Our storied history began in 1892 with an invention that solved a critical problem: extending the shelf life of beverages and reducing waste.
Black and white photo of a brick factory with train tracks in front of it

That mindset and entrepreneurial vision has continued to set the tone for the Company ever since, driving decisions that led to geographical and product expansion, the launch of numerous technology innovations, a leadership position in sustainability and opportunities for future growth.

1892 – A New Industry

Inventor William Painter patents the 'crown cork' and starts the Crown Cork & Seal Company of Baltimore.

Initial sketch of original Crown Cork logo
Photograph of a piece of paper that features the trade-mark of The Crown Cork and Seal Co. as designed by Orrin C. Painter, September 29, 1897. (Source: Arundel Press)

1898 – Automation

Painter introduces the first foot-powered syruper-crowner, allowing operators to fill and cap 24 bottles a minute.

1906 – Early Expansion

The Company’s manufacturing base expands to Europe, South America and Asia Pacific.

Black and white photo of a brick factory with train tracks in front of it
Crown Cork & Seal Factory, 1914 (Source: Baltimore Heritage)

1919 – World War I

In the face of Prohibition, Crown begins shifting production from beer to soft drinks.

1930 – New Speeds

Crown introduces high-speed, three-piece bodymaking, revolutionizing the canmaking process.

1936 – Moving into Tin Cans

The Acme Can Company of Philadelphia is acquired by Crown, enabling the Company to enter the tin can business.

1937 – The Crowntainer

Crown perfects the electrolytic tin plating process and launches the Crowntainer, a 2-piece necked-in steel can sealed with a crown.

1941 to 1945 – The Tin Can Goes to War

Production shifts to war products, including airplane wings and gas mask canisters. 

1952 – Spra-tainer

The Spra-tainer, a lightweight, two-piece aerosol can for the food, personal care, household and insecticide markets, makes its debut.

1960 – From Beer to Soft Drinks

Crown starts designing equipment specifically to meet the needs of soft drink producers and gains considerable market share in the United States.

1969 – Steel Beverage Cans

A new two-piece steel beverage can alternative to the aluminum can, called the Drawn-N-Ironed, is launched and it rapidly becomes a hit product.

1977 – Additional Expansion

With 60 plants globally, Crown becomes one of the world’s leading producers of cans and crowns. Net sales reach $1 billion.

1982 – High Impact Decoration

Crown introduces reprotherm, a patented process for photographic quality decoration on beverage cans.

1985 – Early Steps to Reduce Can Weight

A new process is developed that allows lighter base weight metal to be used on aluminum beverage cans. 

1990 – Consolidation Begins

Crown acquires major portions of Continental Can Company and becomes the North American packaging leader. 

1992 – Expanding Focus

CONSTAR International is acquired, expanding the Company’s reach into the PET plastic containers market in the beverage, food and household sectors.

1996 – Creating a World Packaging Leader

Crown acquires CarnaudMetalbox, Europe's leading manufacturer of metal and plastic packaging, and becomes the world's packaging leader.


Crown completes the sale of 89.5% of its shares in CONSTAR through an Initial Public Offering. 

2003 – Refinancing

A $3.2 billion refinancing plan is completed and Crown Holdings, Inc. is formed as a new public holding company.

2005-2006 – Realigning Focus

Crown sells its global plastic closures and cosmetics packaging businesses.

2011 – Leading the Way in Sustainability

The Company’s inaugural Sustainability Report is published for fiscal years 2007 through 2010.

2014 – A Time of Growth

Crown purchases Mivisa Envases, SAU, a leading Spanish manufacturer of two- and three-piece food cans and ends to significantly build upon the Company’s existing position in the strategically important European food can segment.

2015 – Expanding in the Mexican Market

To significantly enhance the Company’s position in beverage cans regionally and globally, Crown acquires EMPAQUE, a leading Mexican manufacturer of aluminum cans and ends, bottle caps and glass bottles for the beverage industry, from Heineken N.V. 

2018 – Product and Geographic Diversity

Crown acquires Signode Industrial Group Holdings Ltd., a leading global provider of a variety of market-leading technologies that are essential to contain, unitize, protect and secure goods during manufacturing, transport, and warehousing. The business is now known as Crown's Transit Packaging Division.

2019 – Getting Creative

A new 14,000-sq.-ft. graphics facility in Ambler, PA opens its doors to optimize package design and speed time to market for beverage brands.

2020 – Accelerating Sustainability 

Crown launches Twentyby30, an ambitious, comprehensive sustainability program that outlines twenty measurable environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals to be completed by 2030 or sooner.

2021 – Investing in Continued Growth 

Crown sells its European Tinplate business to KPS Capital Partners, LP to further invest in beverage can capital projects and support surging customer demand for the format.