The canteen cup stove/stand was introduced during World War II, based on a design covered by a U.S. Patent issued in 1941. It was designed to work with the aluminum or stainless steel canteen cup, that went with the M1910 canteen. The Canteen Cup Stove provides a way, in the field, to heat water, rations, or other food and drinks.
The early version of the canteen cup stove/stand had standard nomenclature Stand, Heating, Cup, Canteen with Stock No. 74-S-329-500 and Spec. JQD 621. It was described in QM 3-1 (May 1946) this way: "This stand supports a full canteen cup or a "C" ration can at a height suitable for heading its contents by means of heating tablets or other commonly available source of heat. Wt. .12 lbs."
Canteen cup sits on the World War II version of the stove/stand, with fuel package, Italy, April 1944.
Stand, Heating, Cup, Canteen by Gould Metal with closed bottom. There are six 1/4-inch holes, three on either side of the center, and three 3/8-inch holes on either side of the front. Photo: Courtesy Thomas Chial.
The most common aluminum Canteen Cup Stove was made of one strip of metal, tapered from bottom to top, with a kidney cross-sectional shape matched to the canteen cup (photo above, left). It was open at the top and bottom with a square opening on one side at the bottom (wider end), and several round vent holes in the side. The same basic design, with minor variations in production, was produced until the 1990s.
The metal canteen cup slips securely into the top of the stove, placing the bottom of the cup into the chamber of the stove where the flame from the fuel can work directly on the cup with little loss. Several types of canteen cup stove fuel have been issued since World War II, as described on the linked page.
When not in use, the canteen cup nests into the wider end of the stove, the canteen body nests into the canteen cup, and the three components fit into the canteen cover. Markings on the Canteen Cup Stove include US, the year of manufacture, producers name, and the NSN stamped into the stove body.
Canteen Cup Stove markings.
During the 1980s the canteen cup stove/stand was known as the Natick Stove, for the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center, located in Natick, MA. The stove was workable, reliable, and durable but not widely liked by the troops who had to use it.
The full nomenclature was Stand, Heating, Cup, Canteen (or Stand, Canteen Cup) with NSN 8465-01-250-3632 and specification MIL-S-44221 (or MIL-S-44221A dated 03 March 1989). Revision A of the specification describes two versions of the stand, one with an open bottom and one with a solid bottom (photo above, right). Production of the stand continued into the 1990s based on contracts awarded in 1989.
Instructions with the Canteen Cup Stove
Drawing from Canteen Cup Stove instruction sheet.
After the Meal, Ready to Eat (MRE) was introduced, each canteen cup stove was packaged with an instruction sheet, containing a drawing of the stand as it was intended to be used (above) and the following text:
USE STAND WHEN HEATING WATER AND MEAL, READY TO EAT POUCHES IN CANTEEN CUP.
PUT WATER AND POUCH IN CUP.
PLACE STAND ON GROUND WITH SIDE OPENING AT BOTTOM AND PUT FILLED CUP
INSERT FUEL, COMPRESSED, TRIOXANE THROUGH SIDE OPENING, FOLLOW
DIRECTIONS ON FUEL TABLET PACKAGE.
ALLOW STAND AND CUP TO COOL BEFORE TOUCHING.
INVERT STAND AFTER USE, SLIP CUP INSIDE STAND AND CANTEEN INSIDE CUP,
INVERT INTO CANTEEN COVER.
WARNING: DO NOT TOUCH STAND OR CUP IMMEDIATELY AFTER HEATING.
DO NOT PLACE STAND IN A DIRECT FLAME.
USE FUEL TABLET IN ACCORDANCE WITH PACKAGE DIRECTIONS.
Material on this page adapted from "Survey of U.S. Army Uniforms, Weapons and Accoutrements," by David Cole (November 2007 and updates), a classroom reference for the Army Museum System's Basic Curatorial Methods Training Courses, as well as other published sources. Thanks to Thomas Chial for making his extensive research available.
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