Tin Can Day

People look at Tin Can Day—a holiday that falls on the 19th of January on the calendar—and they wonder why someone would invent a holiday to celebrate a simple container. The answer to that is quite simple.

Although the origins of this holiday have been lost to history, the origins of the tin can have not, and by studying that history, we can learn that the tin can is probably one of the greatest inventions of humankind. Why? Because it allowed all kinds of different foods to be preserved and shipped all over the world easily. That, my friends, is something that we can all celebrate on this very special holiday.

The History of the Tin Can

In 1810, Philippe de Girard conceived the idea of canning and had British merchant Peter Durand patent the idea for him. The concept of canning was based on experimental food preservation work in glass containers that was done the previous year by French inventor Nicolas Appert.

In 1812, Durand sold his patent to Bryan Donkin and John Hall—two Englishmen who further refined the process of canning and the end product, and then they set up the first canning factory in the world in London. The following year, they were producing canned goods for the Royal Navy and were canning everything from seeds to turpentine and gunpowder. In 1901, the American Can Company set up operations and would end up producing approximately 90% of the tin cans in the U.S.

Observing Tin Can Day

Anyone wishing to celebrate the humble tin can on Tin Can Day can do so by learning more about tin cans and how their design has changed over the years.

People can also take the time on this day to do something good for someone else by donating canned foods to their local food pantry. And before you conclude your festivities for the day, be sure to use the hashtag #TinCanDay to spread the word about it on social media.

When is it?
This year (2024)
January 19 Friday
Next year (2025)
January 19 Sunday
Last year (2023)
January 19 Thursday
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