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M1941 Mermite Craigslist find


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TheGrayGhost

Finally found a completely original M41 Mermite canister dated 1943 with all three aluminum inserts on Craigslist. Body has seen some heavy use and some rust (luckily no dents), gives it a real nice been there done that look! Gasket is petrified, smashed and broken, not sure if I should replace it (what do you guys think?). Also has the enameled interior, was this an early war thing as another one I have has the stainless only?

 

post-11017-0-66991400-1456805343.jpg

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nebelwerfer

Hi,

If you don't use it for food, I wouldn't replace the old gasket. Nice find, the only one I found until now, was a relict digout completly destroyed with rust...

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  • 3 months later...

GREAT find. These are tough to locate anymore. I just recently found the third insert for one of mine (I've been lucky enough to find two of them over the year, both in decent shape and for decent prices).

As for the interior, you have the blood plasma one. I've read that the lining for the food container was bare-metal. I have no idea why there were two different linings or what benefit the blue one had for blood...

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TheGrayGhost

I have heard that too, but I have yet to see any substantiating documentation other than this photograph:

post-11017-0-47336300-1466792271.jpg

 

Here is another image of a Mermite in use at a lab, the lid is clearly stainless but I cannot tell if the body is enameled or just heavily shadowed:

post-11017-0-66444000-1466793151.jpg

 

I know that there has been some misinformation circulating about this containers, recently the idea that these were issued with three "pie" shipped inserts has been disproven. In this case, I simply don't see what advantage a porcelain container would have for the transportation of blood. My theory is that the variations are simply that of manufacturing and that the "porcelain M41s are for blood banks" is an assumption that was made solely based on the first image above. I would love to get some clarification on this if anyone has some.

 

Here are some examples of types, manufacturers, dates and location found:

 

Enameled:

NESCO 1944 (personal collection)

NESCO 1943 (personal collection)

NESCO 1944 (eBay)

NESCO ???? (eBay)

NESCO 1944 (Worthpoint)

NESCO 1944 (Worthpoint)

Taylor MP Co 1944 (90thIDPG)

NESCO 1944 (90thIDPG)

 

Stainless:

LMP 1942 (personal collection)

JQMD 1936 (G503)

PAC 1942 (Worthpoint)

 

post-11017-0-73315600-1466793135.jpg

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phantomfixer

maybe to distinguish food containers with blood containers? a long shot as it seems the blood containers were heavily marked, but maybe the lining was the "crew chief proof" method to prevent confusion?

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Note the caption in that photo of the blood containers. It's spelled, "Marmite". Hmmm...
I always thought the ETO BLOOD BANK markings were cool and there are several photos of them but they look almost like something a re-enactor cooked up. It's a case of something being authentic yet not looking so. At least that's my take on it.
As for the linings, I really wish someone could find more data on all this to determine what the different linings were for and if there was a real purpose for each.
Yeah, the pie-shaped cans are something that people recently are desperate to get into the popular opinion as being from WW2 and I agree there's no current info to support that. Not one photo exists that I'm aware of showing them being used in WW2.
Just like the modern square-ish mermites, at every re-enactment there has ever been, someone brings one of those and uses the "M1944" pattern date to support it's a WW2 item when it really wasn't.

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TheGrayGhost

maybe to distinguish food containers with blood containers? a long shot as it seems the blood containers were heavily marked, but maybe the lining was the "crew chief proof" method to prevent confusion?

 

Possibly? By far, the signifiant majority of M41s I have seen are enameled. So does that mean that more soldiers needed blood than food?

 

 

Note the caption in that photo of the blood containers. It's spelled, "Marmite". Hmmm...

I always thought the ETO BLOOD BANK markings were cool and there are several photos of them but they look almost like something a re-enactor cooked up. It's a case of something being authentic yet not looking so. At least that's my take on it.

As for the linings, I really wish someone could find more data on all this to determine what the different linings were for and if there was a real purpose for each.

Yeah, the pie-shaped cans are something that people recently are desperate to get into the popular opinion as being from WW2 and I agree there's no current info to support that. Not one photo exists that I'm aware of showing them being used in WW2.

Just like the modern square-ish mermites, at every re-enactment there has ever been, someone brings one of those and uses the "M1944" pattern date to support it's a WW2 item when it really wasn't.

 

Well, the QMC Supply Catalog doesn't call either container a "Mermite" or "Marmite", so where did THAT name come from?

 

I agree, they do look nice. I have thought about painting up my restored M41 with the Blood Bank markings.

