“Success comes in cans, not in can’ts/cannots” (or “success comes in cans, failure in can’ts/cannots”) is a popular saying that has been printed on many gift items, such as T-shirts and posters. “Success comes in cans” has been cited in print since at least 1908 and is of unknown authorship.
11 January 1908, Hartford (CT) Courant, pg. 8 ad:
SUCCESS COMES IN CANS; THE LACK OF IT IN CAN’TS.
October 1909, The American Blacksmith, pg. 14, col. 1:
“Success comes in cans—failure in cant’s.”
1 December 1909, Long Island Agronomist, pg. 1:
“Success comes in cans—failures in can’ts.”—Ike Blanchard.
6 May 1910, The Morning Olympian (Olympia, WA), pg. 3, col. 7:
Success comes in cans; failures in cant’s.
10 February 1910, The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, WI), pg. 9, col. 4 ad:
Coal Success Comes in Cans, Bad Delivery Comes in Cant’s.
(Wegner Fuel Co.—ed.)
23 February 1910, Spencer (IA) Herald, “Local Notes,” pg. 5, col. 1:
Success comes in cans; failure in cant’s.
18 May 1914, Poverty Bay (New Zealand) Herald, pg. 2:
SUCCESS COMES IN “CANS”—NOT IN “CAN’TS.”
Google News Archive
20 November 1914, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), pg. 12, col. 4 ad:
Success Comes in Cans
Failure in Can’ts
Google News Archive
23 April 1919, The Evening Sentinel (Milwaukee, WI), pg. 12, col. 6:
THAT success comes in cans. Failure in can’ts.
Behold the West Indies
By Amy Ewing Oakley
London: Longmans, Green
“Success Comes in Cans,” one sign read. “Failure in Can’ts.”
OCLC WorldCat record
Success comes in cans : learning lessons for life
Author: Kriss Akabusi; Tricia Hartley
Publisher: London : Network Continuum Education, 2006.
Edition/Format: eBook : Biography : English
Summary: In this inspirational, part-biographical book, motivational speaker, presenter and world-champion athlete Kriss Akabusi takes you through his steps to success - whatever you are aiming for, in whatever arena of life. Success Comes in Cans shows you how you can get ‘FIT’ for learning: learning to get the most from yourself and your future.: Get the most from yourself; Live life to the max; Be positive and keep learning!