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MODEL 1942 PORCELAIN CANTEEN – A NICE MAKER MARKED SPECIMEN:  Produced only during 1942, the contracts let by the government for this canteen directed it to be manufactured of a low grade metal in order to conserve the stocks of aluminum and stainless steel needed for more critical defense needs such as aircraft. Because the low grade metal was prone to corrode, the canteens were coated with black porcelain.   

The Model 1942 Canteen registered in the history of the U.S. Military canteens as an abysmal failure.  As a colonel I used to work for many years ago was given to observe, “….that’s just another one of those good ideas that didn’t work …..”

In field conditions soldiers and Marines alike found the coating on the canteen easily chipped, leaving the bare metal to corrode and eventually contaminate their water.  It wasn’t long before the battered canteens, and the matching cups, rapidly took on an unsightly appearance which must have driven the officers and NCO’s to distraction.  Needless to say, this canteen did not last long in service and was rapidly replaced as the restrictions on materials were relaxed and the production of the standard aluminum canteen was resumed.  In spite an estimated production of approximately 5 million, manufactured by a number of different makers, the Model 1942 Canteens are not particularly common today, especially examples with the majority of the porcelain coating intact.   

This is a very respectable specimen, full form with no dents and very few spots where the porcelain coating has been characteristically chipped.  The coating retains a bright clear finish with no fading.  The cap is still held in place with the original chain, is still full form with no cracks or chips, and it still retains the original cork washer inside the cap.  The maker’s name is legibly stamped into the bottom of the canteen. 

This is a very good representative example of an early World War Two production canteen.  (0616)  $85

NOTE:  Click on this link to see a World War II US Marine Corps Canteen Cover listed separately on this site that would be a good mate with this canteen. 



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