The steel can was invented in the late 18th century to solve the problem of keeping food fresh for Napoleon's soldiers in battle.
Thin as a £5 note
Scientists are constantly developing new types of steel. One recent example is a can with walls as thin as a £5 note. These cans are a third lighter than normal cans but just as strong. As well as making lighter cans, thinner steel means fewer raw materials are used - which is good news for greenies.
What will steel cans be like in the future? Will they be able to recycle themselves or squash themselves when you've finished with them? Watch this space!