Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Shiver Me Tea-mbers!

I love a good pirate ship.  Who doesn't?  So I was pretty excited when I saw these nautical-themed cans at Big Lots a couple of years ago.  Not only did the colors catch my eye, but I love the maps and pirate ships and anchors and mermaids and Asian writing... etc.


The cans I have are copyright 2010 under the Admiral Beverage Company.  But a quick Google search shows Admiral Iced Tea as a product of Hansen's Natural, which has been around for many years.  The www.admiralbev.com website on the can no longer works, so my guess is the company "sank" and Hansen's bought them out.

Regardless of who owns the company, I've only drank a couple of the flavors.  They taste ok; not good enough for me to track down more yet not bad enough to pour down the drain.  For a mediocre product, the packaging is Arrr-Right in me book.

So the next time you decide to crack Jenny's tea cup, make it an Admiral Iced Tea.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Three Year Retrospective

Today marks the 3rd anniversary of the start of my can collection.  So with the help of some recently found pictures, I will look back at how the collection grew.  These pictures were taken in May 2011, just a month after I started my collection. 

All 12 oz cans
Back then I kept my cans in three or four boxes in a closet.  One box held blue cans and green cans.  Another held red, orange and yellow cans.  And so on.  I had them organized my color (hence the rainbow in these pics).

But I quickly ran out of room in that closet.  It was in late June 2011 that I built my first set of shelves.  A couple of days later I had all of my cans displayed.  It was around that time that I took the pics that are used as the background on this blog. 

All cans of every size
The cans kept coming.  The collection kept growing.  I built more shelves.  Then I added even more shelves in the basement and expanded to the garage.  And now I have started using one cardboard box per brand because I can't display them all any more.

You know, when I review my three years of collecting in a quick summary like this, I worry that in three more years I may have to live in a camper because the house will be too full of cans.  If that happens, you can be sure I'll write a post about it :)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

World's Fair Beer

I intentionally stay away from collecting beer cans because soda cans already take up too much time.  But tonight I made an exception.

My grandpa died back in the 1990's.  And my grandma died last fall.  So now my parents are going through Grandma and Grandpa's house and pulling out anything the family wants to keep.  In a few weeks everything that's left is going to be auctioned with the house.  So tonight I got my turn in the house to grab any keepsakes or mementos.

In the refrigerator was this can of World's Fair Beer.  As far as I know Grandpa rarely drank, so I was a bit surprised to see this in his fridge.  At first I said, "Too bad it's not a soda can."  But then I decided in this case, a beer can is ok.  It would be another thing to remember Grandpa by.

Upon doing a little research, this can is from the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee.  I seriously doubt he went to it, so it remains a mystery why he had it.  But it's still full.  So I will soon be draining the can of its 32 year-old contents.  Probably the oldest draining I've done.

There was another question that crossed my mind.  "Was it Grandma's?"

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Website Pick #3: CanMuseum

On the first of every month I will feature one of my favorite can websites.  
Please send an email if you have a website for consideration.

One of the first can websites I found when I started my collection was CanMuseum.  It is, as far as I know, the largest online can catalog in the world with over 55,000 cans pictured as of today.  And the best part is you can actually contribute and be part of the can collecting community there.

The idea behind the website is one all collectors can appreciate.  Most of us don't have enough time to dedicate to our collection.  This website was created to be a catalog, or reference guide, where collectors can keep track of their collection online without doing all the work on their own.  Each can you have in your collection that is added by another collector saves you a lot of work.  And it also works the other way.  Cans you have added to the site can be used by other collectors.  You can also create a trade list so people know what cans you are willing to part with. 

The forums are a great place to learn about cans, share pics of your treasures, ask questions or buy/sell/trade.  I've made a couple of trades that started in the forums.  I've had email conversations with both founders of the site.  I even traded sixty USA cans for sixty European cans with one of the founders which really helped kick off the foreign wing of my collection.
I've been a member for a couple of years and have added over 100 cans to the site (with plans to add more).  What are you waiting for?  It's a great resource, it's fun and it's FREE! 

"Creating the best online reference guide for cans is not the work of only a few collectors. We all have to work together on it."  - Allcans, CanMuseum admin

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Monster Ultra

My newest Monster can
I was at Walmart last week and saw this bright red Monster can.  I knew nothing about it other than it caught my eye and I knew I didn't have it in my collection, so I bought it.  Since then it's been in my pantry waiting to be "processed."

Yesterday I was doing some random internet surfing and I ran across a picture showing Monster Ultra cans.  I saw the red one that I just bought in addition to a white one and a blue one.  I recognized the white and blue cans as ones already in my collection, so without even realizing it I had completed my Monster Ultra collection.

My three Ultra cans

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Videojet Printing System

I've written a couple of posts about the innovative American Can Company.  One was about their button down can.  Another was about their Mira Form II can design.  This third one is about the Videojet printing system.

From what I can tell, this can dates to around 1973.  I thought the Videojet printing referred to printing the label on a piece of paper which was then wrapped around a blank can*, as was done on this promo can.  But in doing some research, not only did I discover that I was wrong about the printing but I also found out the Videojet system discussed on this can went on to become Videojet Technologies, Inc., which still exists today. 

Here's a paragraph from one of the websites I found:

During the 1970s the company's growth was furthered by new applications that led to the development of the Model 9000, the world's first industrial ink-jet identification system. The canning industry, in particular, became a major customer. American Can Co. inquired about using Videojet technology to print date codes onto beverage cans, which moved at a rate of 2,000 cans per minute during production. Despite the investment of millions of dollars, the industry's early attempts to accomplish this had been unsuccessful. Videojet engineer Tom Madden, who later became the company's vice-president of applied research and development, was involved in the development of an extremely successful prototype that was piloted at a Milwaukee brewery. The prototype quickly evolved into a global beverage industry standard, and by the 1990s Videojet printers were coding billions of beverage cans annually.

My 7-year old son recently asked, "Why do people collect cans?"   I couldn't come up with a real good answer at the time, but now I realize you never know what you're going to learn from reading a can.  Most of the time you'll just learn how many extra calories you just consumed.  But in this case, I learned a bit about the printing business, from its early ink-jet days in the late 60's to modern printing systems.  And all that from of a can that looks like it was designed for Atari 2600 gamers.

*You can see in the above pic that the Videojet can is a can just like the blank can on the left, but it has a paper wrapper with the Videojet information on it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It's Greek to Me

I don't really drink soda.  So when I met some guys for lunch today at a Greek restaurant and ordered my chicken gyro, I looked in the beverage display case and saw regular cans of Coca-Cola, Sprite, Diet Coke and bottled water.  I ordered a water.  But I changed that order when I noticed Pibb Zero tucked away in the corner of the case; a can I didn't have yet.  If I'm going to spend $.99 on a drink, I might as well get something I would keep.

I asked my friends if the restaurant would think I was weird if I asked for a nail and a hammer to bottom open the soda.  They recommended I didn't.  It goes to show, you never know when you'll stumble upon a can you've never seen before.

I took this better picture of the can when I got home from work.  I might drink it someday when I'm really thirsty.