The collapsible metal tube had been invented by American oil painter John Goffe Rand in 1841 as a way of transporting paints to use outside.

It was not until 1892 that the idea of putting toothpaste into tubes was made practical.

Colgate experimented with tubes soon after this and found them acceptable to the public.
The first toothpaste tubes that appeared in the 1890s were made entirely of metal.

In the 1940s, due to metal shortages during World War II, they were constructed of a mix of plastic and metal.

A hundred years after their invention, toothpaste tubes have become completely manufactured of plastic.


  • Title: Metal Tubes
  • Type: Product container
  • Rights: Robert Opie Collection

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