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A jerrycan (also written as jerry can or jerrican) is a robust liquid container made from pressed steel. It was designed in Germany in the 1930s for military use to hold 20 litres (4.4 imp gal; 5.3 US gal) of fuel. The development of the jerrycan was a significant improvement on earlier designs, which required tools and funnels to use. Today similar designs are used for fuel and water containers, some of which are also produced in plastic. The designs usually emulate the original steel design and are still known as jerrycans.
Uses for the cans have expanded beyond the original intended use of carrying fuel. Today, a can's use is denoted by its colouring, and occasionally, imprinted labelling on the container itself. This is to prevent contamination of the can's contents by mixing different fuels or mixing fuel with water.
The history of the jerrycan is notable because the German design was reverse engineered and subsequently copied, with minor modifications,[clarification needed] by the Allies during the Second World War. The name of the jerrycan refers to its German origins, Jerry being wartime slang for Germans.
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