Original British WWI June 1917 Dated Vickers Machine Gun Water Can - Petrol 2 Gallons
Original Item: Only One Available. Originally these WW1 Cans were manufactured to contain Petrol (gasoline) and are embossed on the top:
In short order, however, these were adopted by the Machine Gun Corp to be used as water condensing can with the water-cooled Vickers Machine Guns. The rapid Machine gun fire led to overheated barrels that were then liable to distortion so each gun was fitted with a water jacket as a cooling system.
The water reservoirs were connected by rubber hoses to these condenser cans so that stream would flow out of the jacket and into a partially filled water can condensing and could then to be poured back into the water reservoir and recycled.
At the start of WW1 Vickers MGs were equipped with canvas water buckets but these were soon found to be unsuitable and these cans soon adopted in their place. WW1 DATED examples are very rare, mostly post WW1 cans are encountered and many of these saw service in WW2.
This can is in good condition for being 102 years old, and is stamped 6,17 for June 1917 on the side of the carry handle. Now painted Olive Drab, despite having many soldered pin hole repairs still drips a bit from the bottom so is offered for "display" only. It was found in a derelict French barn.
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