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Who Invented the Jerry Can?

Jerry cans were invented in Germany in the 1930s. They were made easy to be carried and stackable for easy transportation to different countries. But who developed these useful Jerry Cans?

It was the year of 1937 when “Jerry Cans” were first invented by the Muller Engineering firm from Germany, which was inspired by the design of Vinzenz Grunvogel, its chief engineer.

How were Jerry Cans Used?

Army men used Jerry cans during World War II for carrying fuel for the army vehicles, and these were made more efficient because Jerry cans did not need other equipment like funnels or other tools to pour the fuel. It was made to be efficient containers during warfare.

It was designed with three handles so it would be easier for the soldiers to carry four cans at a time, holding two of them in each hand. The bottom part of the cans was molded proportionately to make it stackable with the top portion of another can to make the transportation of these containers easier. (Source: Amphorea Packaging)

How was Fuel Transported Before Jerry Cans?

Before jerry cans were invented, soldiers used a 55-gallon drum filled with fuel. Using these big drums to transfer fuel was difficult and risky to be manually carried because tanks could be vulnerable to enemy attacks. It was challenging to be taken or transported using small aircraft or vehicles. The armies’ machinery needed a more efficient fuel distribution, and it became an urgent need to develop something handier. (Source: Think Defence)

Why was it Called Jerry Cans?

Jerry Cans, also known as jerrican, was initially referred to as Wehrmacht-Einheitskanister, and this means the armed forces unit canister. Wehrmacht is a German word that means defense power. The term jerry was used to refer to Germans. (Source: Amphorea Packaging)

Do the Colors of Jerry Cans Mean Anything?

Because jerry cans were made for military use, each color of these containers had meaning back in the day. Red is for gasoline, while yellow jerry cans were for diesel. When you see a blue jerry can, it was intended for jet fuel like a helicopter or M-1 JP4. When the container is army green, it is designed for water from the lake or stream, but it is not safe for drinking because white jerry cans are designated for their drinking water. (Source: Jerry Can)

How To Safely Store Filled Up Jerry Cans at Home?

Individuals who still prefer using jerry cans may fill them with 20 liters of petrol. However, it is illegal to keep 20 liters of petrol in one container alone.

There are two types of containers that may be used if the plan is to store them at home and save it for future use. The metal type of jerry can be filled up to 10 liters while the other kind, the plastic can, may be filled up to 5 liters. Two kinds of cans are highly flammable, and it is advisable to do this with precautions.

The maximum amount one may store at home is 30 liters. The law ruling petrol was made in the 1920s. According to the Health and Safety Executives, one must keep in mind that for safety reasons and the best interest of everyone, filled up jerry cans must be stored in the garage, in a shed, or may be outside but no more than 6 meters away from the house like by the end of the driveway. (Source: BBC News)

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