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COM: August 2012

Flat Bottomed Cones: 1940-1942, 1947-1950

American Can Company Flat Bottomed Cones

Pictured is a Gunther conetop from . I've discussed Gunther Brewing several times before (it's one of my favorite breweries.) This month I'm not discussing Gunther Brewing, but the type of can you see here, a flat bottomed cone made by American Can Company, probably to compete with Continental Can and Crown Cans companies' conetops. The American Can Company sold their version of the conetop can in the 1940s until about 1950. They started right before the war and restarted after World War II. Only five brewers used American's conetops. One possible problem was that they had a flat bottom even though both Continental and CC&S had long since abandoned that design on their conetops. Apparently the flat bottom, when used with a bottle filler (which is what breweries used to fill conetops) splashed and introduced too much air into the beer. At any rate, the following brands appear in the American Can's conetop can. I did not list every variation, but I did note which brands have them.

A Continental Can Company cone is on the left, the American Can is on the right. You can see the differences in height.



Esslinger Little Man Ale
Esslinger Premium Ale (IRTP and Non-IRTP)
Esslinger Beer (4 different labels, including variations--2 different labels and both IRTP and Non-IRTP)

Gunther's Ale
Gunther's Beer (2 different labels)

Hornung Light Beer (2 variations)

Schmidt's Light Beer (3 IRTP variations and 2 Non-IRTP)

Tam O'Shanter Dry-Hopped Ale
Tam O'Shanter Lager Beer
(2 variations of each)

I am not sure of the significance, but three of the five breweries using these cans were in Philadelphia and the other two (Gunther in Baltimore and American (Tam O'Shanter) in Rochester, New York, were not too far away. I thought maybe this type of can was only made in American Can's Philadelphia plant, hence the three brewers in that city using the can, but the canning code indicate they were made in Greenwich, Connecticut. Perhaps American Can could only make the flat bottom cones in that one facility, and they didn't get enough customers to make it worthwhile to expand production.

The can at right is tilted back so you can see the flat bottom. This particular can has a 1941 date code on the side.

Esslinger flat bottom cone.

Thanks to Jim H. (AKA Conehead) for his help!




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