January 19th

National Tin Can Day -

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On January 19th each year, we commemorate National Tin Can Day. This day is dedicated to acknowledging the integral role that tin cans have played in our society since their patent in 1810. Tin cans have been pivotal in the revolution of food storage and transportation and have been essential during wars and explorations, as well as in our daily lives.

National Tin Can Day serves as a reminder of the significant value of this simple yet powerful invention.

History of National Tin Can Day

The story of the tin can dates back 1810, when Peter Durand, an English merchant, was awarded a patent for the invention of the tin can as a method to preserve food. However, Durand sold his patent to to Bryan Donkin and John Hall, who utilised this invention to supply preserved food for the British Army and Royal Navy.

With time, the tin can dramatically reshaped the food industry, transforming how food was preserved, packed, and transported. Its significance grew even more pronounced during wartime when it was used as an effective means to feed troops.

Historic voyages and expeditions have also been supported by tin cans. When Arctic explorer William Parry embarked on his voyage in 1824, he took canned food supplies, marking one of the earliest uses of canned goods in exploration.

The process of canning has evolved considerably since the earliest tin cans - optimizing quality and efficiency. Today, steel and aluminium have largely superseded traditional tin, though we continue to use the term ‘tin can’.

National Tin Can Day, therefore, is an ode to the creativity and innovation symbolised by this ubiquitous invention. It is generally commemorated by understanding the history of tin cans, their transformation, and their societal influence. Some on this day, explore their creativity by using tin cans for DIY projects.

National Tin Can Day Timeline

Invention of Tin Can

Peter Durand, a British merchant, patented his invention of the tin can for preserving food.

Use in Royal Navy

Tin cans started being used in the Royal Navy.

Invention of Can Opener

Ezra Warner invented and patented the first can opener due to need, as prior to this, cans were opened using a hammer and chisel.

Invention of Double Seams

Invention of the double seam which eliminated spoilage, decreased costs and increased efficiency of tin can production.

Aluminum Soda Cans

The first aluminium drinks can was made by the Adolph Coors Company.

Modern Uses of Tin Cans

Tin cans are now used widely for packaging foods and beverages, as well as aerosols and paint cans.

Ideas to Celebrate National Tin Can Day

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DIY Tin Can Art

Invite loved ones for a crafting session where you all can transform old tin cans into unique pieces of art. Embrace your creativity with environmentally-friendly projects such as painting, sculpting or repurposing tin cans.

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Kitchen Tin Can Collection

Challenge yourself to prepare a variety of meals using only ingredients from canned food. This will help everyone appreciate the wonder of canned goods while enjoying a culinary adventure.

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Tin Can Giveback Day

Organize a food drive within your community, asking participants to donate canned goods from their pantry. By doing so, you're contributing and benefiting your local food banks or shelters.

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History of the Tin Can

Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of the tin can. Discover how this simple item has brought significant change to how we store food.

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Tin Can Planters

Recycle your old tin cans into charming planters. This activity nurtures a love for nature, promoting the idea of finding new purposes for otherwise discarded items. Share your creations with others with the hashtag #NationalTinCanDay.

6 Interesting Facts About Tin Cans


Invention of Tin Cans

A British merchant by the name of Peter Durand came up with the concept of tin cans in 1810. He obtained a patent for his ground-breaking idea of storing food in cans made from iron that had a tin coating.


First Can Openers

Interestingly, it took nearly half a century after the advent of tin cans for the first can openers to be created. Until then, people used crude tools like hammers and chisels to pry open their food containers.


World War II Impact

In the period of World War II, tin cans had incredible value. The population was called upon to collect their used cans so they could be recycled and the material utilized to produce essential war supplies.


Revolutionary Packaging

Tin cans dramatically changed the food industry by providing a durable, efficient way of preserving food. This invention enabled people to enjoy certain foods and dishes, irrespective of their geographical location or the time of year.


Soup Cans in Pop Culture

Famed artist Andy Warhol became synonymous with tin cans when, in 1962, he incorporated the image of Campbell's Soup cans into his artwork during the pop art movement. This iconic image is one of the most recognized pieces of art from the 20th century.


Aluminum Component

Contrary to what their name suggests, modern food cans are not made purely from tin. Instead, they're typically crafted from aluminum and occasionally feature a slim tin layer for enhanced resistance against rust. Additionally, the interior is likely to have a slim plastic lining.

National Tin Can Day FAQs

Next National Tin Can Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 January 19th Thursday
2024 January 19th Friday
2025 January 19th Sunday
2026 January 19th Monday
2027 January 19th Tuesday
What is the pattern? Every January 19th

National Tin Can Day Word Search

  • Canning
  • Preservation
  • Storage
  • Food
  • Beverage
  • Recycling