How To Date Old Milk Cans

By | March 8, 2023

How To Date Old Milk Cans – 20 gallon milk can cans are likely something you’ve come across in your life if you’re a person who enjoys collecting things or who has a passion for vintage items. These cans are often constructed out of tin, and they come in a variety of different sizes with a wide selection of labels.

You may get a good idea of how old an old milk can is by looking for printed information on the can about the brand, the ingredients, and the copyright. Dating an old antique metal milk cans is not an exact science. If the specimen you have is older, you can attempt analyzing the materials it is made of to determine the historical era it dates back to.

How To Date Old Milk Cans

Your antique metal milk jug can be more effectively organized if you put in a little bit of time and effort into the process.

How To Date Old Milk Cans

How To Date Old Milk Cans

Examining the Information That Is Listed

Take images of the labels on your cans so that you can edit them on your computer. Take pictures of your antique milk cans using either the camera on your phone or a camera that is more suitable for professional use. Pay attention to the label, if the letters or words have been deteriorated in any way, you may be able to read them more clearly by utilizing software designed specifically for modifying photographs. Take shots of the milk can from as many different angles as possible in order to get a good look at all of its features.

Check to see if there is a label for the company anywhere on the can

Examine both the front and the rear of the antique milk cans value to locate any noticeable lettering that are stamped or embossed on the surface of the container. Make a note of any brand names you come across so that you can conduct a web search using those terms at a later time.

Cans manufactured before 1950

Will have a number with either two or four digits printed on the label. Examine the can to determine whether or not it bears a number with two or four digits on it. If the phone number is this short, you can be very certain that the antique steel milk can in question was manufactured before to the year 1950. You can establish that the can was manufactured in either the 1950s or the 1960s if the phone number contains between five and seven digits.

Check the surrounding area

Of the can for any copyright years that are visible. Conduct a thorough inspection of the can to locate any information regarding the packaging or shipping year. Even if old cans won’t have very particular information, it’s possible that you’ll locate a label that’s still visible. Take note of this year in the event that you decide to look up additional information about the label on your milk can online.

Certain phrases should be dated to the early 20th

Century and included on the label. As you examine the can, you should put the regulations about food labeling to good use. If the word “cure” appears anywhere on the bottle’s label, you can determine that it was produced in 1906 or before. If the can has phrases such as “hermetically sealed” and “packaged in sanitary cans,” you can determine that it was manufactured prior to the 1920s. In addition, keep in mind that any container or label that bears the words “patent pending” on it was manufactured in the year 1940 or later.

Take note that the trademark

Consisting of a circular “C” is more established than the trademark consisting of a circled “R.” Examine the can to check if it contains a “R” or a “C” surrounded in a circle. If you find a can with a circled “C” on it, you can determine that it was manufactured as early as 1914 because this was one of the earliest copyright labels. If you look at the bottom of your can and notice a circled “R,” this indicates that it was manufactured in 1949 or after.

People Also Ask About How To Date Old Milk Cans

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Milk Jug Antique

What are the old milk cans called?

Metal milk jugs, which are also known as milk churns, milk pails, and dairy cans, date back to the domestication of cows, which occurred approximately 6,000 years ago. Even back then, everyone knew that in order to milk a cow, you first required a container for the milk, and then you had to figure out how to get the milk out of the cow.

What kind of paint do you use on old milk cans?

Now that the Milk can has been thoroughly cleaned, we can paint it. I chose Krylon Flat Black paint with built-in priming for this project. Spray a couple of thin applications starting at the top and working your way down. Read the guidelines on the can to find out how long you should wait for each coat to dry before applying another one. After that, wait a few days for the paint to fully cure before proceeding.

What can you do with old milk cans?

Converting an old milk can into an attractive garden planter is yet another clever idea. The only thing you need to do is locate a container of some kind that could fit inside at the top, then fill it with soil and plant life. The process is very easy and straightforward. This combination, which was featured on getcottage, as well as the way the plants cascade down the milk can, is one of our absolute favorites.

How much did the old milk cans hold?

For a number of decades prior to the introduction of bulk tanks and pipeline milking machines, ten-gallon milk cans were the industry standard on farms. The Amish continue to use cans with a capacity of 10 gallons. Because there was a milk plant or creamery within reach of the majority of farmers, they were able to take their milk cans that held 10 gallons of milk there twice a day.


How To Date Old Milk Cans –┬áThere is a correlation between the shape of a milk bottle and the time period in which the bottle was manufactured. Before the year 1930, for instance, most bottles had round bottoms and tall sides, however after 1940, most bottles had square bottoms and short sides.