I started this website as a research exercise, something fun to do, and lastly a way to document all of these items for my kid. That way when I move along, and she inherits all of this stuff, she will also inherit the stories that go with them. That brings me to today’s item.
While getting ready to take my kid on her first camping trip I pulled out my Father’s Vietnam era canteen. I procured this from him ages ago back in high school, thus I haven’t really thought much about it. Well, this canteen was very cool to the kid (I should also mention that she’s five). That got me thinking… This is the same thing that has happened with many of the items from my Grandparents; items that they were used to seeing became supercool things to me years later. So, I decided to see what I could find out about the canteen.
The nylon cover is marked as Model 1967. From what I discovered 1967 was the year the military implemented a new change to their gear. Among the changes was the canteen cover. From a website I found they listed these upgrades:
· nylon replaced all remaining cotton webbing items
· aluminum or plastic replaced steel or brass hardware, where possible
· “Hook and Pile” fasteners (Velcro) were used wherever practical to replace zippers or snaps
Now this case, while being nylon, still has brass snaps and steel clips on the back. Most likely this means that it was issued soon after the changes were implemented but before they could change out to the black plastic snaps and aluminum clasps.
My Dad remembers the changes that took place in 1967 and said that this is when they also changed up to plastic canteens. Before then everyone still used metal. It was exactly the same size (1 quart) but he didn’t receive his new one until he had been home for a while and was with the reserves. That is why his is dated 1974 on the bottom.
The canteen is also stamped with a diamond logo and the name Zarn. From what I can tell, Zarn was a plastics company that among other things also made large trash containers and in 1961 the very first plastic milk bottle. They have since been bought by the French company Burelle SA and are now called Plastic Omnium Zarn. As for the liner there are two possible names, DSA and CBS Enterprises Inc., neither of which I can find with any certainty.
So there you have it. The story of a canteen.
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