Photo's of "mystery" cans

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Photo's of "mystery" cans

Postby Robin » Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:12 am

I just spotted these on a USMC modelers web site. You can just make out the back side of a "mystery" can in the tub of this LVT. See how the seam runs right up over the top edge of the can?
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Re: Photo's of "mystery" cans

Postby Robin » Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:13 am

And a much better shot of one on the back of this DUKW.
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Re: Photo's of "mystery" cans

Postby Gordon_M » Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:17 am

British pattern jerrycan, or early US copy of a German one.

The early cans had the can right on the centreline, but also the pour spout, and having the seam and the spout on the same plane weakened them. They were revised so the the seam was offset to one side, and the pour spout to the other, which was a much stronger arrangement, apparently.

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Re: Photo's of "mystery" cans

Postby Chuck Lutz » Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:47 pm

I think it was the other way around...
1) German & British cans have clamshell desigh with offset spout
2) American "mystery cans" have clamshell design with offset spout
3) USMC cans have later style construction design (with separate TOP section) but still use the same spout centered on the top section
4) Standardized "American Jerry Can" has later style construction design and has large screw hole centered on top section.

(the Standardized American version changed to the large screw-in cap which now was the same thread as the opening in many OTHER barrels used for POL and a flexible spout that was already in production could be used.)
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Re: Photo's of "mystery" cans

Postby Gordon_M » Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:37 am

Thanks Chuck,

it seems that the Americans and the British both copied the original German can first, and then tinkered with it maybe? The context of both the featured photographs strongle suggests that the cans were of US origin, rather than captured German ones.

Prior to the 20 litre jerrycan, the British used 2 gallon cans or single-use 'flimsies' of about the same size, where the Americans used 10 gallon cans I think?

I seem to remember in "Army on Wheels" one huge guy lifting 10 gallon cans two at a time into the back of a VF or TF Dodge 1.5 ton.

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Re: Photo's of "mystery" cans

Postby lucakiki » Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:42 am

There, again, the usual debate is waiting to pop up.

Are they American mistery cans, or are they mistery cans also used by American Forces?


Gordon_M wrote:
The early cans had the can right on the centreline, but also the pour spout, and having the seam and the spout on the same plane weakened them.


Have you ever actually seen a can having both the seam and the spout on the center line :?:
I haven't, but would be really interested in seeing one.

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Re: Photo's of "mystery" cans

Postby Chuck Lutz » Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:24 am

There is no "Mystery" on this side of the Atlantic....given the number of photos of these early American-made cans in service with the USMC and given the number of them found in this country to this day and given that they do not have the same mfger characteristics as some early/prototype cans made in Europe...there is no mystery at all....they are American-made cans used by American US Marines.

Cans of this design used by the USMC before the development of what might be termed the "Standard American Gasoline Jerry Can" are as I mentioned...the #2 in my chronology.

When a large number of these American-made prototypes are actually placed beside German and British cans and the later #3 cans in my list and the #4 cans....the evolution of the design makes perfect sense. If you place one of the European prototypes suggested here in the lineup it no longer makes the perfest sense it did without it's inclusion.

No debate necessary, a careful inspection of these examples is pretty convincing to reasonable observers.

I have never seen any evidence to suggest that the prototype cans the US Marines used early in WWII photos of landings in the South Pacific or all those found here recently in the USA were made in Germany, Austria, England, France, Belgium, Italy or any European nation.
Mystery Can US Marines.jpg
Mystery Can US Marines.jpg (43.85 KiB) Viewed 1523 times


British 4 Gal. Flimsy Egypt 1942.jpg
British 4 Gal. Flimsy Egypt 1942.jpg (33.01 KiB) Viewed 1525 times


British Flimsy 4 Gallon.jpg
British Flimsy 4 Gallon.jpg (97.73 KiB) Viewed 1527 times
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Re: Photo's of "mystery" cans

Postby lucakiki » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:42 am

I have a suggestion, to begin with.
If this kind of can is not a mystery can anymore, why can't we stop calling it a mistery can. :idea:

Of course I absolutely agree on the cans being mainly used by the USMC.
There are also pictures showing this kind of cans on british jeeps, although a close inspection of their features is not possible on pictures.
The bulk of war pictures, as shown in the past on this site, depicts USMC use for sure, but that does not ipso facto also evidence American manufacture.
What so far has not been ascertained, is where these cans were manufactured: the doubt, for the guys who are not yet ready to consider them as undeniably made in U.SA., is about the possibility of these cans being made elsewhere in allied territories.
Personally I never thought , not even for a second, that these might have been of German or in Italian manufacture.

