First off, if you have a Ballantine or any one of a number of cans from the Pacific Coast states there may be a date stamped on your can on the top or bottom!
Harriet White Fisher complains in Lincoln Highway Adventures: "For about three miles outside of Tonopah one has to travel over a road filled with empty tin cans, bottles, glass, etc.
There were some vegetables to be had, but it was easier to stock and distribute canned food.
Canned food was important since farming at the time was more geared towards the raising of meat.
Cans then were pretty thick, and to open them you needed a hammer and chisel.
Electric can openers were introduced in the late 1950s and met with success.
The development of new can opener types continues with the recent addition of a side-cutting model.
Not a garden, or even an attempt at one, did we see in this place; everybody here lives on canned goods." Most of the cans you'll run across are too rusty to readily identify what was in them, unless they have an unusual shape.
However, with a bit of detective work you can match their construction with techniques available during certain time periods, and make an educated guess as to when they were made and what was inside them.
Schlitz cans are the exception as they were especially good with copyright dates because they redesigned their cans every couple of years.