U.S WW2 Experimental Canteen 1943 ‘AICO’


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Here we have U.S WW2 experimental Ethocelulose Canteen which is dated 1943 and marked AICO by the manufacturer.

In an effort to manufacture a non-metallic a canteen during World War Two, the US government attempted to manufacture a plastic canteen using Dow Chemical’s Ethocelulose Plastic. The canteen was manufactured by several government suppliers, of which AICO was one. Canteens started to be manufactured the middle of 1942 and were discontinued by 1944.

The canteens were typically issued to Pacific Theater Forces. This was a common canteen to find on the USMC web belt or discarded along the route of the Marine advance. The problem with the canteens was that they tended to eventually develop heat stress cracks. They also made the water they contained taste like bitter plastic. In order to combat the horrible taste of the water, soldiers routinely mixed baking powder in with the water when filling the canteen.

AICO manufactured only 4,400 of these canteens. The canteen is made of a two part mold. Each part being attached at the cup ring. This canteen comes complete with chain, cap (without cork) and amazingly no stress cracks. Overall condition is very good to excellent.

Rare experimental canteen!


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