I also have a personal request, which hopefully might be at least taken in some consideration.
It is about the use of the term reasonable, when it implicitly suggests that anyone having a different idea, approach or interpretation might be considered unreasonable.
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Re: Photo's of "mystery" cans

Postby Chuck Lutz » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:52 am

As used, the term "reasonable person" would indcate someone without pre-concieved notions, prejudices or agendas....in other words, a person with an open mind who comes to the table with no previous opinions on the subject.

As to the cans here, they are a mystery as we here in the US do not know who exactly made them although a reasonable person might be persuaded that they could have been made by one of the first companies who actually DID produce a dated American made gasoline jerry can.

See how that use of the term fits the suggestion that in light of any DEFINITIVE evidence or proof of who made these American-made cans with no dates or mfger or other info on them.....we might LOGICALLY make an assumption as yet proven one way or the other about who produced them.

Pending actual documentation on the mfger, etc. I think these can still qualify as "Mystery Cans". I
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"mystery" cans

Postby lucakiki » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:37 am

Nothing new, I suppose.

1. viewtopic.php?f=37&t=148340&hilit=mystery+can

2. viewtopic.php?f=37&t=93327&hilit=+mystery+can

3. viewtopic.php?f=37&t=66177&hilit=+mystery+can

4. viewtopic.php?f=37&t=95393&hilit=+mystery+can

5. viewtopic.php?f=37&t=110614&hilit=+mystery+can

6. viewtopic.php?f=37&t=119961&hilit=+mystery+can

7. viewtopic.php?f=37&t=119968&hilit=+mystery+can

8. viewtopic.php?f=37&t=149875&hilit=mystery+can


I wonder if Robin posted his welcome pictures because they are nice and clear pictures, showing once more how those cans were used by the USMC in the Pacific theater, or if he also meant to suggest that they are made in U.S.A.
He is the only one who can answer, and I hope he will.

Why mistery cans are called that way?
To me, they are called mistery cans because there is not safe knowledge on where they were manufactured.
Some other guys might have different reasons to call them mystery cans.
Of course, if they knew who made them, they would also know where they were made.

So, one might legitimately ask, what is the undeniable evidence. regardless of the manufacturer, for those cans being actually made in U.S.A..
Undeniable evidence, not conjectures.

Here is one opinion, not even one year old:

Greg Hines wrote:That the Marines used them there is no doubt. But when, why and by whom they were made has not been proven to my knowledge.



EDITED: Sorry, guys, the links do not work. The list was posted by Roy / Gerrykan, and I came on it while searching for Mistery cans, trying to check whether any new information might have popped up during my absence from the forums.
Last edited by lucakiki on Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Photo's of "mystery" cans

Postby Chuck Lutz » Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:28 pm

Luca....your viewtopic links are not working....

PS....one might also ask about another item we have been collecting. Using your undeniable evidence criteria.....do you have any 100% safe evidence that this little item:
1) is original
2) was made in the USA
3) where/who made it
GG Adaptor Type I RB.jpg
GG Adaptor Type I RB.jpg (124.56 KiB) Viewed 1486 times


Are you going to tell the owner of this item he has no undeniable evidence of it being "REAL"?

...Of course a "reasonable person" might understand that since these items do not have the mfger name or part number or logo or anything ELSE on them to identify them....That the mfger characteristics are....at this time....the BEST clues to where they came from and will accept that at face value instead of the "all or nothing" attempt to get "undeniable evidence" when none currently exists!

By the way, how does your "undeniable" evidence work with paint, wavy washers and fire extinguisher bracket foot screw types?
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Re: Photo's of "mystery" cans

Postby lucakiki » Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:31 pm

True! The links do not work. I duly edited my post.
Anyone using the search feature can find quite a number of threads regarding Mistery cans.
Like this one:
viewtopic.php?f=37&t=148340&hilit=mystery+can
or this one:
viewtopic.php?f=37&t=95393&hilit=+mystery+can
My point is that no new information has surfaced to change the situation, so Greg's words that I quoted (and wholeheartedly endorse) still apply.

No use to sneak in the concept that the mistery cans are definitely american made by calling them American mistery cans, until evidence substitutes mere clues and respectable conjectures.
I do not think that digressing from the subject of mistery cans is a path worth following, so I will not follow such an approach.
I am not willing to be involved in what appears as a mere pot stirring exercise: even more so when the repeated abuse of the term reasonable appears as a mean of implying that anyone disagreeing might be unreasonable.

