Number 10 can

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Oct 1 20:17:54 UTC 2011

Wiki does not have full cross-referencing, but you can find the listing
of traditional sizes under "Tin Can/Standard Sizes".

> Older can numbers are often expressed as single digits, their contents
> being calculated for room-temperature water as approximately eleven
> ounces (#1 "picnic" can), twenty ounces (#2), thirty-two ounces (#3)
> fifty-eight ounces (#5) and one-hundred-ten ounces (#10 "coffee" can).

The #2 can long evolved into 18 oz, then 16 oz, then 15 1/2 oz (standard
sizes for canned vegetables for home consumption). And the #1 can is now
under 10 oz (typical product--mandarin oranges). But the larger ones
have not moved much. The reason for standardization was because military
supplies came canned and had to be stored in fixed spaces. The 1908 US
Army Manual for Subsistence has detailed tables for converting canned
goods into portions.


On 10/1/2011 2:35 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
> A common word in the food/restaurant industry, I don't see "number 10 can" in the OED or even on Wikipedia or Wiktionary.
> A number 10 can, often written as #10 can, is defined as 12 cups (96 ounces) and as 128 ounces on the Internet. What those two definitions share is in being a large can for commercial use. I have heard people joke about food coming from a number 10 can, indicating this is not merely a can of size 10, but a recognizable object (perhaps regardless of whether it is 96 or 128 ounces).

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