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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

1916 dated metal cylinder marked F&D


khanmak
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Can anybody help identify this item? it is in possession of a French Farmer. It is approx 3ft tall and is some form of drum/container. Appears to be galvanised.

Any help much appreciated!

Mark

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post-79099-0-71914200-1422895960_thumb.j

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My day job is in lubricant supply, and it looks a bit like a drum for lubricating oil to me. One hole for a tap, one for air to stop it glugging. Possibly for automotive use or for refilling gun oil bottles. Shell still market their lubricants in similar shaped containers today.

Galvanising would make sense for oil as it would stop corrosion ensuring no solids were present. Oil itself inhibits corrosion but oil barrels today are lacquered inside to ensure particle free content. High quality lubricating oil for motors or weapons would have been quite expensive and well worth storing in a sturdy galvanised vessel. I'm pretty sure a lot of whale oil was still used at this time, certainly it was in engineering for quenching, and that would be something you'd want to be careful in storing and dispensing, as it was hard won, especially in wartime.

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Looking again at the picture the bottom bung seems to be formed for a squared barrel spanner. This is found on modern oil barrels, the idea being to enable secure tightening of the drum (beyond finger tight) to prevent air flow into the container, the expansion under ambient daytime temperature forces air from the container and then back in as it cools at night, drawing in air with water vapour which condenses on bare metal and drips onto the oil. This can emulsify in oil and cause it to go cloudy and affect the oil adversely. This drum was designed for the airtight storage of a liquid and I still think that's lubricating oil. It also means that the person who needed to access that liquid needed a special tool to do so, not any Tommy Dick or Harry! No idea about F&D though!

TR - my business card reads 'lubricant specialist', there's not a snigger I haven't heard.

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In addition to being an abbreviation for 'Fill & Drain', F&D appears to be the name of a company active in the lubricants sector. Would 'fill and drain' describe the fitments on the top of the drum, SRD?

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