At some time, tin collectors want to know something about the history behind their tins or more often, how old they are.Most of the time, the tin will not have a date marked anywhere on it, and that's where some detective work on your part is required.
By tying in certain company events and changes, the graphics and text on your tin may be able to determine the time period it was introduced and used.
Many companies have gone through name changes (ownership, brands, logos, trademarks, mergers) because of growth or merging.
Knowing when these events took place and matching them to the name on the tin can help.
Addresses on tins can often be linked to a time period, even down to the exact year, if you use an old city directory or telephone book.
If you're collecting local brand/company tins you probably have access to a library or historical society that have these books.
By looking up the business in the directory you can determine when they moved to a new location or the address simply changed because of changes in the city's addressing system.If you're collecting a particular brand or have several major brands in your collection, it really pays off to know the manufacturer/distributor history.The following information can be used to help document the age of your tins.You will be fortunate to date your tin right away, most of them will require you to carefully study their appearance both from a structure stand-point and how they are decorated or finished.Some very obvious clues may not be sufficient, may be misleading, or have to be combined with other knowns to arrive at an accurate or close approximate date.Let's start off with some general things that apply to most 20th century tins and to some 19th.