Tins! Tins! Tins! - Lifting the Lid on the Barnsley Canister Company
The exhibition celebrates 100 years of the ‘Greatest Tin Factory in the World’ and looks at one of Barnsley’s most intriguing companies. We uncover the hidden story of how the company impacted on the lives of working women in Barnsley - liberating them and giving them a new found freedom.
The Barnsley Canister Company began life in 1915 as a WW1 munitions factory, where women toiled at the war effort. After the war ended the Canister Company was created, their main purpose was making fancy tins for the world market. It was a very significant company not only nationally but globally, exporting their highly sought after tins around the world. The quality of their embossing and artwork was the best you could get, making beautiful decorative tins for the Co-op, Twinings and Hershey’s to name but a few. Tins were especially made for Chatsworth House and included designs such as the little bear, cottages and cats, created by leading artists including Dana Kubick in the 1980s.
The factory employed local women (up to 9 out of 10 of the workforce were women) who could do shifts around bringing up a family and earn extra money in very tight financial domestic situations. These women are heroines representing the grit and determination of Barnsley women who brought up families in challenging circumstances, whilst making the most exquisite tins you could find for the world.