During the American Revolution, Continental Soldiers preferred lightweight tin canteens to carry water, but early in the war metal stocks had become depleted. By the spring of 1776, any stockpiles of tin canteens had dried up and production then turned to making wood canteens. The wood “drum” canteen would come into common use, and it was not until later in the war that tin supplies were at a point that new tin canteens could be made and supplied.
The tin canteen in the collection of the Washington County Historical Society was carried by David Luker. David was a drummer in the 2nd Pa. Infantry. Following the war, he settled in Western Pennsylvania, where he would die in 1846. The canteen was passed down through his family until it was donated to the historical society by Mary Olive McClure DeWalt in 1947. It can be seen on display in the Military History Museum on the second floor of the LeMoyne House.
Clay Kilgore is executive director of the Washington County Historical Society.