We distinguish tinware from pewter (which is predominately tin) by acknowledging that the 'tin' of 'tinware' is simply a coating to keep rust away. Tinware is fabricated from thin sheets of iron or steel coated with tin, bent into shape, then riveted, soldered, or mechanically affixed together. Today we see it mostly as candleholders and perforated light fixtures, but tin lent itself to a multitude of applications. In the kitchen it served for everyday tableware (plates and cups) as well as tea boxes, tinder boxes, even bowls. Soldiers carried tin canteens, kettles, and cups. Although it was often the inexpensive alternative, it could be found in the homes of the wealthy as well as the poor, treasured enough to be kept polished and shiny (never dull or rusty). Painting tinware was an art unto itself, which we tackle in the category Ornamental Painting.