BBC Dixie Canning question for new Wartime Farm series


Dear The Federation of Historic Bottle Collectors

Please forgive my emailing several addresses at once; I was unsure who of was the right person to contact with this query.

I’m writing to you from Lion TV, a television production company based in London, UK. I’m working on a new series for the BBC entitled ‘Wartime Farm’. It will see three presenters running a farm for a year using tools and techniques from the Second World War. We plan on doing many of the tasks that would have faced a wartime farmer and his family and I am currently researching wartime methods of preserving food, specifically home canning using metal cans.

As you may know, during the Second World War a number of home canners made by the Dixie Canning Company were sent from America to the National Federation of Women’s Institutes in the UK, for the purposes of preserving fruit and vegetables that would otherwise have gone to waste. We have procured a wartime Dixie canner – it’s called a ‘Dixie Automatic Can Sealer’ – and are very keen to use it. However, we are having great difficulty tracking down anyone who has a memory of how to use it – and although we have instructions, we would of course love to speak to someone who has direct knowledge of it.

Also, the cans themselves are proving very hard to find!

The Dixie canners used metal cans which could only be used once, not glass cans. I have attached a photograph of the machine that we have. We have spoken to the Dixie canning company but unfortunately they aren’t able to help in this matter.

Having looked around your very interesting website I thought I would email you to see whether you might know of anyone with an interest in the history of home canning machines, using metal cans, who might be willing to speak to us.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this email.

With best wishes

Naomi Benson

Producer/Director ‘Wartime Farm’

Lion TV

26 Paddenswick Road

London W6 0UB

Mobile: 07855 769 329

Direct line: 0208 846 2177

Switchboard: 0208 846 2000