I recently ran across a photo of Division Street in downtown Auburn from the early 1900's and couldn't help but notice one of the storefront signs advertising a Tin Shop. We don't see that anymore.
Remembering our past visits to Colonial Williamsburg, where tinsmiths demonstrated their trade for the tourists, I decided to learn a bit more. As a metal, tin offers some real advantages. It's light weight, fairly strong, doesn't puncture easily, won't tarnish in the air and is proof against liquids such as vinegar. Because it is also quite malleable, it often served the role that plastics and other composites do today in our kitchens or as a coating for steel and metals of higher strength.
The above photo shows a cup being formed with flux applied prior to being soldered. Being a tinsmith required very few tools and may be one reason why manufacturing of tin products became such an artisan skill and profession.