Chronology of stylistic development of the beer can

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Chronology of stylistic development of the beer can

#1

Post by keithker » Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:14 pm

I'm sure this information has been made available numerous times but once again in my quest to get answers to @Mark (expired) question I found the following good quick reference:

1980s -UPC computer codes standard feature on all cans.
-Multiple neck-in chimes present on cans produced in the early years of the decade.
-Single, longer neck-in chimes prevalent during latter years of the decade.
1989 -Government alcohol warning labels introduced.
1984 -Straight-sided steel cans cease production.
1983 -Production of ring-pull cans ceases.
1970s -Production of II-oz., 15-oz., and gallon cans ceases.
-UPC computer codes introduced.
1977 -Coors phases out push-button cans.
1975 -American Can Company begins producing push-button cans.
1974-1979 -Cans issued commemorating the U.S. bicentennial.
1972 -Oregon bans the use of ring-pull cans. Push-button can openings introduced by Coors.
-Cans with specialized shapes first marketed.
1967 -Tin-free steel (TFS) cans introduced.
1966 -Welded-seam cans introduced.
-"Neck-in chime" cans (lid smaller than can body) introduced.
1965 -First "ring-pull" can marketed.
1964 -Continental Can's "U-tab" design introduced.
-Tab-tops with "smile" beads introduced.
-Gallon cans introduced.
1963 -In January, Schlitz becomes first national brewer to use tab-top cans. By August, 65 brands are available in this design.
-First 12-oz. all-aluminum can issued.
-Plastic six-pack holder (yoke) introduced.
1962 -First self-opening can ("snap-top" or "tab-top") introduced by Pittsburgh Brewing Company.
1960 -Cones completely phased out by this time.
1950s -Crowntainers phased out by mid-decade. -Cones largely phased out by mid-decade.
-Odd-size cans marketed include 7-, 8-, 10-, II-, 14-, and 15-oz. sizes.
-Aluminum lids used on steel-bodied cans. These are often described on can labels as "soft-tops."
-Pastels and metallic colors become common features of can labels.
1959 -Coors markets 7-oz. all-aluminum can.
1958 -Primo markets II-oz. paper-labeled, all-aluminum can.
1954 -Schlitz markets the first l6-oz. punch-top can.
1950 -"Internal Revenue Tax Paid" marking removed from can (and bottle) labels, March 30.
1942-1947 -Domestic canned beer production ceased due to World War II. Over 18 million cans of beer produced for military use.
-Military beer cans are silver or olive drab in color.
-Military cans are not marked "Internal Revenue Tax Paid" but, rather, "Withdrawn Free of Tax for Exportation."
1940 -J-spout cans phased out of production.
-Introduction of crowntainer, which replaces the J spout.
1930s -Most cans feature heavy paint and lacquer, resulting in good label preservation.
- The word "beer" is usually as prominent as the brand name, owing to the novelty of having beer in cans.
-Opening instructions, usually with illustrations, are included as part of the label (usually near the seam).
-Contents are often described as "contains 12 fluid ounces-same as a bottle."
1937 - Cones produced after this date have concave bottoms and long cones ("high-profile").
-J-spout cans introduced.
-Quart-size cones introduced in July.
1935 -First can marketed on January 24 in Richmond, Virginia. Eighteen breweries are canning beer by end of year.
-Beginning June 28, all cans produced are marked "Internal Revenue Tax Paid."
-Cone-top cans first marketed in September. These have flat bottoms and short cones ("low-profile").

Note. It is often difficult (if not impossible) to document the dates when various features are eliminated or removed from use, due primarily to the fact that old stock is frequently utilized after changes have been made. The presence of multiple suppliers (and in some cases, brewery locations) will also result in the simultaneous usage of different styles of cans (i.e., a single brewing company may produce aluminum and crimped-steel cans in different plants).

From: Maxwell, D. B. S.
1993 Beer Cans: A Guide for the Archaeologist. Historical Archaeology 27(1):95-113.



