Sunday, September 18, 2011
Us Army Water Can, G. P. & F. CO. 1951 - Korean War Vintage
While Sweet Pea and I were out and about yesterday, we swung by her gallery to check up on the displays......... and as chance would have it, there was a small flea market set up in the vacant lot along the water on Water Street! While Sweet Pea took care of gallery business, I checked out the "Junk". In the middle of all the odds and ends, I spotted a US Army water can! I think this is the first old water can that I've ever run across! Usually the only ones we see are the standard gas cans. I made a LOW offer and walked off with a vintage, olive drab, 1951, Korean War vintage can! I'll clean this up and get it mounted next to our fuel can on the little 1972 Shasta travel trailer for our desert trips.
These metal water cans were produced from the beginning of WW2 until some time in the 1970's, when the US military started using plastic cans. The water cans are based on the standard 5 gallon fuel can of the times but have a wide, clamp-close lid system and are coated inside to prevent rust.
The water cans are normally marked on the top of the can, under the handle, with the maker and date. The letter "W" indicates that this is a water can. The fuel cans are normally marked on the bottom. Mine is marked with the company name of G. P. & F. CO., with the numbers "51", indicating the the date of 1951. This makes this can a rare Korean War vintage water can! It is rare these days to find any fuel or water can that was actually issued to the US troops that still sport their olive drab paint. A real score! For a great article that really explains all of the details about these old water cans. follow this link over to olive-drab.com
I'll need to do some cleaning of the can and take care of a little surface rust, but all in all, the can is very solid and in great shape! Not bad for 60 year old can!
Here are a few more shots of the can: