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See also: History of Canned Food - Canned Food Trivia
Can Openers - Aluminum - Shelf Life of Canned Food


In 1935 Krueger Brewing became the first brewery to sell beer in cans. The cans were made of steel and the can itself weighed in at 4 ounces!

The first 12 oz aluminum can was introduced by Royal Crown Cola in 1964. It wasn't until 3 years later that Coke started using the aluminum can.

The following is from the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI):
Explanation of Dimensional Food Can Standards
Metal can sizes used in industry in the U.S.A. are derived from nominal outside dimensions. Measurements are made of the empty round can before seaming on the packers' end.

While such dimensions may be expressed in inches, the custom is to use a conventionalized method in which three-digit numbers are used to express each dimension. The first digit indicates the number of whole inches in a dimension, and the second and third digits indicate the fractional inches as sixteenths of an inch. Thus:

303 x 406 means 3-3/16 x 4-6/16 inches
307 x 512 means 3-7/16 x 5-12/16 inches
603 x 700 means 6-3/16 x 7 inches

(approximate equivalents in weight ounces & fluid ounces)

    6 wt oz can = 3/4 cup (used mostly for fruit & vegetable juices and frozen juice concentrates)

    8 wt oz can 7¾ fl oz (fruits & vegetables)

    #1 can = 10½ wt oz (condensed soups, fruits, vegetables, meats)
    #1 = 9½ fl oz
    #1 = 1¼ cups

    #300 can = 15½ wt oz (pork & beans, chili, macaroni, cranberry sauce)
    #300 = 13½ fl oz
    #300 = 1¾ cups

    #303 can = 1 lb {16 wt oz} (most vegetables & fruits use this size)
    #303 = 15 fl oz
    #303 = 2 cups

    #2 can = 1 lb 4 oz (vegetables, fruits, tomatoes)
    #2 = 18 fl oz
    #2 = 2½ cups

    #2½ can = 1 lb 13 oz (tomatoes, fruits, pumpkin, sauerkraut)
    #2½ = 26 fl oz
    #2½ = 3½ cups

    #3 can = 46 fl oz (vegetable and fruit juices; whole chicken)
    #3 = 5¾ cups

    #10 can = 6 lbs 9 oz (Institutional pack, fruits, vegetables)
    #10 = 96 fl oz
    #10 = 12 cups = 3 qts



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