Petrol cans

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Sir,

Further to the correspondence over the last few months concerning Pratt’s petrol cans, my father commenced work with the Anglo-American Oil Co. Ltd. painting Pratt’s petrol cans. I have therefore taxed his memory, and endeavoured to define the colours in which these cans were sold to the motorist.

These cans were produced by the Valor Co. Ltd., which was owned by Anglo-American. The numbers on the base of the can, i.e., 10 24, refers to Oct. 1924 the manufacturing date.

The early standard can had horizontal block lettering on the front of the can which read PRATTS PERFECTION SPIRIT, and the cans were coloured as follows:

Pratt’s Standard Spirit: All green can.
Pratt’s Commercial Spirit: Green can, Silver top.
Pratt’s Benzole Spirit: All orange can.
Pratt’s Benzole Mixture: Green can, orange top.
Pratt’s Aviation Spirit: Green can, gold top.
(The aviation spirit was always put into a brand new can and always filled through a chamois leather filter.)

A further can could be obtained by motorists, from their petrol supplier, which was known in the trade as a “Running Board” can. This can could be obtained painted either black or green, the stylised embossed Pratt’s lettering (no other wording) went diagonally across the front of the can, and this was in gold. The petrol cap, on this special can, was nickel-plated. There was no extra charge for this can, only the usual 3s. deposit. Shell also had “Running Board” cans, supplied in either bright red or black with gold Shell motif and lettering.

On the introduction of Pratt’s “High Test”, cans were produced with block lettering, and the name PRATTS was on the front of the can in an embossed circle.

In view of the interest aroused in petrol cans I hope this information will be of some use.

G.M. Cole.
Chesterfield.

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