Collecting Antique Advertising Tins

Tips about collecting antique advertising tins.

Antique advertising tins can be found that date back to around 1825, when companies first began to imprint their names directly onto metal containers for advertising purposes. Pictures began to be included shortly after. Some of the older advertising tins have hand painted or stenciled on drawings and pictures. After 1875 the use of decals and labels became popular, along with lithography.

Although canning was invented in 1809, the process back then was slow and expensive. Canning didn't become popular until 1847 when the invention of stamping the cans made the process more feasible and financially sound. With the beginning of the Civil War in 1861 there came a need for preserved food that was easy to carry. Companies like Libby and Van Camp and Campbell's were amongst the first to satisfy this need with their canned foods.

Today, collecting these advertising tins has become a fun and popular pass time. Shopping at has made it as easy as typing in a company name to find hundreds of tins available and for reasonable prices. You can also find antique advertising tins at local flea markets, antique shops and garage sales or at online web sites.

When starting your own collection, you need to decide on what type of antique advertising tins you'd most enjoy collecting. With so many types out there this isn't an easy decision. Your own collection could contain advertising tins from a particular era such as, Victorian or Art Deco. You may decide to collect advertising tins that come from a distinctive company such as, Coca cola or Nabisco. You might also to decide to collect antique advertising tins that were used to contain a specific product such as coffee or talcum powder. Collecting tins that are of a particular shape is another way to go such as collecting only antique advertising tin signs.

When starting your collection, be aware that there are many reproductions of old advertising tins out there. One way to tell if you have found a real antique or a reproduction is by the weight of the tin. Older tin cans were much heavier than the newer ones are. Another way to tell is by the colors used on the tin. New cans tend to have brighter paint and fewer defects than the originals had.

Once you are comfortable with your ability to know the difference between a true antique and a reproduction the next thing you need to look at on your tins is their condition. The condition of any particular collectible is the deciding factor of its worth and resale value. Look for antique tins that are free of dents and scratches. Check for uniformity of paint color and avoid anything that looks like it is faded or chipped. An antique advertising tin with a small ding in it will be worth much less than one that has been kept in perfect condition.

Where you will keep your collection of antique advertising tins is another consideration that you must deal with. Be sure to keep them well protected and out of the sun. A curio cabinet or china closet is a good choice for displaying and storing your collection. Never store your collection in a basement or attic.

When caring for your antique advertising tins, be careful not to use any abrasive cleansers or harsh chemicals on them. A water-dampened cloth is your best bet for carefully cleaning your newest finds. Make sure they are completely dry before recovering them if they have tops, to prevent rusting. A feather duster or lint-free cloth is all you should use for cleaning them afterwards. Never attempt to restore a damaged antique advertising tin as this will greatly reduce the value of the piece.

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