Robin, the picture you posted are nice and interesting: thank you.
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Re: Photo's of "mystery" cans

Postby Chuck Lutz » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:09 pm

To separate the wheat from the chaff.....you have the cans with no mfg info on them in Europe....your "mistery cans" and we have the ones the USMC used and a whole slew of them still here with the same characteristics we call the "American Mystery Cans" because we are not quite sure who made them even though they exhibit the characteristics of other known/American made jerry cans more than the German or British clamshell cans do.

You want to un-ring the bell...in other words as those here who have these cans have noted...the characteristics DO fall into line with the USMC-marked and the eventual American style gasoline jerry can...

Your first link here is to a picture of a green can...an American Prototype with the oval tube...in fact Robin seemed pretty confident of it's lineage, and I could point out the obvious differences in the green one and the British silver one but why bothere when youignore what is in front of your face.

The second link still confirms the same characteristics and it's American lineage...

But since your new mantra requires you to ignore the obvious, refuse to acknowledge what countless others have posted and demand written proof of ANYTHING I happen to post.....would you please be so kind as to confirm if Roger's Type I Grease Gun adapter is WWII era, because it has no mfger markings and I guess that means you will be tossing YOURS into the scrap metal pile or selling it for $10.00 just to get rid of that thing with no "100% safe evidence" to prove it is an original WWII jeep factory tool kit item.

You see Einstein, you can't prove a negative and you can't prove a mfg with an unmarked item....but you can sure get a d*mn good idea where and who made it by looking at the characteristics of mfg unless you are just plain an "UNreasonable person".

PS...Greg Hines and others have stated it is likely an AMERICAN MADE can...and no one else except.....YOU....still clings to some fantasy they wre made in any country except the USA for American forces originally.

PPS...maybe you should PM Robin again and see if he wants to share anything with you or if he's not interested in another long drawn-out debate where LOGIC, REASON and what you can SEE WITH YOUR OWN TWO EYES is ignored over and over again....


On second thought, DON'T contact him. If he did not send you what I got, then I am not interested in sharing it with you either....it reinforces my position and doesn't offer anything to bolster your ignoring the obvious ....... so you'd ignore it anyway...

Your age-old pleading to "anyone reading this" to go look at posts from five or more years ago before half the info we know on a given subject was known is so old it's getting to be a joke among many gee guys....why I imagine you would post what Jason and the Argonauts thought about the world being FLAT rather than post what Columbus or any of the other actual scientists of the day who figured out it was ROUND wrote down because "Cherry Picking" is your favorite debate tool!

I guess it's OK if you want to hold that opinion til the day you die....the rest of those who have joined in on the "Mystery Can" debates have pretty much come around to the idea these are AMERICAN made cans. The ones Over There.....are still a "mistery" to everyone.
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GPW 108552 4/19/43 Louisville, KY. USA 20371278
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Re: Photo's of "mystery" cans

Postby lucakiki » Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:06 am

Luca

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45 Bantam T-3 #57248 1-10-45
42 Willys MB-T #13560 11-42
43 Willys MB-T # 25417 4-43
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Re: Photo's of "mystery" cans

Postby Chuck Lutz » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:16 am

In this post you say that since there is no longer any "mystery" about these cans, that we should stop using that term...on another post you want to continue to call any can unmarked a "mistery can".....which is it Luca?

I now refer to the cans with these mfger characterstics as "American Prototype Cans" to differentiate them from others with different mfgering characteristics and since they are like the standard American jerry can in so many ways and unlike the German/British designs that seems to be a good idea to have a sub-classification.

So since you want to no longer use that "mistery can" term as you suggested, I hope in your further posts you adopt the term "American Prototype" since no one else on the planet has raised any objections to the term thusfar.....except YOU.

Since you DON'T feel that the American Prototypes are of Italian (?) or German origin, exactly where were they made, by whom, for who, when and for how long? Given the number of galvanized round-spout unmarked cans that are pictured along with an American Prototype....a reasonable person might go so far as to accept that they BOTH were available in the same place from the same users at the same time.....and if you can post who was making galvanized jerry cans....BESIDES American companies.....maybe that would shed some light on where both of these cans in the pics were produced...besides the USA anyway....
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GPW 17963 4/24/42 Chester, PA. USA 20113473 (est./Tom W.)
GPW 108552 4/19/43 Louisville, KY. USA 20371278
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