ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tindeco Tins: Vintage Tins for Collectors

Updated on April 12, 2018
Virginia Allain profile image

Collecting has been a lifelong passion for Virginia and her collections range from ephemera to tins and Hall china.

Vintage Tindeco Tin on my bookshelf.
Vintage Tindeco Tin on my bookshelf. | Source

Tin Collectors Fall in Love with Tindeco Tins from the 1920s

I loved the first Tindeco tin that I stumbled across in my flea market excursions. The vintage design and sleek styling were so appealing. I started hunting for these in the antique shops, auctions and flea markets around Maryland and Pennsylvania.

People kept these long after the original contents were gone. Tindeco tins held candy or talcum powder or tobacco. In their second life, they became storage containers for buttons and sewing tools or held momentos. Then sixty odd years after their manufacturing in Baltimore, Maryland, these were showing up in estate sales and even yard sales.

Some Tindeco tins were in pristine condition, but others showed the dents and scratches of their long and useful life. It's amazing that they survived at all, but it shows that people valued these vintage tins and kept them over the years.

(part of my collection - photo by Virginia Allain)

Peacock Tin - Tindeco - Photo by Virginia Allain

Isn't this peacock design fabulous!
Isn't this peacock design fabulous! | Source

The marvelous art deco style graphics on the tins appeal greatly to me. Isn't this one with the peacocks simply beautiful. Being almost 100 years old, the tin has some wear on it, but still thrills my shabby chic heart.

The Tindeco Factory Building - now converted into apartments

A brief video tour showing the building exterior from different views. The building is located in Baltimore's Inner Harbor with scenic views across the water towards Fort McHenry.

Here are some of the features added to the old factory building to turn it into luxury apartments: 24-hour attended front desk, copy, fax notary and package service available, pharmacy on premise, Boat slips available, Interior courtyard, Restaurant on site, Garage parking-secured, Fitness center on-site 24 hours

In the lobby they display a lovely collection of original Tindeco tins that were made right in that building when it was a factory.

A Lovely Tin from Tindeco - Photo by Virginia Allain

I consider this one my best tin. The shape, the colors and artwork, the condition are top notch.
I consider this one my best tin. The shape, the colors and artwork, the condition are top notch. | Source

The shimmering colors don't show up very well in a photograph. It's sort of like a moire ribbon, an amazing effect.

How to Collect Tindeco Tins

The Tin Decorating Company of Baltimore made decorative tins for candy, tobacco and other products starting in 1914. The colorful vintage tins are much sought after today with some designs selling for $75 to $95.

To find the tins at a modest price, check persistently at yard sales, estate sales, and flea markets. People often kept the tins after the original contents were used up and filled them with buttons, sewing supplies or other items needing storage. Ask an elderly relative if they have any old tins around.

Read all you can find about the tins online to know what to look for. There's a book written by Kristin Helberg called The Tin Decorating Company of Baltimore. It's less than 100 pages and came out in 1986. It's out-of-print, so search Amazon and eBay regularly to catch one when it shows up. Watch for the tins on eBay. They show up regularly, but prices vary quite a bit. Tindeco tins with holiday themes (Easter, Halloween, Christmas) are more expensive as the tin collectors are competing with those who collect vintage holiday items. As your collection grows, refine your Tindeco collecting philosophy. Do you want to specialize in tobacco tins? Maybe you really like the signed tins by artists like Harrison Fisher, a noted illustrator. Pay attention to

Tindeco tins with holiday themes (Easter, Halloween, Christmas) are more expensive as the tin collectors are competing with those who collect vintage holiday items. As your collection grows, refine your Tindeco collecting philosophy. Do you want to specialize in tobacco tins? Maybe you really like the signed tins by artists like Harrison Fisher, a noted illustrator.

Pay attention to condition. Since Tindeco tins can be 70 to 95 years old, most show a little wear. The colors usually stay bright unless the tin has been abused or left out in the weather. Scratches are a problem if a tin was used roughly over the years. Tins stored in hot attics may exhibit bare patches as the paint starts to flake off. Rust around the base or the lid can detract from the tin also. All these problems reduce the value of the tin.

