Tin foil

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For other uses, see Tin foil (disambiguation).

Tin foil, also spelled tinfoil, is a thin foil made of tin. Actual tin foil was superseded by cheaper and more durable[1] aluminium foil after World War II. Despite this, aluminium foil is still referred to as "tin foil" in many regions.


Foil made from a thin leaf of tin was commercially available before its aluminium counterpart.[2] 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aluminium foil.[3] It tends to give a slight tin taste to food wrapped in it, which is a major reason it has largely been replaced by aluminium and other materials for wrapping food.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 foil was used as a filling for tooth cavities prior to the 20th century.[4]

The first audio recordings on phonograph cylinders were made on tin foil.[5]

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.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A.M. Howatson, P.G. Lund, and J.D. Todd, Engineering Tables and Data, p. 41
  2. ^ "foil". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "Difference between Aluminum Foil and Tin Foil". DifferenceBetween.info. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "History Of The Use Of Tin Foil Pre 1850". Informational Site Network. Home Dentistry.ca. Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  5. ^ The Encyclopedia Americana (Volume 22). Encyclopedia Americana Corporation. 1919. p. 792. Retrieved 8 January 2011. 
  6. ^ Lauber, Erwin Richard and Lauber, Robert Victor (1911). Methods for producing bands of aluminum. U.S. Patent 1,178,863. Retrieved 24 January 2014.