When Tin Containers Held Everything

  • When Tin Containers Held Everything

    Before plastic and cardboard packaging, metal tin containers were the primary packaging for commercial products. In the early 1900’s, everything came in a tin - including meats, vegetables, candy, medicines, personal hygiene products, motor oils and industrial lubricants. Over the past 75 to 100 years, very few products are packaged in tin containers. One of the few remaining that I can think of is shoe polish. However, old “tins” have become a very popular collectible item and old tins now are prominently displayed in many fashionable homes.  

    While the type and variety of tins is basically unlimited, and many collectors collect tins for various reasons, I find that one of the most interesting, and amusing, facets of tins is the brand or name of the products they held. For example, the brand name “HOPE” laxative does not instill much confidence in the product. How about the brand “HALF” cough drops; what is the other half? Would you like to brush your teeth with “DENTAL RUBBER” or “SANITARY TOOTH SOAP”? Did many people use “BLACK and WHITE” skin ointment? How about “A CORN SALVE” foot cream? One of the best is “BUCKETS” kidney and bladder cleanser. Another questionable tin contained “Dr. Martel’s FRENCH FEMALE PILLS.”

    The next time you are in the Brass Armadillo, look for old Tins. You will find some interesting names and products. You may even want to buy one or two for your home.