Gilmore Patent Preserve Can

Plain, cylindrical container with an inset, handleless cover having a small central depression and rubber ring around its underside; U-shape wire loops or stirrups for holding a sealing lever or clamp are soft soldered at rim on opposite sides. Body is made of one piece with vertical, soft-soldered lapped seam, while the top and flat bottom edges are folded over sides and soldered. No marks. Used with sealing lever or clamp 2014.0004.048, marked "GILMORE" and "PAT'D MAY 11 1858".
Edwin W. Gilmore of North Easton, MA, received his patent for a tinware preserve can on May 11, 1858 (U.S. Patent No. 20,203), six months before John L. Mason patented his glass jar with screw-on metal cover that today bears his name. Gilmore's sealing mechanism consists of a cam lever secured over the cover by placing its ends through the two stirrups or loops along the rim. Pushing or turning the cam down forces the cover onto its rubber ring to produce an air-tight seal.
Currently not on view
Object Name
can, preserve
date made
ca 1858
patent date
Physical Description
iron (overall material)
rubber (seal material)
tin (overall material)
iron wire (loops material)
overall: 10 9/16 in x 4 1/4 in; 26.82875 cm x 10.795 cm
place patented
United States: Massachusetts, North Easton
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Domestic Furnishings
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Kenneth E. Jewett
Additional Media

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