Talk:Jerrycan

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Archived information[edit]

Hello found some pics and info that maybe of help, http://web.archive.org/web/20030625194512/http://www.jed.simonides.org/misc/jerrycans/jerrycans.html allanalessio@yahoo.com

Images[edit]

hi, plz added sample pictures.... thanx.

Pictures of vintage WWII jerrycan added via external link. Been trying in vain to find free stock photos. User:Ming2020

Deleted information[edit]

Hi User:Jooler, don't just delete information. If you've got issues with it, put it in the talk page, like so:

The British sent examples of the cans to United States and the Americans finally decided to use the jerrycan.
Previously, two American engineers, Daniel and Paul Pleiss, who had been working in Germany just before the war had seen the cans in use during an automobile tour in India. They'd gotten a sample can and manufacturing specs to Washington in 1940, but the homegrown American solution was used instead. (an account of this can be found in a 1987 article by Ramón Alonso in "Invention & Technology")

I don't know why you have problems with this information, the article in question exists, since I've seen indicies of Invention and Technology which list it, although I haven't yet been able to secure a copy of the article. Care to tell me why you find it unreliable?
~ender - 2005-05-02 18:23:MST

1st - The info was added by an anon IP, with no contribution history. 2nd I cannot find a single reference to this information anywhere else on the web. so I deleted it. It is better to leave out information than to add erroneous factoids. It was then re-added by another anon IP (you). Please get an account. Jooler 08:04, 3 May 2005 (UTC) ----> PWNED MUTHAFUCKA
Anonymous user != bad information.
http://www.public.asu.edu/~atdyw/itm405/i&t-toc-1986-1996.pdf
Really, not too hard, now is it?
I agree that anonymous unattributed factoids ought to be removed from articles - to the talk page. Instead of just deleted. Factoids that have indentifying information, which would allow you to track them down, ought not to be eliminiated on a whim.
~ender - 2005-05-06 11:24:MST
Contributions by anon IPs have a high tendency to be full of erroneuous information, whether by design or accident. I see nothing to confirm the information added to this article in the link you gave. I only see "Why a can for gasoline was a crucial weapon in World War II (The Jerry Can)". Please get an account. Jooler 07:37, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
An article by Ramón Alonso, in the 1987 issue of "Invention & Technology". Maybe, since the citation is correct, you might consider that the facts are too? And even if the facts are complete crap, that would be easy to prove or disprove, since there *is* a citation. Thank you.
As long as wikipedia is open to the public, I'm not going to get an account. So you can shutup about it.
~ender 2005-05-09 02:10:MST
Finally got around to reading that article in the Fall 1987 "Invention & Technology", page 62 & 64 (postfix). It's actually by Richard M. Daniel. Also of note, he says that the only mention in the official record says simply: "A sample of hte jerry can was brought to the office of the Quartermaster General in the summer of 1940". Richard was one of the two guys tasked with improving the gasoline stuff, and found out this the hard way.
~ender 2006-07-08 13:38:MST

German invention of the jerrycan[edit]

Hi there; as far as I know, the jerrycan has not been invented by the Italians but the Germans. See this link:

http://www.afrika-korps.de/forum/viewtopic.php?p=16560#16560

Cheers, Kuno

I've found the document on which the text I quoted is based: it is a report from the Commanding Officer of the 7th. M13 Tank Btn., addressed to the 32nd. Tank Regiment Command, dated 21 April 1941. The text reads:
"No other container exists than the 200 litres drum, cumbersome, unwieldy. In German units, instead, there exist 20 litres canisters, which refueling is made with, up to the single tank or car, and which every vehicle carries a suitable supply of, in special installations." (robc's translation)
This definitely means that at that date, after almost one year of war, still there were no jerrycans in Italian use, either of national production or borrowed from the Germans (possibly apart from small units interoperating directly with the Afrikakorps).
Ok; they would probably not have written this complain[sic: complaint] if they would have had something like a jerrycan already
I was mislead by your title, so I've re-written it for you :)
~ender, 2006-01-31 21:05:PM MST

And how much fuel does a Jerry can hold? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 138.217.41.148 (talkcontribs) 20:34, 22 July 2006

Twenty liters, or five gallons. —wwoods 06:02, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
20 liters is 4.4 Imperial gallons or 5.3 U.S. gallons. —QuicksilverT @ 22:17, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

This reference to the Third World is an anachronism: "The 4 gallon containers, which were mainly manufactured in the third world,..." —wwoods 06:02, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Moved "German Invention" info into the "History" section and out of the header. Seems like a better place and creates flow to the History section. Chasingmytail (talk) 12:52, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

No German History[edit]

Its odd that this article is mostly from the UK/US perspective. This article needs history on the German development as well. —Cliffb 11:36, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

The sacred vessel of the Marmon[edit]

In some parts of Europe these liquid containers are known as "Marmon cans", since originally these were factory accessories for the Ford Germany made heavy military trucks, fitted with the patented Marmon-Herrington 4x4 drive system. 195.70.48.242 09:13, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Found a page that maybe of interest to the authors here.

http://web.archive.org/web/20030625194512/http://www.jed.simonides.org/misc/jerrycans/jerrycans.html

When[edit]

In the summer of 1939 ...

