowfat milk" is light milk" and
"2% lowfat milk" becomes "2% reduced fat milk".
I could have listed tons
of information about various companies histories, their slogans, advertising,
etc. but decided that would be just too much of a task. It would be interesting
to do this for a particular company from time to time. If you have any such
documentation that you would like to share with others please send it to email address
Below you will find a selected
series of Patent Numbers and the corresponding Month and Year within which it
was issued. If you find a patent number on your tin, this listing may help you
determine it's approximate age. Remember - using patent numbers may
Sources: Metal Decorating From Start to Finishes by
Charles R. Bragdon; Tobacco Tins: A Collector's Guide by Douglas Condon-Martin;
The Tin Can Book by Hyla M. Clark; The Label Made Me Buy It by Ralph and
Terry Kovel, 1998; plus a lot more unstuck from my brain.; How Old Is
"Old"? - Recognizing Historical Sites and Artifacts by Sharon A. Waechter,