Experience Barnsley is proud to be hosting a unique exhibition which celebrates 100 years of the ‘Greatest Tin Factory in the World’ and takes a look at one of the town’s most fascinating businesses – The Barnsley Canister Company.
Through exciting displays of objects, documents and oral histories visitors will uncover the factory’s hidden history of how it conquered the world from a small town in South Yorkshire with its ‘fancy tins’.
The exhibition, which is on display from Saturday, 13 April until Saturday, 28 September , will also delve into the impact the company had on the lives of local people – specifically on the thousands of women who found a sense of financial freedom and purpose, by having the opportunity to earn their own wage for the very first time.
In 1915 the building and its machines were used for making shells 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 beautiful tins for the world market. It was an important 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.
Over two years in the making, the exhibition has been made possible through the dedication of the Barnsley Museums team as well as vital contributions from former employees who have kindly shred their precious memories and experiences
To celebrate the launch of the exhibition there will be an open day held in the Gallery on Saturday, 13 April. Here families are invited to visit and take part in fun creative activities related to the exhibition.
Sue Thiedeman, Head of Culture and Visitor Economy, said: “Barnsley has always been an industrious town of hardworking, dedicated people. The Canister Company may not be a name everyone recognises but they will definitely be familiar with the stunning products and wonderful designs created there. It is amazing to think that from a factory based in the town centre their tins travelled the world for world class brands. Visitors will also be interested to see the massive impact the factory had on local people and will know or know of someone who worked there.”
For more information about the exhibition visit www.barnsley-museums.com