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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

"jerrycan" for old mowers

Hi dear members !

I have just finished to fill my mower tank with a not suitable and a sad plastic jerrycan (what we call jerrican with bad English accent as usual in France) and I'm wondering what kind of tank was used in England in the 50' 60' for achieving well this task ?

Maybe some local retailer (let say Atco retailer) have sold a specific model as in France, for famous "VeloSolex" (cheap bike) retailers have sold "Solexine" in specific 2 liters tank (fuel came from BP in fact !) : 

I hope that I am understandable enough : I am just looking for a nice empty vintage tank which was (still be) popular  in GB, not a petrol+oil mix which I can do myself !

Thanks for your advices.



PS : I was wrong concerning jerrycan noun history : I thought it was an American origin but it seems that it was an English word given to German metal tank during WWII. Are you agree ?






Punch_Drunk Wed, 09/08/2017

Hi Arnaud,

                  Yes the Jerrycan is the correct term, the British model was a direct copy of the German original, the Americans went down the own route and produced a version of there own, with a screw cap, inside of a cam lock, however the USMC model had the jerrycan type cam top! Make of that what you will, either types English or American were common once in the U.K so an Ex WD jerrycan would look very in keeping with your lawnmower.




merryman Thu, 10/08/2017

In the UK, the most common petrol can was the two gallon Valor type. These were sold bt the Oil giants such as Shell and BP with their logos pressed into the steel sides of the can, and also cast into the brass filler caps. These cans were made for a surprisingly long time, don't know when they first appeared, 1920s perhaps, but Valor were still making them in the 1960s. I use one, they sit well. and the brass filler caps don't stick or get cross threaded like the plastic ones. Two gallons is a good volume, not too heavy and you don't seem to be always filling them up like a 5 litre plastic one. 

wristpin Thu, 10/08/2017

Not my subject but a bit of history.

In the early days of motoring with no garages or petrol pumps the fuel companies delivered fuel in two gallon cans to ironmongers (hardware shops), bicycle shops and even chemist shops (pharmacies) . As mentioned by Merryman the cans would have the fuel company's logo stamped into the side. I presume that the cans were meant to be returned to the shop to be collected by the fuel co. Maybe a deposit was paid to be refunded when the can was returned.

You only have to google "fuel can collectors" or something similar to see the huge variety of cans that were in circulation and the size of some collections. Good unmolested cans fetch quite serious money as do the brass caps.

Until "recently" petrol stations  were not supposed to allow the use of plastic cans so all those for mower fuel were steel. Also one gallon / 5 litres was the maximum legal can size so filling a Jerry can was technically breaking the law but most petrol stations turned a blind eye.