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Hills Bros. Coffee can
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Object ID 001179

Object Name Hills Bros. Coffee can

Object Desc An empty circular metal can with lid; colored black, red, white, and gold. Made by Hills Bros. and originally contained coffee.

Collection General Collection

Accession # CMY001017a-b

Alternate ID

General Category History

Category Coffee/Tea


Source Category Found In Collection

Accession Date JAN 1,1991


Location H. Grafman Grocery Exhibit

Object Date

Start Year Range 1900

End Year Range 1940

Status On Exhibit

Object Keywords coffee,Hills Bros. Coffee,cans,beverages,

Title Hills Bros. Coffee can

Description This is an empty metal can with lid. The color of the label is red, black, white, and gold. The front and the back of the can are the same. The label has an image of a middle eastern man drinking coffee. In white bold letters it says Hills Bros. Coffee. In smaller black words it says Red Can Brand The Original Vaccum Pack. It is trademark and patent by the U.S. Surrounded these labels is a black outlined border. To the left of the front label is says its net weight is 1lb. And a flowing design of red, gold, and black background with San Francisco Cali USA overlaid. Similarly, on the back label to the right it has the same background, but instead of san fran it is says Hills Bros. since 1878. To the right side of the front label there is a notice paragraph from the company. It is a guarentee that customers will have good fresh coffee and Hills Bros cannot make it any better than it already is.


Approx Collection Date

Height 3.5

Length 0

Width 0

Depth 0

Diameter 5

Circumference 15.75

Weight 0

Unit of Measure Inches/ounces

Dimension Details the height of the lid is .5 inch.

Quantity 1



Site Details

Place of Origin

Maker Hills Bros. Coffee

Maker Details Hill Bros. was established in 1878. In 1900 R.W. Hills, a very passionate tinkerer, stumbles upon a process that removes air from coffee packaging- resulting in fresher beans. Known as 'vacuum-packing', R.W.'s discovery is the most widely used packaging method to this day. In 1906 A young artist named Briggs offers to create a company trademark. His design, the 'taster', inspired by the coffee's Ethiopian origin, is welcomed by Austin and R.W. A life-size statue is still present at the Hills Bros. San Francisco building. 1914 The Red Can Brand of Hills Bros. Coffee is introduced. Since 1985 Hills Bros. Coffee has been bought by Nestle, Sara Lee, and Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA purchases Hills Bros. in 2005.

Maker Mark


(click for full image)

Image Caption CMY001017a-b



Date JAN 10,2014

Summary Excellent

Assessor Brooke Uhl

Notes Some edge wear along the seams of the can.


Date JAN 10,2014

Summary Location change

Notes Location changed to H. Grafman Grocery Exhibit from Bay View Pharmacy - automatic entry by admin