Photo of my sister Tammy and Myself standing by my first beer can shelf. Year was 1975 and most of the collection on the 1st shelf were local domestic and foreign beer.
The 70’s was a prime era of air sealed cans and cool looking foreign cans. Most cans were found or purchased for a dollar and kid’s could by a collector can at that time from any local liquor store. The local Italian barber even sold a can or 2 after he drank it.
Interacting was the way to get out and spend time and have fun. The can hobby to this day has not changed with the collectors getting together and collecting, talking, sorting and hunting.
Harlem & Irving outdoor theatre
My older brother Jim introduced me to this collection hobby during the 1970’s by taking me to the local neighborhood flee market located in the parking lot of the Harlem & Irving outdoor theatre. There wasn’t a vendor who didn’t have a can. Most of the flats like Budweiser, Hamms, Schlitz, Wisconsin Premium, Old Style, Blatz, Old Milwaukee and Canadian Ace were some of the most common cans to find in those days.
Thunder Mountain - Narragansett Ave
The other can hunt and dig location was an area called Thunder Mountain. The mountain was an old dump site from the 1930’s that was a quarry made by digging brown clay to make bricks. The city was booming and bricks were needed to develop the city. The demand for a more solid house was needed since the great Chicago fire and brown clay was like gold.
The pit was dumped in illegally for many years and after the family who owned the land were caught in the 1950’s the land stood vacant until 1960’s. This is when the Cary family who owned the land introduced a plan to the City for a ski resort. This is where the name Thunder Mountain came from. To stay all day into the night in the 4 block by 6 block heavy vegetated fenced in area and swim in the pond, play on the old crane and dig for cool stuff including old beer cans was the weekend norm. Meister Brau and Fox Deluxe was most abundant. Cone tops were in the old site but not many in great shape. The Old Style and Edelweiss cones that were abundant were usually clean but common at that time.
Army Days Era 1985 Oak Ridge Tennessee Private 1000 yard Range
The can hobby slowed down for me during the 1980’s and after High School with adventure on my mind, and seeking new challenges, I joined the Army. Travel was the norm for training and missions and most places were not very populated. The guys in my Unit were from all over the United States. A few of them had collected at one time or another. The training we did was all over the country and training sites and woods were not uncommon to find straight steel or flat top cans. Some of my old friends from the All Army Unit still stay in touch to this day and sell and trade cans on occasion with me.