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Wooden Canteen- Memorial Hall

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Prior to the invention of the metal canteen, people faced with the problem of carrying water in several ways. Beyond using gourds, which eventually rot, or leather, many applied the techniques learned in coopering, or barrel-making, on a smaller scale. This rather elegantly made wooden canteen used several coopering tricks, including precisely cut pieces of wood. Instead of the usual copper or tin bands, this example uses reed to bind together the pieces of wood. Wooden canteens had to have water in them all the time: not only did it keep the canteen watertight by causing the wood to swell tightly, but it prevented the wood from drying out and warping. The inscription on this canteen claims that it was made from one of the logs used in the stockade around Deerfield, Massachusetts, in 1704, the year of its most famous raid. The canteen was made by Benjamin Munn of Whatley (1704-c1778) and was presented to the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association by his grandson, Dennis Dickinson, in 1878.


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