This wording is ambiguous and can be misinterpreted. It would work better if it was replaced with an actual date, month name or range of months. --B.d.mills 03:36, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

How is summer more ambiguous than a range of months? They're the same thing, summer being a range of months, June through September. 70.88.213.74 (talk) 21:18, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Summer in the Northern or Southern hemisphere? Here in Australia June to September is WINTER. We have to figure out whether it is a northerner talking about their summer, a southerner who has merely copied a northerner (i.e. northern summer), a southerner who has translated the northern winter into a southern summer or a southerner talking about a southern summer. Much better to make it unambiguous with a date or range of months (or at least say "northern hemisphere summer"). Stepho-wrs (talk) 01:55, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I got around this by removing the whole summer thing.. it happened in 1939..

The whole section about American disinterest is really confusing. Who were the two engineers, why was the one German being treasonous by driving with an American through India (was he even treasonous at all? He merely "compounded his treason" by telling people about water cans?) Why did the Americans not care about it? Why was the original design more successful if it was never put into production because no one cared about it? What is the significance of using a funnel or needing a wrench? I don't know, I just came across this and reading through it was very confused. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.111.231.150 (talk) 06:00, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

The significance of the funnel and the wrench is that the jerry can didn't need them so require less equipment to be carried and could be used quicker (Imagine if when you went to buy fuel you had to use a funnel and a wrench). the Treason thing is because the tanks were secret and shouldn't have been taken from the supplies at templehof.(82.3.45.36 (talk) 20:34, 19 July 2009 (UTC))

I'm inclined to agree with the one fellow above regarding the section on American "disinterest", especially since American made can were being manufactured prior to Pearl Harbor.--172.129.216.58 (talk) 06:51, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

'Robust'?[edit]

What exactly is so special about the jerrycan's manufacture that makes it robust and so much better than anything else at the time? There's virtually no information in here about why it was so great that it was reverse engineered -- just that it was. PolarisSLBM 17:01, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

They were superior for a number of reasons:

  • They were made from sheet steel of a reasonable gauge instead of fragile tin plate.
  • The general shape is resistant to bending.
  • The creases in the sides allow for expansion of the fuel when hot (doesn't split on hot days).
  • Built-in handle.
  • Built-in pouring spout.
  • Does not need extra tools to use.
  • Reasonable size for one man to handle.
  • Reasonable size and shape for strapping to the side of a vehicle.
  • Stackable.
  • Reasonable cost to manufacture. Stepho-wrs (talk) 07:44, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
  • captive cap - not separable from can [from first hand observation of a can in my position stamped 1942]Pgrayson (talk) 20:18, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
  • cap locks in open position - out of way when pouring [from first hand observation of a can in my position stamped 1942]Pgrayson (talk) 20:18, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

Civvie versions?[edit]

As a gas jockey at the sharp end of "customer" "service" (interpret quotes how you will), I'd appreciate information on civilian jerry cans and especially how to properly dispose of ones that are no longer fuelworthy... --66.183.197.66 (talk) 11:22, 14 January 2008 (UTC) are five three eight nine two two zero seven dot zero zero three three nine at hotmail dot com (are as in Romeo, all numbers as numerals)

Third Can[edit]

What did Pleiss do with his third stolen jerry can??? Lovefist233 (talk) 21:10, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Overhaul[edit]

This article could use a fairly drastic overhaul. As it is, information pertaining to its design is shoved into the middle of a rundown of a small portion of its history, which seems to only extend as far as WWII, and only as far as the US and British responses to its design. Kouban (talk) 21:27, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Secret Project of Hitler? Pleiss?[edit]

I search quite a while on the web and books. However, I found no reference to the fact that this was a secret project. It was common knowledge that the cans from WWI were unreliable and therefore the development of a new can generation is more than obvious. Therefore the German army launches an invitation to tender for a new model of container in 1936. (Wow, that was secret!)

But of course, I know: "secret project of Hitler" sounds more fascinating and originates most likely from an American or perhaps English author.

I suggest to delete this information until someone has found some proof!


The above mentioned development was lead by Schwelmer Eisenwerk Müller & Co AG under Vinzenz Grünvogel. The production starts at the beginning of 1937 in co-operation with firm AMBI-BUDD Presswerk of Berlin which provides the machine tools.

It seems to me that everyone is cititing the same internet sources as they all have the same wording.