Are You a Tin Collector?

Vote in the Poll

See results

How to Collect Tindeco Tins

The Tin Decorating Company of Baltimore made decorative tins for candy, tobacco and other products starting in 1914. The colorful vintage tins are much sought after today with some designs selling for $75 to $95. Instructions

To find the tins at a modest price, check persistently at yard sales, estate sales, and flea markets. People often kept the tins after the original contents were used up and filled them with buttons, sewing supplies or other items needing storage. Ask an elderly relative if they have any old tins around.

Read all you can find about the tins online to know what to look for. There's a book written by Kristin Helberg called The Tin Decorating Company of Baltimore. It's less than 100 pages and came out in 1986. It's out-of-print, so search Amazon and eBay regularly to catch one when it shows up.

Watch for the tins on eBay. They show up regularly, but prices vary quite a bit. Tindeco tins with holiday themes (Easter, Halloween, Christmas) are more expensive as the tin collectors are competing with those who collect vintage holiday items.As your collection grows, refine your Tindeco collecting philosophy. Do you want to specialize in tobacco tins? Maybe you really like the signed tins by artists like Harrison Fisher, a noted illustrator.

  • Pay attention to the condition. Since Tindeco tins can be 70 to 95 years old, most show a little wear. The colors usually stay bright unless the tin has been abused or left out in the weather. Scratches are a problem if a tin was used roughly over the years. Tins stored in hot attics may exhibit bare patches as the paint starts to flake off. Rust around the base or the lid can detract from the tin also. All these problems reduce the value of the tin.

1980s Reproduction of the Roly Poly Tobacco Tins - Made by Tindeco

The original ones from 1912 sell at prices ranging from $175 to $480 at auction. The ones shown here are reproductions but are faithful to the originals. (photo used with permission)
The original ones from 1912 sell at prices ranging from $175 to $480 at auction. The ones shown here are reproductions but are faithful to the originals. (photo used with permission) | Source

Keep Checking eBay for This Informative Booklet (The Tin Decorating Company of Baltimore)

It's a bit hard to find.

Here's what you are looking for:

The Tin Decorating Company of Baltimore: and the subsequent acquisitions by Owens-Illinois Can Company and Continental Can Company 1914-1965 : a short history

"Ms. Kristin Helberg wrote a wonderful short history of The Tin Decorating Company of Baltimore in 1986 to celebrate the rehabilitation of the old Tindeco property. This small book has many factory pictures, and includes the memories of former employees." (book summary by collector, James A. Shaw)

This is a must-have for collectors of the colorful advertising tins.

Sometimes issues of the company magazine show up on eBay.

Check the Bottom of the Tin for the Tindeco Imprint

The Tindeco imprint.
The Tindeco imprint. | Source

How to Identify Tindeco Tins

Not all Tindeco tins have the mark on the bottom. Some have the name Tindeco in tiny print on the back where the lid hinges.


Some Tins Even Have Decorative Touches Inside - Christmas Tindeco Tin

The inside of a Christmas tin.
The inside of a Christmas tin. | Source

Harrison Fisher's Designs on Tindeco Tins

Tindeco used a number of Harrison Fisher's lovely ladies on their tins. Fisher was an extremely popular illustrator of the era and his artwork appeared on many magazine covers.

This video shows examples of Harrison Fisher's paintings. These are not the ones on the Tindeco tins, but gives you an idea of those.

The Tindeco Harrison Fisher designs include "His Pledge," "Yachting Girl," "Dancing Girl," Girl in a red hat, and girl in a mask. The first and the last one are small heart-shaped tins.

Check eBay Auctions to Find Harrison Fisher Tindeco Tins

I'm lucky to have several Harrison Fisher Tindeco tins in my personal collection. I have the small one called Yachting Girl and several of the large ones.

