Tin cans have, in 200 years, changed the way the world eats, Decades before Pasteur discovered that heating food kills off bacteria and prevents illness, a French inventor named Nicolas Appert was placing food in glass jars and heating them. His method of sterilizing food was pasteurization before anyone knew exactly why pasteurization was effective, and it earned him a 12,000F reward from the French Ministry of the Interior in 1810. It was an important invention, but mostly because of what came after. Appert’s jarring process quickly made its way to the U.K., and in the hands of another French inventor, quickly became the foundation for canning food.

Bryan Donkin

Lengthy history of the tin can begins with the story of British inventor and businessman Bryan Donkin, who bought a patent for a tin food container designed to be sealed and heated to preserve food. The inventor behind the patent was a Frenchman named Philippe Girard. Donkin bought it for £1,000 and spent two years reworking it for mass production. He partnered another man to form Donkin and Gamble and begin canning beef. Then came a big test: Presenting the canned food to some nobles. They liked it. And then things took off. “In 1813, the Admiralty bought 156lb of Donkin’s food, feeding it to sick sailors, because it was mistakenly thought that scurvy was due to over-reliance on salted meat, The praise from seamen for this unexpected addition to their daily menu was warm and glowing, from every corner of the globe.

William Warner, surgeon of the ship Ville de Paris, wrote in 1814 that canned food ‘forms a most excellent restorative to convalescents, and would often, on long voyages, save the lives of many men who run into consumption [tuberculosis] atsea for want of nourishment after acute diseases; my opinion, therefore, is that its adoption generally at sea would be a most desirable and laudable act. “In Chile, there is a cove named Caleta Donkin, so called because the crew ledby Capt Fitzroy was so delighted with their canned food.”

Donkin,on the other hand, seemed to have a genuine interest in tin technology, and had already demonstrated a flair for making concepts work commercially. He patented the first steel pen as an alternative to the quill and invented a device to measure the speed of machines. Since 1802, at a factory site in Bermondsey, he had worked on turning an untested French design for a papermaking machine in toa reality, a challenge that had already proved to be beyond other engineers. Within eight years, he had 18 so-called Fourdrinier machines in operation at mills around the country.


Vintage Tin Cans

In 1811, his papermaking machine business turned in a profit of £2,212 much of which he invested in his new interest – canning. He built a new factory on the same site in Bermondsey, where land was cheap but close to the River Thames docks. It was also near his home at the time, in Charlotte Place.

Between 1814 and 1821, the Admiralty’s orders for canned foods increased from around 3000 pounds to 9000. And from there food canning industry started and gone through up and down periods serving billions of people around the globe.

AG Holding Canned Products:

Canned Tuna

Canned Sardine

Canned Seafood

Canned Anshoga

Canned Mackerel

Canned Beef

Canned Chickens

Canned Sweet Corn

Canned Pulses

Canned Beans

Canned Fruits

Canned Vegetables

Canned Mushrooms