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Seah's Tins


tins photoI got my idea for this project by simply exploring the museum. When I was poking around in the attic, basement, and shed, I found that the most interesting objects were the tins. Tins were, and are, common household objects that let us catch a glimpse of what life would have been like for people decades ago.

To me, the painted words and pictures on the tins are what make them most interesting and revealing of an earlier era. For example, this tin exhibit contains tins which once held coffee, tea, and tobacco, which are still commonly used today, and typewriter ribbons, which are not very common today.tins photo I also included some bottles and other household items, such as a cleaning powder and brush for straw hats, and a bottle which once contained medical opium!

Just as I do today, people decades ago kept collections of small objects in used tins. While organizing this exhibit, I found nails, matches, earrings, and small glass jewels contained in the tins.

Today, not very many of our goods are packaged in tins. Cardboard and plastic have become more common. While anyone my age will remember when Band-Aids came in tins, now the only item we buy in tins are breath mints.

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