Read More about Tindeco and the Tins Online

Early days in Baltimore Harbor.
Early days in Baltimore Harbor. | Source

History of the Tindeco Company

Vintage Spice Tin Made by Tindeco - Photo by Virginia Allain

Tindeco Spice Tin (Ginger)
Tindeco Spice Tin (Ginger)

I collect spice tins, but only the ginger ones (because my nickname is Ginger). In particular, I like to find Tindeco ones like this one.

I found Some Tindeco Magazines on eBay -

Recently the eBay auction brought up Tindeco Magazines from the 1920s. Wow, what a find. These are the monthly company magazine. I'd love to peek inside them. They were out of my price range though.

Keep your eyes open for this kind of find.

Want to Get Started Collecting Tindeco Tins? Click on any photo to see it larger and read the description - I am selling Tindecos that are duplicates or that I

A small Tindeco tin with a signed Harrison Fisher design.
A small Tindeco tin with a signed Harrison Fisher design. | Source
Tindeco tin showing their marbelizing technique. Amazing!
Tindeco tin showing their marbelizing technique. Amazing!

© 2010 Virginia Allain

Do you collect vintage tins or new advertising tins?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Virginia Allain profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Allain 

      2 days ago from Central Florida

      That's really unusual. Check on eBay to see if anyone has one like it.

      Where was the Tindeco name on the tin (on the bottom, on the lid, etc.)?

    • profile image

      Donna Conte 

      3 days ago

      Just found this can and kept it because of it's beauty. Now I am researching it and found that it's a tindeco. I know nothing of these and am becoming fascinated. It has a b/w nude woman with Airplane and Sayings such as "Fine gold 1 ounce Troy" and "Residents are pract... Japanese but no one knows"

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks for the education regarding Tindeco tins. I have a few old tins that my grandmother used to save buttons. Now I am curious and will have to see what type they are. I also have some old cigar boxes. It is interesting how these things were often repurposed and now have become collectable. Your images of the tins you have are lovely! Up votes and happy to share.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 

      3 years ago

      This is the kind of collecting I could go for. I love old boxes with ornate designs. It is interesting to imagine some secret thing hidden away in an old box.

    • sheilamarie78 profile image

      Sheilamarie 

      3 years ago from British Columbia

      These pictured tins are so distinctive. I've saved several of the newer tins and use them for storing craft items.

    • Virginia Allain profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Allain 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      @9grandchildren: Tindeco was bought out in 1935 so if it says Tindeco on it, the date should be before that.

      Be aware that some reproductions such as the roly-poly tobacco tins were made in the 1970s and 80s.

    • profile image

      9grandchildren 

      4 years ago

      I recently purchased a Red Oval U of N TinDeco tin for my son for his birthday.. he is a Huge University of Nebraska fan .. was wondering if anyone new when these tins might have been produced , it measures approximately 8 x 6

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Neither, but you've done a marvelous job of introducing me to them with your superb photos and informative and engaging writing. Thanks for sharing!

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 

      6 years ago

      Neither. Just had to come check it out. I collect vintage Lady Head vases. I also collect marbles. Very interesting lens on tins. Thanks!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I have collected tins of a more recent period, those manufactured by The Tin Box Company, and designed by Daher. I have quite an extensive collection...none of which are valuable, but they are beautiful on top of my kitchen cabinets, and draw a visitors eye upward. I think these Tindeco tins were most probably an inspiration somewhere along the way for Daher. Thanks for sharing these beautiful collectibles.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      I love the roly poly tobacco tins. They are adorable yet I have never heard of them before. Wonderful lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      8 years ago

      I love anything vintage and I have a lot of old tins and odd bits. I'd completely forgotten about tins with handles until I noticed one in your pictures. I remember treasuring one as a child.

    • CrypticFragment1 profile image

      Tammy Winand 

      8 years ago from McleodGanj HP India

      I love tins and if I had a permanent home I'm sure I'd collect them! I grew up not far from Baltimore and never heard of this company though...pretty neat

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)