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Guide to British-made Aluminum Mess Tins (1936-1940) ShareActions

Article about: Guide to British-made Aluminum Mess Tins (1936-1940) Although rectangular aluminum mess tins may strike the collector as a late development of Second World War, they were actually the origin

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    Default Guide to British-made Aluminum Mess Tins (1936-1940)

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    Guide to British-made Aluminum Mess Tins (1936-1940)

    Although rectangular aluminum mess tins may strike the collector as a late development of Second World War, they were actually the original design that was meant to accompany the Pattern 1937 webbing set. The reference site 'Karkee Web' goes into great detail on this subject and describes how these early aluminum tins were replaced in 1940 by a tinned steel model so that aluminum manufacturers could focus on the needs of the aircraft industry. You can find this history by clicking on the following link...

    Pattern 1937 Web Equipment

    Since early British aluminum mess tins were used by most of the Empire early in the war, the following guide of known makers may be of some benefit. It was compiled with great difficulty and is by no means complete.


    1)
    Name:  01 THE LONDON ALUMINIUM CO. LTD..jpg
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    Maker Mark: THE LONDON ALUMINIUM CO. LTD.
    Company Name: The London Aluminium Company, Limited
    Location: Witton, Birmingham
    Dates Observed: 1936
    Handle Attachment: Riveted
    Banded Handle?: No
    Notes: The mess tin above may be the earliest known example of a rectangular, nested mess tin. It was made to accompany an order from the Union of South Africa for Mills Equipment Company's latest set of webbing in the mid 1930's.


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    Maker Mark: S.&H.LTD.
    Company Name: Sellman & Hill, Limited - Crescent Works
    Location: Wolverhampton
    Dates Observed: 1938-1940
    Handle Attachment: Welded (Later Riveted)
    Banded Handle?: No
    Notes: This firm employed welding to attach the hinge plates early on in production, which was an extremely difficult process. The advertisement is from April 1933.


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ID:	733411
    Name:  03a N.C. Joseph Ltd Works on Birmingham Road, Stratford-upon-Avon, 1947.jpg
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    Maker Mark: N.C.J.LTD.
    Company Name: N.C. Joseph, Limited
    Location: Stratford on Avon
    Dates Observed: 1938-1939
    Handle Attachment: Welded (1938) & Riveted (1938-39)
    Banded Handle?: No
    Notes: The additional pictures show an aerial view of the N.C.J. Works in 1947 as well as the neglected gate of the complex in 2006.


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ID:	733414Click image for larger version. 

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    Maker Mark: C&B LTD.
    Company Name: Corfield & Buckle, Limited - Trafalgar Works
    Location: London
    Dates Observed: 1939
    Handle Attachment: Riveted
    Banded Handle?: No
    Notes: The advertisement is from December 1939.


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ID:	733416Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	733417

    Maker Mark: E&CO.
    Company Name: Everitt & Company, Limited
    Location: Liverpool
    Dates Observed: 1939
    Handle Attachment: Welded
    Banded Handle?: No
    Notes: This firm also employed welding to attach the hinge plates. The advertisement is from 1940.


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ID:	733418Click image for larger version. 

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    Maker Mark: L.A CO
    Company Name: The London Aluminium Company, Limited
    Location: Witton, Birmingham
    Dates Observed: 1939
    Handle Attachment: Riveted
    Banded Handle?: Yes
    Notes: Mess tin examples from this firm feature an additional band to keep the handle from separating and falling out of the hinge plate. The advertisement is from 1940.


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ID:	733420Click image for larger version. 

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    Maker Mark: H.&M. LTD PYRAMID BRAND
    Company Name: Hague & McKenzie, Limited - Pyramid Works
    Location: Birmingham
    Dates Observed: 1939
    Handle Attachment: Riveted
    Banded Handle?: No
    Notes: The advertisement is from April 1933.


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Name:	08 BULPITT & SONS LTD..jpg 
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ID:	733422Name:  08a Bulpitt & Sons Ltd. Camden Street, Birmingham c.1933.gif
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    Maker Mark: BULPITT & SONS LTD.
    Company Name: Bulpitt & Sons, Limited - Swansea Works
    Location: Birmingham
    Dates Observed: 1939
    Handle Attachment: Welded
    Banded Handle?: Yes
    Notes: The additional pictures show Bulpitt & Sons Ltd. Camden Street, Birmingham c.1933 as well as two advertisements (1938 and 1945).


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    Maker Mark: C-S. LTD
    Company Name: Clydesdale Stamping Company, Limited?
    Location: Dudley?
    Dates Observed: 1939
    Handle Attachment: Riveted
    Banded Handle?: No
    Notes: The author is not certain of the identity of this maker, but Clydesdale was the closest option.


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    Name:  10 W (B) LTD..jpg
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    Maker Mark: W (B) LTD.
    Company Name: Williams (Birmingham), Limited
    Location: Birmingham
    Dates Observed: 1939
    Handle Attachment: Riveted
    Banded Handle?: Yes
    Notes: Please forgive the poor quality picture on this maker. The additional article was written in September 1939 and describes how The London Aluminium Company was acquired by Williams (Birmingham). It is interesting to note that this acquisition is probably the reason Williams (Birmingham) mess tins include a banded handle.


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ID:	733429Click image for larger version. 

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    Maker Mark: T.L & CO
    Company Name: Taylor, Law & Company, Limited - Tala Works
    Location: Birmingham
    Dates Observed: 1939-1940
    Handle Attachment: Riveted
    Banded Handle?: No
    Notes: The advertisement is from 1938.
    Last edited by karkee; 11-27-2015 at 06:30 PM.

  2. #2

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    An impressive display and history of these Michael, well done.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  3. #3
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    Fine research - I especially liked the contemporary advertisements for the manufacturers. As someone who has spent many, many hours searching through old papers and magazines for research, I know how much work is involved!

    Regards, Philip

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    NCA
    NCA is offline
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    Excellent post!this inspired me to find my '39 dated tins...I cant!I think they are Pyramid Brand...

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    Thanks guys, your comments mean a lot to me! I should give most of the credit to Grace's Guide to British Industrial History though, which provided most of the information on the manufacturers.

    GracesGuide

    I was fortunate that so many of the makers were eager to advertise their new aluminium products in the 1930's and found many of them in the lists entitled "1937 British Industries Fair" and "1939 Suppliers to the Aircraft Industry."

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    AIF
    AIF is offline
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    Great thread mate!!

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    I guess part of the reason these early aluminum tins are so rare on the collector's market today is because many were used by the second BEF and accordingly, left behind after Dunkirk. They were probably also lost at Hong Kong and Singapore after that...

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    Exceptionally well done karkee, thanks for the effort.

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    If anyone is interested there is a set of 39 dated tins by S&H for sale on a dealers site for £95.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

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    Here is a set i found in Finland sent there as war aid for the winter war
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