Video: Canning Food: “Miracle of the Can” circa 1956 American Can Co

miracle of the can

“So this, humblest little servant of your daily life, contains not just a product, but symbolizes a more abundant life for freedom loving people everywhere in the world.  This is the miracle of the can.”

Here is a great education clip from the mid 1950’s.  I dare you to look at a can the same way again after this.

Here are a few highlights from along the way:

8:45 – A look at the canneries from this time.  Not exactly an efficient process, especially having to solder on the lids.

11:40 – “How many cans you think we turn out today?”  “Oh, maybe … 600.”  And that was with 3 men working to solder the cans.  And why didn’t they hire more?  They could not find men who were trained for the job, who knew how to solder.  Seems not much has changed in the last 50+ years.  Job training was an issue then, just like it is now.

13:50 – Advancements in can making.  Yup, things have not always been like they are now, even for the simple can.

17:00 – The benefits carried over to the meat, fish, and farming industries.  Even property values were going up because farmers finally had a place to sell their increased farm yields.

17:54 – (paraphrase) “Now more people can make more money than they did using the antiquated methods of the past.”  Now one can-line, containing one person, can turn out 200,000 cans in a single day.

29:10 – “No, no, Shelly, don’t do that.  You are throwing away the best part … that is the liquid they are cooked in.  It is full of vitamins and minerals.  Throwing it away would be like … doing a chicken and throwing away the broth.”  I wonder if most people today would even view it this way, or know what she means concerning the chicken.

32:30 – I have never even heard of ‘stale’ coffee.  Oh how spoiled I am, thinking that having to make my own frappuccino coffee at home from scratch was a sort of roughing it moment.

37:00 – Was this the beginning of the downfall of the small grocery store and the reliance on grocers?  I had never even thought of how they used to buy shortening.  In a paper package?  Interesting.  Hope it was not a warm day or else you would have a huge puddle of a mess in the buggy.

38:45 – … then carrying over into the dairy industry, making reusable containers obsolete.  The down fall of the milk man?

39:20 “Thus, every new idea sets in motion a succession of ideas that expand in ever widening circles.  So the miracle of the can continues, bringing to countless supporting industries added expansion and prosperity.  To millions of people more jobs, greater security, a better way of life.  The can manufacturing industry ranks among the fist 10  indispensable industries in the world.”