Great Moments in Beer Can History!
1810 - Peter Durand of England gets a patent from the king himself - for the first tin can.
1933 - American Can Company develops a lining for the can that will keep beer and metal from reacting
negatively with each other. The plastic coating, called vinylite, allows beer to finally be packaged in cans, without losing
its great taste! The company trademarks their lining 'Keglined' and gets ready to test the beer can in the bottle dominated
marketplace. Amazing how plastics have changed our world in so many ways (some better than others).
January 24, 1935 - In Richmond, Virginia (far from Krueger's Newark, N.J. headquarters) they begin
selling Cream Ale in CANS for the very first time. The response is overwhelmingly positive and history is made. This day is
now known in some circles as 'Beer Can Appreciation Day'. I'm serious.
September 1935 - The 'cone top' cans makes their first appearance in the marketplace. Cone tops,
which museum visitors always tell me resemble brake fluid cans, were first produced by Continental Can Company. They were
cap sealed (bottle caps or crowns on top) and lined with wax - no fancy opener required. They were nifty but didn't
fit real well in refrigerators due to the odd shape. The last cone top cans were produced in the early 1960's.
December 1935 - the Metal Box Company in Great Britain introduces cans into the English marketplace.
Cans arrive in Scotland (Tennents) a year later.
May 31, 1942 - World War II means tin is needed for the war effort, not beer cans, so canning comes to halt
(for the general public, at least).
1944- More than thirty breweries in the United States produce the coveted 'olive-drab' or camoflague cans
for use by troops in World War II. Many of these cans were lost in the jungles of Africa and the Phillipines, but a few lucky
can collectors have them on their shelves!
August 2, 1948 - 13 years after its introduction in the U.S., the beer can finally arrives in the Canadian
1958 - First aluminum can arrives thanks to a brewery in Hawaii. Hawaii Brewing put its 'Primo' beer in
an all aluminum can (with a paper label!). The start of a new era that would make the folks at Alcoa very happy.
1962 - Iron City (the beer drinker's beer from Pittsburgh) appears in a 'Snap Top' can, the first 'tab top'.
We have a man named Ermal Fraze to thank for its invention. Rumor has it that he came up with the 'tab top' idea when, while
on a picnic with friends, he found himself unable to open flat top cans of beer (or soda depending upon the story teller)
due to nobody having an opener.
1975 - After many feet are injured through the years (ouch) on discarded tab tops, the stay-on tab
is introduced by Fall City Brewing Company in Louisville, Kentucky. Stay-on tabs have been the norm ever since, and many bare
feet appreciate that fact.
2004 - Iron City (with help from Alcoa) delivers beer in 'alumabottles' (or 'cabottles), which keep beer
colder longer. Anheuser-Busch (In-Bev?) currently produces many commemorative alumabottles for their products. The museum
has several alumabottles on display in our hallowed halls (Moose Drool, Iron City, Budweiser).
Jan.24, 2010 - The Beer Can will celebrate its 75th birthday! Time to bake a cake - shaped like a beer can,
check out some interesting links below while surfing the wonderful web....