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Welcome to the RUSTYCANS web site, dedicated to providing information about beer can collecting in general as well as about my collection and collecting interests. I have designed this site to have as much information on collecting beer cans and the history of beer cans as possible--and I update rustycans continuously--so please check back often!

This site has several sections...

Collecting / Dumping / History / Cans of the Month

Trading / About Me / Press


Collecting

Here you'll find information on clubs, collecting cans, fake cans you'll see on eBay, breweriana shows, links to other useful sites, and other information about this great hobby. Interested in beer labels? Check my page showing how you can order Bob Kay's excellent label books. 

Beware worthless "reproduction" or "novelty"  cans.

Like Quart beer cans? Check out the BCCA's new Quarts R' Us chapter.

Selling a collection? In the DC/Maryland/Virginia area? EMAIL ME!


Dumping

Beer cans are found everywhere, in dumps in the woods, in crawl spaces, in walls of houses being remodeled, in attics, under insulation.  If you have found a beer can, please contact me, I'd love to know about it!  Have you found an old dump on some property with old beer cans in it, please let me know!  EMAIL ME PLEASE!

Check my Dumping Page for more. In the meantime, take a look at my dumping story, some photos of dumping trips, and a page with advice on how to clean cans. I even have a few videos.


History

Since the first beer can was sold in Richmond, Virginia in 1935, they've undergone a lot of changes and a lot of brands that were once big sellers no longer exist.  The pages in this section contain some of the history of these obsolete cans and vanished breweries. I am also interested in the history of the Temperance Movement (especially in Virginia) and Prohibition, so you'll find some pages on those topics as well. Check my site map to see all the history pages!


Cans of the Month

Every month I feature a specific beer can and tell you something about it and the brewery that produced it.  I started in May 2003 and now have well over 100 different pages. In 2014 I am sort of following a "throwback" theme, looking at cans that either deliberately copy past designs, or illustrate the history of can collecting in its height of popularity in the 1970s.


Trading

I prefer to trade for new cans for my collection.  Fellow collectors can check out my traders, my general want list, and my Top 10 Wanted list here. Selling your collection? Check my Buying page please.

Selling a collection? In the DC/Maryland/Virginia area? EMAIL ME!


About Me

A member of the Beer Can Collectors of America since 1977 (member #13056), I have been collecting beer cans since 1976 (with a long time out for graduate school).  I mainly collect flats (and a few cone tops and zips) from the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, and Virginia as well as a handful of brands from New England, New York and Philadelphia. I also collect quarts and 1950s sets from any state.

A professional historian with a doctorate in American history, I am assistant professor of American History at Marymount University.   In my free time (ha!) I am also a member of a chapter of the Beer Can Collectors of American called the Rusty Bunch. We go out into the woods with metal detectors looking for dumps with old beer cans in them.  I am also a member of the American Breweriana Association for which I write a regular column on can collecting, the National Association [of] Breweriana Advertising, and the Merry Bocksters Chapters of the BCCA. Also the American Political Items Collectors because I like Prohibition campaign items.

(links open new windows)

Professionally I am a member of The American Historical Association, The Organization of American Historians, The Popular Culture Association, The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, The Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, The National Council for Public History, The Western Front Association, The World War One Historical Association, and finally, the Steamship Historical Society of America. Yes, I like getting history newsletters. Why do you ask?

Locally I am the Director/Curator of the Arlington History Museum at the Hume School and a board member of the Arlington Historical Society.

My list of scholarly publications is linked here.


Press

rustycans on hollywood hills.

 

 

 

"an awesomely informative website" *

Mentions of Rustycans.com (or of my collection) in the press, including blogs.  (links each open a new window)

Washington Speaks (blog) (June 2013)

Roll Call (the blog) (August 2013)

The Washington City Paper (a small mention) (August 2013)

The Brookston Beer Bulletin liked my history of the first pull tabs. (March 18, 2012)

Squirelfarts.com liked my Frank Jones pages, and posted some cool pics of their own.

Cited in the Roanoke (VA) Times (October 2, 2011) Thanks Bill for the head's up!

Mentioned (very nicely, thank you) on Wombat Nation! (March 14, 2010)

Mentioned on the NOVA-Antiques Blog (August 3, 2008)

Mentioned on the Box Vox blog (August 12, 2008)

As seen in the Baltimore Examiner, December 4, 2006

As heard on Beer Radio! February 11, 2006 Beer Radio

"Where did Ballantine Beer Go?"  Columbia News Service, February 2006.

"The Ale Trail" The Boston Phoenix, May 27, 2005.

The Washington Post, February 2004.

Total Pages (as of 1 June 2014): 195

Please report any problems, broken links, etc. Thanks!

 

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