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Author Topic: A History of Tinned Food  (Read 59144 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: A History of Tinned Food
« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2013, 06:51:35 AM »

So this could tie back to the remains of the knife.....

The knife we found was a particular make and model - an "Easy-Open" bone handled, double-bladed jack knife made by the Imperial Cutlery Co., Providence, RI.

Two blades.  No can opener.
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Matt Revington

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Re: A History of Tinned Food
« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2013, 07:19:54 AM »

From the two videos that Chris posted it looks like the P38 creates a pattern of indentations on the lid not on the rim of the can as in the photos Ric posted of the can in question.  It may depend on the type of can and the person doing the opening but based on the videos it does not look like a match to me.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: A History of Tinned Food
« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2013, 08:16:06 AM »

where in relation to other 'coastie' finds was the can?

The can was pretty much in the middle of the area we've defined as the Seven Site.  "Coastie finds" are mostly M-1 carbine shell casings and they're all over the site.  We haven't found anything that suggests that the Coasts ate anything at the site.  Everything we've found that is definitely Coastie-related seems to be associated with shooting (brass cartridges, bullets, shattered targets).
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: A History of Tinned Food
« Reply #33 on: May 01, 2013, 08:21:28 AM »

From the two videos that Chris posted it looks like the P38 creates a pattern of indentations on the lid not on the rim of the can as in the photos Ric posted of the can in question.  It may depend on the type of can and the person doing the opening but based on the videos it does not look like a match to me.

I agree.  It's been a long time since I opened a can of C rations with a P-38 (ah... the memories).  Those videos make it clear that a P-38 opens the lid much closer to the edge than we see on the artifact can.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: A History of Tinned Food
« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2013, 08:48:02 AM »

Could that be related to the shape of the can?  The 7 Site can is not round like the one in the YouTube clips.  Need an obong shaped can to try it on.

Say what?  The Seven Site is round.  See the photos I posted on April 30.
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Matt Revington

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Re: A History of Tinned Food
« Reply #35 on: May 01, 2013, 11:13:11 AM »

This video of a guy opening a can with a pocket knife looks like it produces a pattern like that in the photo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDoLDyIEvk8
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Steve Lee

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Re: A History of Tinned Food
« Reply #36 on: May 01, 2013, 11:26:22 AM »

Could the can be a Coast Guard throw-away?

Yes.

What were the dimensions of the can--maybe we can find out if it matches canned goods the US servicemen at the Loran station might have eaten.

As best we can determine it was 2 inches high with a diameter of 4.5 inches.

FWIW,  it sounds like that can had a volume of 20 ounces. Look for 20 oz labels?
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: A History of Tinned Food
« Reply #37 on: May 01, 2013, 11:37:01 AM »

This video of a guy opening a can with a pocket knife looks like it produces a pattern like that in the photo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDoLDyIEvk8

Son of a gun!  You're right.  Now think about this.  What Coastie is going to go to all that trouble to open a can of roast mutton "in the field" when there are real can openers back at the station? If you're going to pack a lunch for your target shooting outing you're not going to bring canned goods.
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Steve Lee

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Re: A History of Tinned Food
« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2013, 11:39:50 AM »

Correct, my poor wording as it could have come from anywhere.

Well...probably not anywhere.  The size and proportions of the can are quite unique and match the size and proportions of at least one brand of roast mutton that was produced in New Zealand - but we don't know when.  If we could find out when St. George's used this style of label it might give us a clue as to how and when the can arrived at the Seven Site.  For example, if it turned out that roast mutton was only sold in this style of can prior to 1932, then the most likely source of the can would be the 1929 Norwich City cache.  That would argue strongly for the can having been brought to the site by the castaway.  If, on the other hand, roast mutton was sold in this style can beginning in 1932, we can eliminate the NC cache as the source.  Let's see what we can find out.
The photos of the Seven Site can are from 1996.  It's now just rusty pieces.

