(5) Tins of Taste Museum                                    & Art-on-Tin Study Center


Mars produced the first M&M's candies in 1941 as military rations during WWII. This tin was a gift to the Founder's husband from their daughter to her 26-yr. retired vet father. If you don't know what the two red & blue striped edges represent, ask a baby boomer to tell you the story of yesteryear's mail, and maybe show you an onion skin example :). (a 2017 tin)


Collecting Tins . . . . .

collecting art - advertising & graphics - history - German Lebkuchen tins - British biscuit tins (how it all began in the 1800s) - - - The National Bread Museum's Tins of Taste Museum is a historical preservation collection of usually decorative tin containers, in shape or design, from the past 100-or-so years, which were used for food items such as cookies, crackers, candy, tea, cakes, coffee, oatmeal, hot chocolate + all other chocolate(!), German stollen, Italian panettone, spices & baking ingredients, (plus a few tins regarding history & culture for  non-food items such as pencil cases - puzzles - games - cards & stationery) --- and the list goes on.  But it all began as a way to package English biscuits (cookies) in order to ship them to customers.  Today it continues for our pleasure and enjoyment of the beauty of the tins & affordable art!  

            It will be the greatest blessing when we are able to share the almost 40-year collection of 4,000+ food tins (half European & half American) mostly dating from the mid-1900s to the present time, with the general public!  They are exquisite!!  There's nothing rusty about any of them :), and neither will be the enjoyment and enrichment with this experience.  You will be amazed with the connection of history (w/art, cultures & foods, geography, calligraphy, marketing) - challenging you, and they will give you the opportunity to story-tell to those with you.  You'll preview places of the world you hope to see (dreams) & get to revisit some of those you've been to (memories).  It'll be a treasure trove that is the only one-of-its-kind in this country.  That in itself is priceless!  

(What's holding up this next step? . . . finances.  Now that the foundation has been put in place, with the "bread culture museum idea" on this website, would you please consider giving a financial donation & encourage 10 others to also do so, & ask each to encourage 10 more, & on & on?  Just think . . . if 1 million people believe "Grandma" is worth a $25 tribute, because without her you wouldn't be here :), we'd be at the goal & be able to be "on land!")

a beer tray representing the 1776 signing of the Declaration of Independence
a beer tray representing the 1776 signing of the Declaration of Independence

 In 1982, the Founder's family got to live in England for 6 years, and it had a great impact on wanting to gather as much English history as possible, to eventually take home (a connection to remember some of the first settlers who came to America & the close friendship the USA still has with England). That began "collecting England" (and then more of Europe, and later the U.S.) and its history via art on food tins.  Thanks to importing, many European tins were available to buy in the U.S. up till the recent time of 2020, but it now seems to be tapering off!  The best periods of time for the majority of imported tins had been Easter and Christmas.  

Dutch cookie & 2 German (Max Weiss & Schuhmann) Lebkuchen tins maybe 1988 - 1990
Dutch cookie & 2 German (Max Weiss & Schuhmann) Lebkuchen tins maybe 1988 - 1990

Following England were the Founder's 3 years in Germany and the impact the tins had, to learn of German Lebkuchen history (gingerbread spice, nut, & honey cookies & cakes shipped worldwide).  Today this historical Lebkuchen tin collection (about 800, but in storage!!) is believed to be the 2nd largest in the world. It represents and is recognition of the enormous 1850-1920 German immigration and their significant contribution to the grain and baking development of Bread Culture in this country, the USA, . . . and also to the first Bread Museum in Ulm in 1955.  Therefore, the sooner the funds are available to have a museum on land, the faster these will be available to all of us (via this website & in real life!).     

One of the goals for the Tins of Taste Museum's Study Center throughout the future is to date as many of its tins as possible, especially the German Lebkuchen tins. The intent, for a historical record, is to have at least all of the tins in this museum (currently about 4000 --- 2K European and 2K U.S.), in an online archive with a production date & the designer / company, if possible. Sadly, this information is rarely included on the tin.

This would be an invaluable benefit for historians & collectors because today with eBay & other similar sites, sellers do a LOT of guessing & apply many inappropriate dating & word descriptions to tins. An antique has to be 100 years old, but what age is "vintage" or "rare?" 

          As we go into the future and the world goes on, reselling is only going to increase, and it would be helpful to have one "home base" appropriated to tin dating, so there will be a reference. There could be tens of thousands of tins collected around the world, so in time, this could/should become a collaboration of an archive for many (a hub in order to link many collections); & it's not the goal of Tins of Taste to have every tin in the world . . . but those mainly classified as "decorative," and related to having sold some food item, and the design usually relating to history, art, or having some other significance. 

Your contribution is needed in order to include this historical preservation and educational project in The National Bread Museum complex.  Therefore, please make a donation and encourage 10 others to also donate with their support.  Please help by posting The National Bread Museum (.org) on your website, blog, facebook, & other social media sites so we can reach the people necessary to achieve the needs and goal to see this project into existence.  And if you would, please send an email to  breadmuseum@aol.com to tell us of all postings for our record.  

          NOTE of INTEREST:  A lady in Belgium has been collecting tins since 1991 and in 2013, had over 56,000.  Her husband helped restore or build up to 5 buildings by then to have all the tins on display.  Information says visits were by appt. w/50E admission.  https://widerimage.reuters.com/story/the-tin-woman  Her collection may have the largest number of Lebkuchen tins in the world, but that's still unknown.  The results of personal contact with almost all Lebkuchen companies in Germany in 1991 were that none has even kept a sample of each of their own tins through the past century!  What a shame. 

The other NOTE of INTEREST is the Huntley & Palmer tin collection at the museum in Reading, England.  It's what began it all.  This is the main page with a wonderful history of the biscuit tins:   https://www.readingmuseum.org.uk/blog/reading%E2%80%99s-top-ten-biscuit-tins

At the bottom of the above page, click on collections online website & on the next page (https://collections.readingmuseum.org.uk/), type tins into the search bar.  Now you'll be at a 20-page photo index of hundreds of the old-to-1980s Huntley & Palmer tins.

History via art began with God's creation of the world, then man & woman, & what we've done with our talents.  All art-on-tins above & below teaches us history.

  Let's raise the funds in 2023 to create our National Bread Museum, Study Center, et al. project!

                                                  CONSIDER A DONATION