Fascinating, I thought this was Wikipedia, not CopyPastedia.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 212.4.51.16 (talk) 13:47, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

welcome to reality - manhood slightly forgets his ability to have own thoughts - wikipedia is part of the problem ;-) --93.221.241.251 (talk) 12:06, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps what the writer meant was that there was tactical advantage to having the better fuel can. Anything falling into that category: things that give you an edge over the enemy, is usually closely held information (or objects) regardless of official classification. Proof of Jerry cans desirability is in the stories of troops abandoning their own fuel cans in favor of the German one when available. How to document that is an editorial challenge, but valuable to the story of the can. Pgrayson (talk) 21:13, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

Hello, look once over the British Channel too ...[edit]

Your discussions are interesting. I wrote the article for the German Jerrycan, exact designation: "Wehrmacht-Einheitskanister":
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wehrmacht-Einheitskanister Arche-foto (talk) 10:31, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Information under wrong header[edit]

The way I am reading it, the next part goes for WW2 era jerrycans in general, yet it is only mentioned in the British necessity part:

"The sides of the can were marked with cross-like indentations that strengthened the can while allowing the contents to expand, as did an air pocket under the handles when the can was filled correctly. Rather than a screw cap, the containers used a cam lever release mechanism with a short spout secured with a snap closure and an air-pipe to the air pocket which enabled smooth pouring (which was omitted in some copies). The interior was also lined with an impervious plastic, first developed for steel beer barrels that would allow the can to be used for either water or gasoline. The can was welded, and had a gasket for a leak-proof mouth."

Should this be moved into the general description of the jerrycan? Or am I mistaking and is this description really something that sets the British version apart form the others? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.245.1.225 (talk) 15:59, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Missing Table[edit]

Under the picture, it says "Different colours designate the contents - see table." But there is no table. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.234.206.89 (talk) 17:11, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Categories[edit]

Per WP:SUBCAT, Category:German inventions should be removed because this article is already a member of child category Category:Inventions of the Third Reich. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 17:09, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 2 external links on Jerrycan. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 09:38, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

US lack of interest?[edit]

I edited the section title "American lack of interest". With respect, that's a silly title for the section. Yes, the US initially had little interest in the jerrican - just like most other armies. But the US went on to produce and use literally millions of them during WW2. There are records of complaints in the ETO in 1944 of millions of them missing. If they were missing millions, imagine how many they had on hand. This indicates the opposite of "lack of interest". regards, DMorpheus2 (talk) 12:26, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

May I just add that every US jeep carried a jerrican rack - all half-million or so of them. All US halftracks after 1942 had two racks for them - all 20,000 or so. Most US Army trucks had a rack for at least one.
Meanwhile the Red Army manufactured no jerricans and did not equip any of their vehicles with racks. Yet the Red Army section is called "...usage" while the US section is "...lack of interest". DMorpheus2 (talk) 12:29, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Jeeps don't have a jerrycan rack, they have a rack for a US pattern fuel can. If you put a jerrycan in it, you have to pack the width or it rattles around. Some US racks (the ones that clip on the lower rim) simply can't carry a jerrycan. Andy Dingley (talk) 12:52, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
You make it impossible to discuss this when you are edit-warring to repeatedly push your unsourced viewpoint, contrary to WP:BRD.
The essential point here is that all mechanised armies had a "fuel container" at the outset. The German design was significantly better. When the British saw this, they used them, then they copied them. When the Soviets saw them, they used them, then they copied them. This design is still in production across both NATO and Warpac(sic) countries. When the US saw them, they ignored them, then they re-invented them as a poor design. The US design is not a "jerrycan" as is the scope of interest here. The US did not adopt the jerrycan, the German-designed NATO-standard jerrycan, as standard until the 1970s. Andy Dingley (talk) 12:50, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
So your claim is that only an exact replica of the German design is a "jerrycan"? DMorpheus2 (talk) 12:59, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
I ask because there is a photo in the article right now showing a US-type fuel can on the back of a 4X4, and it is captioned "jerrican". DMorpheus2 (talk) 13:02, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
There is a need, for the purposes of this article and especially for the section on § US lack of interest, to distinguish between the German design and the US design. I don't particularly care what we call them, but we need to distinguish and we need to preserve the issue where the US ignored the German design that the other Allies adopted. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:06, 22 June 2016 (UTC)


