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The tin can was first patented in 1810. This was sealed with lead solder which resulted in high profile cases of food poisoning. Also some acid foods can cause corrosion of the tin layer leading to nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Plastic coated steel avoids this but, since 1950‘s the tin can has increasingly been made from aluminium. This means that the base and sides can be formed from one piece of material before being joined to a stamped lid with a ring pull.

Whilst £36 million worth of aluminium is thrown away every year, each recycled can saves enough energy to power a television for 3 hours.


The sides are formed from tin coated steel with a food safe plastic inner lining. They are rolled into shape and joined to form cylinders before pressed metal bases are fitted. The open cans are then transported to the food plant where they are filled and the tops are sealed.


Without the label the can is a fine example of simplicity. The cylindrical walls catch the light in a series of vertical bands. These are broken by the horizontal corrugations which reflect the environment. The circular grooves on the lid catch the light and cast shadows in a subtle way across the surface.

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