The History of the Can

In 1795, Napoleon offered a reward of 12,000 goldfrancs for a procedure to preserve food  so that the soldiers could be fed without plundering.

The pastry chef and confectioner Nicolas Appert from Paris had the crucial idea to heat food in hermetically sealed containers, thus conserving them. He used glass bottles.

His method was tested by the French marine and Appert was paid in 1810 for „The Art of Preserving All Kinds of Animal and Vegetable Substances for Several Years.“

The British merchant Peter Durand applied Appert’s method using tin cans, thus inventing the can.

In 1813, the Brits Bryan Donkin and John Hall founded the first can company. In Germany, two more companies were founded in 1845 by Daniel Heinrich Carstens in Lübeck and by the Bethmann brothers in Frankfurt/Main.

Between 1870 and 1945, the can industry in Brunswick was highly important for the town’s and the duchy’s economy, leading to a sustainable increase in mechanical engineering in the town. 

Before World War I, two thirds of the German vegetable cans were produced here.

The annual production of the Brunswick companies in the late 19th century was around 15 million kilo cans, sold all over Germany.

Thus, Brunswick became the centre of the German can production.


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Gebrauchtmaschinen | Stand 4-2014

Gebrauchtmaschinen Stand 4-2014