Ric, The label you posted--is it 15 inches side-to-side (a 5 inch diameter can would have a 15.5 inch circumference, i.e. 3.14 x 5)? Looking at the ruler you showed for comparision it looks like it might be about 14 inches side-to-side. Does that label wrap all the way around the can?
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: A History of Tinned Food
« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2013, 11:53:18 AM »

Ric, The label you posted--is it 15 inches side-to-side (a 5 inch diameter can would have a 15.5 inch circumference, i.e. 3.14 x 5)? Looking at the ruler you showed for comparision it looks like it might be about 14 inches side-to-side. Does that label wrap all the way around the can?

This is interesting.  The label actually measures 2 inches wide and 14 inches long but that includes a 3/8ths inch blank (white) portion on one end that I assume is intended as overlap for gluing the ends together.  So it would appear that the label is intended for a can of the same height but a slighter smaller diameter than the can found at the Seven Site.  That may help date the can.
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Greg Daspit

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Re: A History of Tinned Food
« Reply #40 on: May 01, 2013, 12:46:14 PM »

A label 14” long – 3/8” glue blank= 13-5/8”
A 13 5/8” circumference would have a 4 3/8” diameter assuming the 3/8” blank and no additional overlap.

A 5” diameter has a circumference of 15 11/16”
Assume a 3/8” overlap = 16 1/16" total label length for a 5” can.
Could a 16” long paper shrink to 14” over time?  If it got wet, paper may shrink but from the picture it looks in good shape.
Where did the 14”  label posted come from? 
3971R
 
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 12:49:29 PM by G. Daspit »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: A History of Tinned Food
« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2013, 12:50:29 PM »

Where did the 14”  label posted come from?

Sent from a collector in Australia. Looks unused and undamaged.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: A History of Tinned Food
« Reply #42 on: May 02, 2013, 05:22:31 AM »

Possible other tinned food

Has there been any more information/thinking on this item?

No, but I was just thinking that it might be interesting to see what kinds and sizes of cans were used for the "2 cans ripe banana" listed in the Luke Field inventory.
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Steve Lee

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Re: A History of Tinned Food
« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2013, 11:30:53 AM »

Looking at the video Matt posted, it looks to me like a sawtooth pattern is made in the can--a series of straight punctures connected in a zig zag pattern. So I'm not sure we've really nailed down how the can was opened. Chris mentioned a lever type can opener, and it would be interesting to do an experiment to see what kind of pattern you get from that. It was also mentioned that pocketknives often have a can opener and to me the pattern looks more like a pocketknife canopener. Ric mentioned that a part of a knife was found and he didn't think that knife had a can opener, but first of all I'm not sure how definite that is since he only found part of the knife. Also, the knife part he found may have nothing to do with the can he found. The knife could be the castaway's and the can could have been a coast guard discard that some coastie opened with his trusty pocketnife that had a can opener. Guys and pocketnives kind of go together after all, and if I were going to serve on a remote Pacific Island I think I might want to bring a knife with a couple of useful attachments like a can opener.

Anyway, I would suggest we all go out and cut open a few cans a few different ways and report back here. Maybe Matt's suggestion a previous post that even a P-38 could produce the observed pattern could be tested. P-38s are availble on eBay, as are lever-type can openers.

BTW: anybody find a label that fits the can Ric posted?
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 11:33:30 AM by Steve Lee »
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Matt Revington

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Re: A History of Tinned Food
« Reply #44 on: May 02, 2013, 12:55:16 PM »

I agree Steve that the pattern isn't an unambiguous match to using a knife, some of the cuts/indentations look like the ones the knife made in the video and others might be more consistent with using a church key style opener or something else.  I think that having the lid cut a bit in from the can rim is unusual, most openers cut at the lid/rim junction.  My swiss army knife can opener cuts close to the can rim like the p38 did in the video that Chris posted.  You are right, we should try out different openers to see how they cut, especially if you have an unusual model that your grandfather gave you out in the garage.
Its not a slam dunk but it does seem more likely that a coastie would have his regulation can opener with him if he was bringing canned food to eat while a cast away would have to improvise.
I believe the knife blade found at the seven site could be reasonably closely matched to a pocket knife model described in the Luke Field inventory that didn't have a dedicated opener.

From the photo of the can are those fragments on the inside the can the remains of the cut out lid  or was the lid found at all?
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