Author Topic: Meat cans ???  (Read 1187 times)

Offline LongWalker

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Meat cans ???
« on: May 02, 2020, 01:27:08 PM »
This is probably a dumb question. . . .but is there a history of meat cans available?  I ran across one last night out in the shop that is unlike the WWII versions I' grew up seeing, and realized this is something about which I know absolutely nothing beyond the dates stamped on the plate and whatever graffiti a former user left. 

thanks,
Jim
In my book a pioneer is a man who turned all the grass upside down, strung bob-wire over the dust that was left, poisoned the water, cut down the trees, killed the Indian who owned the land and called it progress.  Charles M. Russell

Offline Drydock

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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2020, 04:30:08 PM »
https://www.oupress.com/books/search?query=McChristian

Best reference books to the period.  Bet you found an M1918, shallow dish with no groove, made of aluminum, identical to the previous M1874 that was made out of tinned steel.
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline Niederlander

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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2020, 05:50:11 PM »
Google U.S. Army Field Mess Gear.  Lots of good information there.  As Drydock said, you most likely found a 1918 which was very similar to (I think) the third pattern of the 1874.  For my Rough Rider impression, I found a good 1918 aluminum mess kit, which looks enough like the bright tinned 1874 to use for our purposes.  Jerry Lee has talked about making a reproduction 1874, plus the proper utensils, which would be awesome.
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Offline Niederlander

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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2020, 06:36:05 PM »
What date is stamped on yours?
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Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2020, 08:22:46 PM »

Meat Cans.  I normally don't hang out here in the Barracks too often, but, when I first saw the title, I immediately had visions of the old OD ration tins of some kind of mystery meat, or the obvious OD tins of SPAM.  Never entered my feeble mind we were talking about Mess Kit stuff.

Please don't get me wrong.  While on extended vacation in South East Asia in the 60s, I did have occasion to observe and sample the contents of those OD ration tins.  I still keep a P-38 handy somewhere.  The oldest of those rations I had occasion to sample, was dated '45.  The new stuff was from Korea.  Mouth watering, Lip Smacking good.  I know.  I'll pay dearly for that last comment.

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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #5 on: Today at 02:58:48 PM »

Offline Niederlander

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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2020, 09:33:58 PM »
The first issue MRE's were no bargain, either.  Who could forget "Ground Beef in Barbeque Sauce" (Instant Heartburn), the "Four Fingers of Death" hotdogs, or the ever popular "Dehydrated Beef and Pork Patties"?!
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Offline 38OVI

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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2020, 10:55:28 AM »
There were two types of meat cans in WW I.  The first was the readily available M1910 with a shallow pan, usually marked with/or without a maker and with a date. When the boys got "over there"  they wanted bigger potions than the issue meat can could hold, so a contract was given to the French to make a can that was 1/2 again deeper than the issue can.  They are tinned steel, rather than aluminum, and are marked with an anchor on the handle. Number made is unknown, but they are not rare.  Later, the deeper can, made by US, is what was standard issue by the government, in WW II. A lot of WWI cans were re-issued in  WW II simply by changing from the shallow "dish" top to the divided WW II style "dish" top.  Many are sold as WW I but are actually WW II re-issues.
The WW I "Bacon Can Model of 1916", was pulled from service in April 1918 and turned in by the troops, at least by orders found in 1st Division records that month, and replaced with commercially canned "meat", corned beef.  That is why so many Bacon Cans existed. I have one with a 1918 Date instead of the usual 1916 Date.

Offline Niederlander

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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2020, 11:24:08 AM »
Are the French ones marked with anything other than the anchor?  If one was in really nice shape, that would seem to be an EXCELLENT stand in for the 1874.  I'll be looking for one.
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Offline LongWalker

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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2020, 01:33:07 PM »
Thanks for all the discussion, I was just hoping for one reply and a maybe an author or reference!  I think Drydock nailed it, aluminum with a maker's mark and dated 1918 (or maybe 1916--I'd need to really scrub out the lettering to be certain).  One name scratched on the outside of the plate; Private somebody-or-other scratched on the outside bottom.  I'll try to get pics this afternoon, gotta get some of that bayonet while I have time too. 
In my book a pioneer is a man who turned all the grass upside down, strung bob-wire over the dust that was left, poisoned the water, cut down the trees, killed the Indian who owned the land and called it progress.  Charles M. Russell

Offline LongWalker

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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2020, 04:14:27 PM »
Let's see if this works.
In my book a pioneer is a man who turned all the grass upside down, strung bob-wire over the dust that was left, poisoned the water, cut down the trees, killed the Indian who owned the land and called it progress.  Charles M. Russell

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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #10 on: Today at 02:58:48 PM »

Offline Drydock

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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2020, 04:52:30 PM »
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline Drydock

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Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline Drydock

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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2020, 08:13:44 PM »
And now I know I have an M1910 meat can.  I had always thought it was a 1918.
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline Niederlander

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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2020, 09:38:04 PM »
I knew mine was a 1918, because I wanted it to be as close to the 3rd model 1874 as I could get.  I need to look for one of those French ones, though.
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Offline smoke

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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2020, 07:10:48 AM »
Here is nice PDF on mess gear....more than you probably want to know.

https://history.army.mil/html/museums/messkits/Field_Mess_Gear(upd_Jul09).pdf

Mess kits/meat cans start around pg 30
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Offline Pitspitr

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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2020, 07:35:05 AM »
Here is nice PDF on mess gear....more than you probably want to know.

https://history.army.mil/html/museums/messkits/Field_Mess_Gear(upd_Jul09).pdf

Mess kits/meat cans start around pg 30
This is the one besides the McChrisitan book that I would have recommended.
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Offline Major 2

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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2020, 08:17:09 AM »
This one is marked WS Co. ( Wallace Brothers Company) 1918 currently out at one of my displays in the Museum.

https://www.museumofmilitaryhistory.com/
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Offline LongWalker

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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2020, 10:00:13 PM »
Wow, Smoke--that is fantastic!  Thanks for posting the link to that pdf, it probably answered every question I could have on the subject (and saved me $$) (which will just get spent on other books, you know how it goes)!
In my book a pioneer is a man who turned all the grass upside down, strung bob-wire over the dust that was left, poisoned the water, cut down the trees, killed the Indian who owned the land and called it progress.  Charles M. Russell

Offline smoke

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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2020, 10:36:05 PM »
Wow, Smoke--that is fantastic!  Thanks for posting the link to that pdf, it probably answered every question I could have on the subject (and saved me $$) (which will just get spent on other books, you know how it goes)!

No problem...glad I could help.  It really is a great PDF.  I have also have most of the books that get recommended around here.  They are well worth the $$ spent.
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Re: Meat cans ???
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2020, 12:31:54 PM »
WW1 M 1910 US Mess Kit Meat Can  marked LFC ( Landers, Frary, & Clark) 1917.

Center of handle is stamped Co, 326 QMC 30. 

Bottom of can is scratched with the initials DJB.

Stamped steel spoon & fork are both stamped US. Spoon is marked WBD 1918, Fork is stamped  WBD 1917  ( William B. Durgin Co. )

Knife is marked US and LFC 1917 ( Landers, Frary, & Clark)
when planets align...do the deal !

 

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