I never knew how cans were made by hand, but luckily this video from the American Can Company shows how cans were made in the good old days (from 10:30 to 12:30). Watch real Hollywood actors use the period jigs and soldering pots to produce 600 cans a day. And after that's all over, the American Can Company will give you a look - in extremely gory detail - on how cans were mass-produced. If you've ever been curious what was going on at the American Can Plant on Martha Street, now you'll know. If you wanted to know how the sides were formed and crimped, you'll know. If you were curious about the gaskets for can bottoms, where extra metal is cut away, pressure-testing, flanging, the size of metal blanks, or how many of the machines could take your finger off just like that if you weren't careful - well, whether you want to know that or not, you're going to find out.
(If video is cut off on the sides, watch it here.)
[Video via Internet Archive, preserved by the Prelinger Archives.]