Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

bully beef tin opener


PhilB

Recommended Posts

I recently came across a picture of a tin opener, all metal, "as used by the troops in WW1". I`ve never seen one for sale or as part of a man`s kit, but they must have been an important item for all soldiers. Was there an "official" tin opener or did the issue jack knife have an attachment? Phil B

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes the Army issue jack knife did come with a can opener. Its the small leaf shaped blade on the right of tha attached picture. Also according to evidence found by Kristoff the cans were opened around the sides not on the ends, like most modern cans.

post-23-1110818414.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, T8. I didn`t have one of those small blades on my issue jack knife, 50s version! I can see it being OK for piercing a tin but not too practical for opening it?

bk will be on soon and I`ll bet he`s used one! :) Phil B

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i remember that beef used to come in cans with a key like opener attached to the lid, i wonder if it was the same for WW1 bully?

you'd open the can by peeling off a thin strip on the side (if you were lucky)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's one:

Works very well: you stab the offset spike into the centre of the can, lever down - the blade moves along the shaft to match the diameter - force the blade through the edge and rotate.

Regards,

Grovetown.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here`s the picture in question. Could be French?

Thanks, Grovetown. Only useful for round tins though and most bully beef tins I`ve seen have not been round!

post-23-1110820032.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LB, I would imagine you're right.

Nice thing though, and haven't seen one before or since.

Probably quite handy if the canteen was overrun and the cooks pressed into action.

Rgds,

Grovetown.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phil B,

That opener is commercial and not any kind of issue item. I don't think it was even aimed at the military market and was something anyone could purchase. I have a similar one and they are actually fairly heavy.

Not French either, the French referred to their meat ration as "Monkey Meat" and probably would not have had the effigy of a cow on the opener. One of the most common French Openers has "Le Singe" stamped on it.

Grovetown,

Nice opener there are actually LoC paragraph's for that one (14488)

Joe Sweeney

fyi, The specifications for the Preserved meat tins still exist. By specification the meat was to be in hermetically sealed key-opening tins. Tapered in shape and to be made of selected I.C plate (i.e. the weight of 112 sheets, measuring 20" by 14" to be 108lbs)...... Of course wartime quantity could vary this quite a bit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the steer (boom boom) Joe,

I assume that LoC 14488 is around 1909 - but I only have Skennerton's adbridged 'gun' copies. Does it indicate, as LB suggests, that it's 'cooks, for the use of', or more widely issued than that?

Best wishes,

Grovetown.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Grovetown,

I don't have the specifics of the LoC paragraph.

This came out of the 1915 Priced Vocabulary of Stores--which conveniently cross references all LoC paragraph's. It comes out of the section for Barracks and Hospital stores (for metal objects) Decribed as wood handled. This section has all metal type cooking equipment not generally meant for the Field Kitchen.

Joe Sweeney

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes the Army issue jack knife did come with a can opener.  Its the small leaf shaped blade on the right of tha attached picture.  Also according to evidence found by Kristoff the cans were opened around the sides not on the ends, like most  modern cans.

:D

It takes a Belgian to learn a Brit to use their can openers !!!

Yep,

here i am. And yes I use them! But like mentioned, modern cans are less thick, so they bend to easy.

About the ox head opener, a friend a me found one a few years ago in the Boesinge area while he worked on a sewer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...