 

The M1944 was technically designed and approved during the war as a replacement for the M41, but they did not see service, period. In practicality of re-enactments, it's 10x cheaper and easier to find an M44 and repaint it in WWII OD than to find an M41. And the only people who know or care about the difference are other re-enactors. Truth be told, I would take an M44 over an orange cooler any day.

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By far, the signifiant majority of M41s I have seen are enameled.

 

Whereas the vast majority of the ones I've seen over the years were the bare metal ones.

Go figure.

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TheGrayGhost

Whereas the vast majority of the ones I've seen over the years were the bare metal ones.

Go figure.

Funny! And yes, go figure.

 

Another rumor that I have heard is that many M41s were left overseas due to the fact they were obsolete and their heavy weight made them impractical to ship back. Anyone else hear or substantiate that claim?

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Funny! And yes, go figure.

 

Another rumor that I have heard is that many M41s were left overseas due to the fact they were obsolete and their heavy weight made them impractical to ship back. Anyone else hear or substantiate that claim?

 

Have heard something like that one or two, but my opinion about that, that's a legend. Plenty of them were left in europe for some reasons (weight, worn off, left in military hospital/bases open in europe, etc), but i'm pretty sure that some o them made their way back to US

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In accordance with the US Army Medical Department history book "The Blood Program in WWII", published in 1964 (but it also contains Korean War info also), the cans are identified as US Quartermaster insulated food containers and they are referred to in the book as marmite cans. There is one quote in the book taken from a notice from Aug 144 that references marmite can. But the primary purpose of the containers was for air shipment of blood. The containers were delivered to the army's blood banks and put in large refrigerators, then delivered via refrigerator trucks to the hospitals. Later, they were shipped to the front line hospitals in the marmite cans, but the delay in getting the cans back to the blood centers had an affect on transportation. Each can could hold 10 bottles and 10 recipient sets.Refrigeration would be maintained by cracked ice in an insert placed on top of the bottles. There are a lot of nice pictures of the cans in use in the book. So I do not believe that any were special made just for blood or just for food.

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TheGrayGhost

Thanks for the info! There is some very good information in that document, here is a link to an online version for anyone interested:

http://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs/wwii/blood/DEFAULT.htm

 

The M41 in the video appears to be enameled. I found it interesting that the empty M41 was used as a makeshift pot to mix and serve a portion of the meal:

65675051332_000690_3.jpg

 

(edit: I just noticed this M41 is also missing it's gasket)

 

This is the part of history and of this hobby that I enjoy the most, the detective work to find out what really happened.

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A couple of good shots here. You can see in the bottom pic, that the mermite is bare metal, and not

enameled.

 

post-534-0-31109000-1467325126.jpg

post-534-0-94069300-1467325143.jpg

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TheGrayGhost

Nice pictures! The bottom picture in your second post clearly shows an enameled M41 being used for food.

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Nice pictures! The bottom picture in your second post clearly shows an enameled M41 being used for food.

 

Thanks. I truly believe there is no rhyme or reason to the usage of enameled vs bare metal.

 

It may be something as simple as cost. Im sure the enameling process may have cost a tad more than just leaving it bare metal. It may also be manufacturing differences. Who knows???

 

Here are a couple of pics of mine. The one on the left is original paint, while the one on the right I had to strip and repaint, because of all the layers of house paint that had been applied to it over the years.

 

You can also see that on one of mine the lid is bare metal, and has no manufacturer name embossed what so ever.

post-534-0-58428800-1467326618.jpg

post-534-0-89572700-1467326626.jpg

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willysmb44

Great photos here, most of which I've never seen before. I hope someone pins this thread for all the good info in it.

You can also see that on one of mine the lid is bare metal, and has no manufacturer name embossed what so ever.

Wow, I've never seen one of these lids without markings before!
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I'm sure that the lids got mixed up often during many years of usage, and that's why you see the combo of enameled lids on bare metal mermites, and vise versa. Below is an example of one a good friend of mine just picked up, or should I say stole, as he only paid $40 for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post-534-0-24708600-1467343858.jpg

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TheGrayGhost

More great pictures! I guess I should add that I picked up the set in the first post for $20 on Craigslist.

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willysmb44

More great pictures! I guess I should add that I picked up the set in the first post for $20 on Craigslist.

Twenty bucks? :blink: Man, you practically stole the thing, great find! I'm seeing them selling for as much as $500 recently! I have two, one I got for $75 and the other, I think for $125. Both are in pretty good shape. The inserts, I was lucky enough to pick up for about 20-30 each, over time.

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