Oil Can Collectibles

4 oil cans

Authenticate your antique oil cans
with The Authentication Company (TAC).

We are among the top authenticators of antiques and memorabilia related to the oil can collectible industry.  

Get your vintage oil cans authenticated by the experts at TAC.   

Request Authentication

What are oil can collectibles?

Bottles were the first containers to be used for kerosene, oils and other distillet. They were used from the 1860 to 1940s. The problem with bottles was that companies couldn’t make them tamper-proof. Mobil tried with the "Fil-pruf" bottles, but people could still put off-brand oil in a Mobil bottle. They finally put a seal under the bottle caps, but people still got around that. So companies invented sealed quart cans, so they could ensure that the oil in their cans was genuine.


Oil cans have been around since the 1900s.  The two-gallon rectangle metal can with sealed cap lid was produced in 1929. In the 1930s, there were two styles, but after WWII, only one style remaiend. Some companies made two & half-gallon cans.

In collecting cans, just like signs, is rarity, condition and graphics is what determines the price of a can.

Notable Features:

They originally came with screw lids and were hard to make tamper proof.  Sealed one- & five-quart round metal cans started in 1931. These had a soldered seam. After 1951 the seams were crimped. Sometime in the late 1960s, companies started making the cans out of cardboard or composite material. Today, these cans can sell between $10 to more than $10,000.

Reproduction "Repop" Alert

Watch for round metal cans being wrapped with a vinyl covering. These are very good reproductions that can easily be taken as authentic. To check, take your fingernail or pocketknife and feel at the end of the label. If there is ridge at the end, it’s a repop. If it's authentic, you should not feel anything. If you dig a little, you can get under the wrap. To me, repop cans have no value.

Average Valuation:  

In collecting cans, just like signs, is rarity, condition and graphics is what determines the price of a can. Ask TAC to authentic your oil can to get an idea of value. 


Authenticate your oil can collectibles with The Authentication Company

Your vintage oil can collection deserves the seal of approval through expert authentication and tagging.

Matthews TAC members can access our certified collectibles and submit items for authentication. Become a member to see all the details.


Check out examples of oil can items we have authenticated.  

Request Authentication