I’m hoping everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, I sure did (it was Brian and I’s first time to host and it was a success!) We thought we’d be clever this week with those leftover tin cans from your big meal.
In 1810, the tin can was patented by a British merchant Peter Durand, based on experimental work by the Frenchman Nicolas Appert. The patent was for a method of preserving animal food, vegetable food and other perishable articles using various vessels made of glass, pottery, tin or other suitable metals. The preservation process was to fill up a vessel with food and cap it. Vegetables were to be put in raw, whereas animal substances might either be raw or half-cooked. Then the whole item was to be heated, by an oven, stove or a steam bath, but most conveniently by immersing in water and boiling it. The boiling time was not specified, and was said to depend on the food and vessel size. Neither was the patent clear on the preservation time, which was merely said to be “long”. The cap was to be partly open during the whole heating and cooling procedure, but right after that, the vessel should be sealed airtight by any means.
After receiving the patent he sold it to two other Englishmen, Bryan Donkin and John Hall, for 1,000 British pounds. They set up a commercial canning factory and produced their first canned goods for the British army. In 1818, Durand introduced tin cans in the United States by re-patenting his British patent in the US. By 1820, canned food was a recognized article in Britain and France and by 1822 in the United States.
In 1901, the American Can Company was founded and it produced 90% of United States tin cans at that time.