Tin foil, also spelled tinfoil, is a thin foil made of tin. Actual tin foil was superseded by cheaper and more durable aluminium foil after World War II, although aluminium foil is still referred to as "tin foil" in many regions. (See also tin can.)
Foil made from a thin leaf of tin was commercially available before its aluminium counterpart. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, tin foil was in common use, and some people continue to refer to the new product by the name of the old one. Tin foil is stiffer than aluminium foil. It tends to give a slight tin taste to food wrapped in it, which is a major reason it has largely been replaced by aluminium and other materials for wrapping food.
Tin was first replaced by aluminium starting in 1910, when the first aluminium foil rolling plant, “Dr. Lauber, Neher & Cie., Emmishofen.” was opened in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland. The plant, owned by aluminium manufacturers J.G. Neher & Sons, started in 1886 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, at the foot of the Rhine Falls—capturing the falls’ energy to produce aluminium. Neher's sons together with Dr. Lauber invented the endless rolling process and the use of aluminium foil as a protective barrier.
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- Lauber, Erwin Richard and Lauber, Robert Victor (1911). Methods for producing bands of aluminum. U.S. Patent 1,178,863. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
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