Dating tin cans

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The copyright date can also be misleading because it reflects the year when the brand name was trademarked, not when the brewery started producing that brand in cans.

As notable examples, Glueks Beer and Schmidts Light Beer show a copyright date of 1933, which is when prohibition was just ending and before beer cans were even produced!

Wouldnt it be great if early beer cans had a born on date like so many cans do today?

Unfortunately, they dont, so you have to look for other hints.

This new style of can, which was very different from the rest, was hugely popular with small and medium sized breweries and reigned for a 15-year period.

Crowntainer cans were first used by breweries beginning in September 1939, beginning with the C.

Since crowntainers weren't produced until late 1939, most of them until March 30, 1950 carried the shorter statement saying Internal Revenue Tax Paid. Sometimes, the brewery abbreviated the words Internal Revenue such as Int Revenue Tax Paid, Internal Rev Tax Paid and Int Rev Tax Paid.

In 1937, Crown Cork and Seal introduced their own version of a cap sealed cone top called a J-Spout.

Because of manufacturing problems with the J-Spout, the Crown Cork and Seal Company soon gave up on them and introduced a new two-piece cone top can in late 1939.

Here are some of the clues used in determining the age of a crowntainer. These cans, produced by the American Can Company, had a flat top which required opening instructions on the side of the can informing the thirsty drinker how to puncture the top of the can with a tool that became known as a "churchkey".

Soon afterwards, the National Can Company started manufacturing flat top beer cans.

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