Canned food

The tin canning process was allegedly invented by Frenchman Philippe de Girard. He passed his idea to British merchant Peter Durand, an agent used to patent Girard’s idea in 1810.

The canning concept was based on experimental food preservation work in glass containers carried out the year before by French inventor Nicholas Appert. In 1812 Durand sold the patent to Bryan Donkin and John Hall, who refined the process and product and set up the world’s first commercial canning factory in London. Early tin cans were sealed by soldering with a tin-lead alloy which could lead to lead poisoning.


Tin cans

The Campbell soup tin cans displayed here, with Andy Warhol designs, were sold in 2012, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Warhol’s 1962 artwork, '32 Campbell's soup cans'. This work by Andy Warhol, possibly the most-renowned American pop-art artist, consisted of 32 canvasses, one of each of the canned soup varieties the company offered at the time. The Campbell Soup Company was started in 1869 by Joseph A Campbell, a fruit merchant from Bridgeton, New Jersey and Abraham Anderson, an icebox manufacturer from South Jersey. They produced canned tomatoes, vegetables, jellies, soups, condiments, and minced meats.