Monday, June 10, 2013

Speaking of Wind Tunnels...

I was recently contacted by a reader saying he had some old Shasta cans and if I was interested, he would send pictures and the story of where they came from.  I wrote back and said I'd like to know more.  Here was his response:

"I was a model maker at the Boeing wind tunnel complex back in the 70's.  I found a garbage can full of these and asked someone where they came from.  There are two 20'-diameter spheres that are pressurized in the operation of the supersonic tunnel.  The spheres are filled with these cans, apparently to retard or baffle the moisture that builds up when the spheres are pressurized.  They had been doing some maintenance and some of the Shasta cans were discarded.

There was a Shasta plant in Seattle in the late 50's-early 60's, so the vintage is all about right to coincide with the construction of the supersonic facility.  I remember seeing some steel Rainier ale cans in there, too.

These are all that I have.  They've been following me around for almost 40 years and it's time for them to move on."

These are flat top cans and as you can see, the bottoms are wide open.  On the side of each can it reads "Packed and carbonated under the authority of the Shasta Water Company" and lists both San Francisco and Seattle.

A few days later he sent another picture to me.  This one was of the two spheres in Seattle he had mentioned in his previous email.

I couldn't pass these cans up!  I bought them and received the cans a few days ago.  They are definitely some of the coolest cans in my collection.  After finding one of the cans at, I saw they date back to 1954, making these the oldest cans I have.

I get quite a bit of email regarding my collection, and I appreciate each one.  Many of them are offers that don't pan out, but this one did and I just had to share the story.

* All pictures were taken by the original owner of the cans


  1. I wonder if there are still cans in those spheres(?)
    I might have some cans for you -check out my link...I collect all sorts of old products/packaging...

  2. The Boeing surplus auction site has 100 lbs of steel Heidelberg beer cans (as of April 15, 2018) that came from the domes. My brothers are joking Boeing got them from our backyard (our dad retired from Boeing).