While I was looking for an image for yesterday’s post on camp stoves, I came across this photo of WWII GI’s using a specially made “Pocket Stove” that was designed and manufactured for soldiers by Coleman. And I learned this interesting historical tidbit from the Coleman’s site:
“Less than twenty years later, World War II swept across the globe. Like many companies, The Coleman Company did its part to support the war effort. Allied munitions and air forces contained parts manufactured in Kansas by The Coleman Company. In June of 1942 the Army Quartermaster Corps issued an urgent request to the Coleman Company. Field troops were in dire need of a compact stove that could operate within a wide range of conditions in multiple theaters, weighed less than five pounds, could be no larger than a quart bottle of milk, and could burn any kind of fuel. And, the U.S. Army wanted 5,000 of the stoves delivered in sixty days.
Work commenced immediately to design and manufacture a stove that met the Army’s strict specifications. The end product far exceeded anything that the Army had requested: the stove could work at 60 degrees below and up to 150 degrees above Fahrenheit; it could burn all kinds of fuel; it weighed a mere three and one-half pounds; and it was smaller than a quart bottle of milk. The first order for 5,000 units was flown to U.S. forces involved in Operation Torch, an allied invasion of North Africa in 1942. World War II journalist Ernie Pyle devoted 15 news articles to the Coleman® pocket stove and considered it one of the two most important pieces of noncombat equipment in the war effort, the other being the Jeep.”