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WWII black porcelain enamel coated canteens 1942 era

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Posted 6 years ago


(68 items)

Military Porcelain Enamel Canteen:

During 1942, the U.S. procured canteens made of a low grade metal with a porcelain enamel coating. This attempt to save more valuable aluminum and stainless steel had only temporary benefits and was stopped by the end of 1942 when the traditional metals were again released for use.

Early in World War II, aluminum was urgently needed for aircraft. Therefore, in 1942 stainless steel canteens were substituted for aluminum and alternative materials were investigated such as plastic for canteens. Another idea for conserving the most valuable metals was to use a lower quality metal with a porcelain enameled coating.

The M-1942 canteen was not considered a success. Under field conditions, Army and Marine Corps users complained of chipping of the coating which would contaminate their water. The canteens (and canteen cups) quickly took on a battered look due to numerous chips and dings. The porcelain enameled steel canteens were rapidly phased out of the military, although many survived to become an interesting collectible.

Records indicate that the U.S. Army acquired about five million M-1942 enameled steel canteens from six manufacturers in 1942. The manufacturers included:

SINGER Mfg. Co. [SM]
BE Co.


  1. aghcollect aghcollect, 3 years ago
    Information received from a reputable militaria source indicates;
    U.S.S. Co. - this was United States Steel Co.
    S.M. Co. - this was Southwestern Metals Co.
  2. alibi, 3 years ago
    Manufacturers were:
    Bellaire Enameling Co. (B.E.Co.) - also cup M1942, and cup CRS
    Fletcher Enameling Co. (F.E. Co.) - also canteen M1910
    Geuder, Paeschke & Fray (apparently unmarked) - also canteen CRS
    Republic Stamping and Enameling Co. (REP or R.E.P.Co.) - also canteen M1910
    Strong Manufacturing Co. (S.M. Co.) - also cup M1942, and cup CRS
    U.S. Stamping and Enameling Co. (U.S.S.Co.) - also canteen M1910
    Vollrath Co. (VOLLRATH) - the standard aluminum cap was assembled to early Vollrath canteens that damaged the enameling on the threads, and the plastic cap was assembled when it became available. - also canteen CRS
    Landers, Frary & Clark (samples only)

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