Posted 10 years ago
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:
VOLLRATH Mfg. Co.
SINGER Mfg. Co. [SM]
UNITED STATES STONEWARE Co. [USS]