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COM: May 2009

Mystery Quart

This month's can was still a mystery to me when I first posted this page.  It was a "paint-over" quart.  Scroll down to see what beer can lay under this Wagner's brake fluid can!

Paintover quart front. Paintover quart back.


Paint-overs are fairly common among beer and soda cans.  Beer cans started out as flat metal sheets with the cans' labels printed on.  The sheets were then cut into the individual cans and then rolled into cylinders.  Can companies would take unused sheets, coat them with a primer, and print a new label on top.  That would save metal and money.  It's possible to take an existing can, gently rub the label with a rubbing compound, and uncover the original label underneath.  Sometimes the underlying label is rare, sometimes it's common. 

How do I know this can is a paint-over?  Well, there are several clues. 
-- If you look carefully at some of the scratches in the paint you can see primer underneath.
-- Wagner's cans commonly have another label underneath.
-- If you hold this can under a strong light at just the correct angle you can see a "ghost" of the original label.

I purchased this can at an antique mall in Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia in December 2008 for $10.00.  As May came to a close I sat down with some fine grit auto polish remover to rub out the top layer and discover what beer can I got for my $10.00.....

And here it is, an Ebling quart from New York.  That was a surprise.  I expected a Pilser's (also from New York) because you could kind of see a hint of the oval underneath.  Instead I found what I am told is a very rare quart!  




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