That is plain nonsense. The US design is so similar to the German design, it is obvious that it is a close copy. Everyone calls them jerricans. DMorpheus2 (talk) 13:11, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
It is nothing like the German design in construction. Have you ever seen a WWII one? It is made from three parts, with horizontal seams, and it has a screw cap with no inbuilt spout. The German design is two parts with a vertical seam, and a lever cap that needs no tool and has some use as a spout (although there's a clip-on spout too). This is what the article needs to explain.
The current NATO jerrycan is used by the US, but this is a later adoption by the US. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:17, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Please do not add statements like this "the Allies produced millions of them" (the US design can) and hide them between a deceptive edit summary of "Allies including US used *millions* of them". There is a difference between "used" and "produced". Only the US (and maybe the Canadians) produced the US pattern. There are records of UK tank units in Belgium being supplied with petrol in US cans and using such improvised tools to open them (not having been issued with a US wrench) that the cans were damaged beyond re-use. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:00, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
US fuel cans do not require any tool to open them, nor do US water cans. DMorpheus2 (talk) 13:02, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Have you ever seen one? There is a large diameter screwed plug. If it's put in by hand, then you might get it open. If it's tightened with the wrench, then you need bigger hands than I have to get a grip on it. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:06, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Indeed I have. I've used them quite a lot. I served. Everyone I served with called them jerricans. No one had ever seen a tool to open them. This article is the first reference I've ever seen to them. DMorpheus2 (talk) 13:11, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
I would also appreciate it if you would assume good faith.
The article also calls the Finnish modification as a jerrican. So - what design changes result in a exclusion from the name "jerrican" ? DMorpheus2 (talk) 13:15, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Would you say that this photo is a collection of jerricans, or some jerricans and some other objects that are not jerricans? http://beachpackagingdesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/JerryCan-collection.jpg DMorpheus2 (talk) 13:17, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
This author http://philippeleger5.wix.com/jerrycan-#!publications/cu0v agrees the US design is indeed a jerrican. DMorpheus2 (talk) 13:19, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Like I said, I don't much care what we call them, but we need to distinguish the general and specific cases, and we need to preserve the fact that the US invented a new design in WWII, rather than adopting the superior German design. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:19, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Utter nonsense. But I will edit to "US Adaptation" because the notion that the US had a "lack of interest" is simply absurd regardless. DMorpheus2 (talk) 13:25, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
The US Army official history uses the term jerrican also. Will be adding to article. DMorpheus2 (talk) 13:38, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
I've removed the paragraph, because there are a few issues with it.
  • The first issue is easily fixed - it uses the same reference three times without using the <ref name="ref_name_here" /> tag, and the refs used are malformed containing a double Http.
  • The ref doesn't support the claim that "The US jerrican was widely adopted" - it only states that the US used their "Jerrican", not that anybody else used it. In fact it specifically states that everybody else had found the original German version to be superior: "The lowly jerrican, so named by the British, who, followed by the Americans, had copied the German container after discovering its superior merits"
  • The ref again states that as the US fell short they requested jerrycans from the UK government, which were manufactured in UK factories. Given that the UK was using the original German design it can't be assumed that those "millions" manufactured were of the American design, rather than the German design - which is what the UK armed forces were already using.
  • As per WP:ENGVAR and a lesser extent WP:COMMONNAME even if they're called "jerricans" in the US, this article uses the spelling "jerrycan", so that's what should be used consistently.
User:DMorpheus2, I would hesitate to suggest that as you say you served and used jerrycans, you probably used those of the German design that had made their way into the US population - possibly as a result of the source above; German design jerrycans being manufactured for the US by European countries. Given the apparent strength of the German design versus the weakness of the US design it would seem reasonable that the US designed cans would be outlived by the German ones. Chaheel Riens (talk) 15:11, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
That's laughable. I used US cans like millions of others have done. And yes, I think the German fuel can is far better, but, that doesn't mean the US one isn't a jerrican.
I can't tell from my source which version the UK was producing for US usage.....which pretty much supports my argument that either way, they are jerricans. DMorpheus2 (talk) 16:08, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
No, they are jerrycans - at least in the context of this article. You may personally call - and spell - them however you want, but here on Wikipedia it's "jerrycan" Chaheel Riens (talk) 16:12, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
I have restored the previously-cited content. I've updated the spelling; I agree it should be spelled consistently throughout the article. Both spellings are in common use but you are correct that there should be one way here.
I should think "widely adopted" means many *millions* used by US forces but I've clarified that too.
I gather we all agree the US can is a jerrycan now. DMorpheus2 (talk) 16:21, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
I've made a couple of changes - I don't think the term "adopted" is accurate when referring to a US design which was to be used by US forces - it implies that there was another choice they could have made, whereas I'm reasonably sure the US govt would mandate use of their design. Also changed the spacing between punc & ref.
I've never been against the term "jerrycan" being used to describe the US variants. Seems reasonable to me, and the only caveat I'd say would be to ensure that it's prefixed with "US designed" or similar to show that it is a variant with significant design changes. The design differences can be clearly seen in the "A quantity of US-style jerrycans at Savannah Quartermaster Depot, Savannah, Georgia, 1943." image in the article. Chaheel Riens (talk) 16:48, 22 June 2016 (UTC)