The development/production of the jerrycan explained?

Manufacturers, production numbers, configurations, etc.
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David
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The development/production of the jerrycan explained?

Post by David » Mon Apr 07, 2003 6:38 am

The following is a translation of parts of an article that apperead in the French magazine "Retro", and later in the clubmagazine of the Dutch MV club "Keep Them Rolling". I don't know if everything is 100% correct, but it has some good info. :wink:

Greetz

David
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In early 1937 the first real Jerrycan appeared. It was designed by the Ambi-Budd Pressworks by order of and from specifications from the German army. This company was a German-based branch of the same Budd company that designed a body for a Ford GP and many bodies for other cars. The specifications were about the following: the can had to be easy to transport and store, the maximum contence was limited to 20 liters, and one man should be able to carry 2 containers. The resulting can had the famous 3 handles. After finishing the design Ambi-Budd licensed 2 firms to produce the cans: R+F Fisher in Goppingen and Schwelmer Eisenweke Muller & Co in Schwelm. The very first produced cans had a cross-shaped reinforcement stamped in them and came in 2 versions: 1 had nothing stamped at all and the other one had “J” stamped on one of the sides. From early 1938 till 1940 the cans had “Kraftstoff 20 L, Feuergefahrlich” stamped on the left side. From 1940 on there was also “Wehrmacht” stamped on the left side. On the other side the name of the manufacturer was stamped. “Wehrmacht” means Armed Forces in German, and these cans were used by the Heer (army), Kriegsmarine (navy) and Luftwaffe (airforce). The entire production of the Sandrik firm was reserved for the SS, and these cans (of which several versions existed) were clearly stamped with the SS runes. Water cans had “Wasser” stamped on 1 side, and on the other side one a large white cross was painted. A particular rare version of the Wehrmacht can was the one with “Wehrmacht 1944” stamped on the handle, just above the closure. From 1937 till 1945 the following 12 manufacturers made more than 10 million cans for the German armed forces: Schwelmer Eisenwerke, Nowack Bautzen, R+F Fischer, ABP, Sandrik, Nirona, DWC, Brose & Co, CBN, MNS, EHB and WKO.

The first US produced can dates from 1942. It is very easy to see that this can was very closely based on the German design, and was very similar in appearance. The main difference was that the German (and the British) cans were made from 2 pieces, they have a very clear vertical weld visible on both the front and back of the can. The US made cans were made of 3 pieces, and had 2 horizontal welds. These cans also had 3 different styles of closures: a round screw lid-type for gasoline, a large click-type for water/food and the German/British style for USMC cans. The gasoline cans contained 20 litres, the water/food ones contained 21 liters. The gas cans had cross-shaped reinforcements stamped at both sides, along with “G” and US or USA. Makermarks were stamped at the bottom. Water cans also had the cross-shaped reinforcements at both sides, but had the maker, date, “W” and US stamped at the top, under the handles. The 6 US manufacturers of jerrycans were Samco, Nesco, Monarch, Wheeling, Rheem and JR Toy, of which the first 3 only produced water cans.

When the British captured several German cans in Norway in 1940 they first only copied the closure and put those on their standard rectangular-shaped cans. Only in early 1943 the British started to produce almost identical copies of the German design. These cans had “W D”, the war-arrow, the year of production and the name of the maker stamped on the left side. Some cans had “water” stamped on one of the sides. The following 9 British manufacturers are known (may be more): SPC, BMB, AMC, RTMP, VM, W6W, SUC, F&L, and MPB.

Tom in Iowa
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the development

Post by Tom in Iowa » Mon Apr 07, 2003 10:19 am

Good informatiom David.
The puzzle pieces are starting to fit together.
Thanks
Tom
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50+gas and water Jerry cans

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lucakiki
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THANK YOU DAVID

Post by lucakiki » Mon Apr 07, 2003 1:33 pm

Interesting information on the british ,german and american cans.Some statement are to be corrected,on the U.S. cans.Production of gas cans,and also of the first type of water cans,started in 41,as we have seen
them with this date.War time gas cans had U.S.A. stamped on the side,and even early post war.Only post war,to my knowledge,had U.S.
The gas cans had the manufacturer on the bottom,but at least in 43 some manufacturers did stamp it,along with date,on top,as per water cans pattern.Regarding British cans,42 and not 43 is the starting date.
All together quite a lot of info,and the manufacturers names have a particular significance.Thank you David!
Luca

WillysMB#344142 6-19-44 Navy N.S.Blue Grey
45 Bantam T-3 #57248 1-10-45
42 Willys MB-T #13560 11-42
43 Willys MB-T # 25417 4-43
Way too many WWII military tools,hopefully thinning down,and way too many posts...

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Post by Mike Wright » Tue Apr 08, 2003 9:41 am

David,
Great bit of info :!:
I have some additional info.
You wrote;
"From early 1938 till 1940 the cans had “Kraftstoff 20 L, Feuergefahrlich” stamped on the left side. From 1940 on there was also “Wehrmacht” stamped on the left side. "

I have another piece of the puzzle. I have a 39 dated German can with “Wehrmacht” stamped on the left side bottom like later cans along with “Kraftstoff 20 L, Feuergefahrlich” and the maker. "
It is the X pattern ribs. Perhaps in late 39 they started adding Wehrmacht.?
Mike Wright
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David
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Post by David » Tue Apr 08, 2003 1:07 pm

Mike, if you have cans with those dates and particular stampings it could be they did :) , although it is also possible that they stamped "Wehrmacht" later in the process. I can imagine those manufacturers had enormous quantities of pre-stamped sheets to make the cans in stock, and simpely put another stamp on their old supply when this was ordered by the Wehrmacht. So your can may even have been made in early/mid 1940 if the maker was using up old stocks of material! Like I said I don't know if anything is 100% correct, and it is still informative, but I guess you shouldn't take the dates to litterally. Still it gives a good idea regarding the development of the can and the several versions produced during the war. :wink:

Greetz

David


Tom Wolboldt

can history

Post by Tom Wolboldt » Fri May 30, 2003 7:04 am

Hello List

The 41 water cans made by NESCO was stamped on the bottom just like the gas cans. Also at least in 43 Monarch also made gas cans. These had the stamping under the handles and a 2 inch round cam action lid.

Tom
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lucakiki
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Re: can history

Post by lucakiki » Sat May 31, 2003 8:36 am

Tom wrote:Hello List

The 41 water cans made by NESCO was stamped on the bottom just like the gas cans. Also at least in 43 Monarch also made gas cans. These had the stamping under the handles and a 2 inch round cam action lid.

Tom
xstuff@juno.com


Yes Tom,this is true and also accounted for somewhere in this forum.If Bill Hollinger is reading this,perhaps he would post pictures of both gas and water early cans...Thank you Bill.
Luca

WillysMB#344142 6-19-44 Navy N.S.Blue Grey
45 Bantam T-3 #57248 1-10-45
42 Willys MB-T #13560 11-42
43 Willys MB-T # 25417 4-43
Way too many WWII military tools,hopefully thinning down,and way too many posts...

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SamKimpton
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Post by SamKimpton » Wed Dec 31, 2003 1:50 am

Here ya go!

Image

Somewhere I have an article from the 1970's about the development of the US fuel can in 1941. I have been searching furiously for it and will post what it reveals here when and if I ever do find it.

Sam Kimpton

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