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Re: Chronology of stylistic development of the beer can

#2

Post by renokenn » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:54 pm

Interesting reading but (always a but) I'll disagree with the 1937 info on lo-pro cones. I can follow the progression of the lo-pro Royal can from Reno by the mandatory. 4 different labels dating them to 1936, 37, 39 and 41. Royal did not survive past that time. In addition the Sierra lo-pro cone appears in 1940 and then reappears in 1947 followed soon after by the hi-pro. It's hard to date exactly when the lo-pro to hi-pro Sierra took place.
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Re: Chronology of stylistic development of the beer can

#3

Post by ConeAddict » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:43 pm

renokenn wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:54 pm
Interesting reading but (always a but) I'll disagree with the 1937 info on lo-pro cones. I can follow the progression of the lo-pro Royal can from Reno by the mandatory. 4 different labels dating them to 1936, 37, 39 and 41. Royal did not survive past that time. In addition the Sierra lo-pro cone appears in 1940 and then reappears in 1947 followed soon after by the hi-pro. It's hard to date exactly when the lo-pro to hi-pro Sierra took place.
Yeah that date is clearly wrong unless I am misreading, there was some high pro/low pro prewar and postwar overlap though. I think there were some cones produced in the early 60's as well(Bruenig's?)

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Re: Chronology of stylistic development of the beer can

#4

Post by keithker » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:51 pm

ConeAddict wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:43 pm
renokenn wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:54 pm
Interesting reading but (always a but) I'll disagree with the 1937 info on lo-pro cones. I can follow the progression of the lo-pro Royal can from Reno by the mandatory. 4 different labels dating them to 1936, 37, 39 and 41. Royal did not survive past that time. In addition the Sierra lo-pro cone appears in 1940 and then reappears in 1947 followed soon after by the hi-pro. It's hard to date exactly when the lo-pro to hi-pro Sierra took place.
Yeah that date is clearly wrong unless I am misreading, there was some high pro/low pro prewar and postwar overlap though. I think there were some cones produced in the early 60's as well(Bruenig's?)
The document quotes a BCCA source that states:
The Rice Lake Brewing Company was the last brewery to use cone-top cans, which were completely phased out of the brewing industry by 1960 (BCCA 1985).

Not sure what source the 1985 BCCA document might have used.

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Re: Chronology of stylistic development of the beer can

#5

Post by ConeAddict » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:02 pm

OK, just saw in wikipedia they fell out of use "in 1960" so that seems like the last year or maybe even before then. Probably hard to say when the last run of cones was completed at the brewery or when the last can was sold.

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Re: Chronology of stylistic development of the beer can

#6

Post by mtracy64 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:18 pm

A handful of brands used LP cones long after the HP cone was widespread, but ads from 1938 show a number of HP cones.

Trade magazines show 1940 introduction ads for several new brands in J-Spouts. Coincidentally, this type of ad seems to be unique to 1940. The Bruck's Jubilee J-Spout was apparently introduced in 1941 (stating ". . . 85 years . . ." and "Since 1856").

If you look through all the old beer can books, you'll find three different dates in 1935 that are supposedly the beginning of the IRTP requirement (two in June and one in July). I don't believe this and haven't for decades - IRTP was required on beer packaging immediately upon Repeal. A handful - and only a handful - of bottle labels from 1933 - 1935 lack the IRTP statement, whereas there should be hundreds if IRTP wasn't required until mid-1935. I discussed this with Bob Kay many years ago, and he believed that the lack of IRTP was just a mistake. This makes sense to me, especially considering that the cans that don't have it are the first production cans issued by the respective can companies (even if we now know that the 1933 Krueger's Special is IRTP).

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Re: Chronology of stylistic development of the beer can

#7

Post by oldindiapaleale » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:16 pm

This is quite a list of firsts, lasts, etc.
I've always been interested in the 16 oz cans of 1954. Why 1954? Was some regulation changed that permitted 16's? Only the Krueger pint cones from the 1940s were earlier and they were not around for long. Some states prohibited pints (Ohio, Texas) so I think there is more to the story than just "Schlitz markets the first l6-oz. punch-top can."
The other area is 24 oz cans. The USBC Vol 2 shows only sixteen 24 ounce cans, all by Schlitz and Schlitz by Strohs. I have a couple of hundred different 24/25s in my collection. When did that size take off? What/When was the first Budweiser 24, Coors 24, etc., etc.?
Interesting stuff...

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