05 Sep

The Inception and Usage of Petrol Containers— Jerry Cans

Fuel storage container, Jerry can, history and use over the decades

Did you ever notice the 20 liter yellow containers carried by the South African villagers? Or perhaps, you have come across the steel containers in an automotive workshop? All of these containers have the same origin; however, the most popular storage container is the jerry can. Jerry cans are one of the oldest liquid/fuel storage inventions that are still in use and would probably never see a downfall. Today, jerry cans come in different sizes with slightly different designs for both water and fuel storage.

Origin of the jerry cans

A jerry can is a fuel container (usually for petrol, kerosene, and diesel) that is designed with pressed steel to ensure fuel safety. The very first jerry can containers originated in the late 1930’s in Germany for military fuel storage, and today they enjoy the same popularity as they did around fifty years ago. History suggests that the jerry can was actually a slang term for liquid containers used by Germans in the late 1930’s.

In the early years, the containers were known as Wehrmacht-Einheitskanister. A German firm, known as the Müller engineering in Schwelm (district of Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis) designed the very first jerry can design under Vinzenz Grünvogel’s, firm’s chief engineer, guidance. The jerry cans designed in that era were similar to the cans seen during the Spanish Civila War in 1936. So, it is safe to say that before their German design inception, Jerry cans were already utilized for military fuel storage purposes.

The Original Manufacturers of Jerry Cans

It is important to mention here that in the early years of the 1930’s era, some American companies had profound interest in having business venture in Germany that lead to business partnerships and company divisions. One example of such partnership and company division is of famous Philadelphia Company, the Budd Company that has its German division by the name Ambi-Budd Presswerk.

The very early designs of jerry cans carried the logo of AMBI, which represents Arthur Müller Bauten und Industriewerke. AMBI was the original manufacturer of the early Jerry can designs that were utilized in both first and Second World War. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that the early Jerry can designs were specifically crafted for Nazi Germany.

Later, Jerry cans became an integral part of American and Russian military fuel storage, and eventually became the household name for fuel and water storage. Jerry can became a necessity for British military after the rectangular storage containers no longer offered a robust solution for fuel storage.

Jerry cans today

Modern day jerry cans share similar characteristics with their predecessors. However, there are minute changes that make these containers an efficient way to store all kinds of fuel. Many countries and states have specific color codes for different fuel storage. For example, in California, jerry cans come in red (for gasoline), blue (for kerosene), and yellow (for diesel) colors.

Modern day Jerry cans are an important part of military, agriculture, and household usage that makes them one of the most prominent storage cans for fuel storage. The Jerry cans have survived all through these years and will continue to survive due to their hassle-free and safe utilization.



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