I can only vouch for the mid-late 1960's, when as a kid we had a 'Sears' brand patch-kit, in a metal can with a metal tube of glue and the cap-lid was punctured to help you rough up the tire rubber. At the same time I was using crest toothpaste which had a metal (I hope tin) tube as well.
I think the big increase in flexible plastics construction came in the late 1950's, remember the Unica Nylon saddle and Simplex delrin derailleurs were brand new in 1960 :
So you have to wonder what other materials could they possibly have used to house tire glue before 1960?
Imagine a world without plastic squeeze tubes, without tupperware, plastic baggies, plastic toys, disposible knives/forks/spoons, with no plastic cases for audio components, etc. The only materials available were wood, metal, and rubber. If glue did not come in a metal can, then it could only have come in a rubberized cloth pouch, i believe.
- Don Gillies
San Diego, CA, USA