boites de collection

Boxoferrophilia, the art of collecting tin cans

Boxoferrophilia is the name given to the collection of iron and tin cans.

The first tin cans appeared at the beginning of the 18th century, and it was industrialization that saw the development of the commercialization of large quantities of tin cans from the 1820s. Before, the packaging was made of wood, cardboard, fabric...

From the 1900s, empty iron packaging was used as a container for any other product depending on the format. For example, the empty cookie box was used as a sugar box because the format matched exactly; and the preservation was much better in iron than in cardboard. The decorated box was often a marketing operation for the seller.



These "metal boxes" were generally nicely decorated, highlighting the brand. These are "advertising boxes".
At that time, food products (biscuits, pasta, rice, etc.) did not contain any "adjuvant-preservative"; it was the quality of the packaging that ensured a longer shelf life.

Inside there was usually a nice white embossed paper that protected the contents.

In everyday life, as soon as the box was empty, it found a new use: photos, buttons, small sewing materials...
Some also put their mail, their money, small jewels,...

All these assets mean that these old iron boxes have passed through the decades and are a delight for boxoferrophiles.


It is the quality of manufacture and the quality of the alloys that make these objects able to stand the test of time without too much damage.
Today, we produce a lot but unfortunately, the quality is not always there!

From 1950 to 1980 with the development of plastic boxes (Tupperware in particular), obsolete iron boxes moved from the kitchen to the garage and then to the flea market.






Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.