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Story of Danish Fuel

Story of Danish Fuel


First of all, the Danish modern movement, like the mid-century modern, dates roughly from 1933 to 1965, with roots in the Industrial Revolution and post World War I era. The geographical position of Denmark was also a great influence on the design. The standard jerry can is not a Danish design. It was first designed just before the World War II, in 1937 by Vinzenz Grünvogel from the Müller engineering firm for military use. An American and British adaption of the brilliant design was almost unavoidable, and in 1942 the US ordered 19 millions jerry cans made in one single order. Just like in the Danish design history, the fine Danish craftsmanship was also a key factor in the making of Danish Fuel’s products. In 2010 we tracked down some of the old jerry cans to a military surplus stockhouse in Europe. And then we were on our way to upcycling the unique jerry can. Another main factor was to preserve the shapes and specifics of the brilliant original design. Even the color codes, used during the second world war to indicate what kind of liquid each jerry can contained, is adapted into the Danish Fuel design. With respect for the original design, we have added some more refined details of the use for all the variate design products we make for everyday use.

Danish Fuel Can



- thats why it´s so complicated

Modernism and the rise of individualism are great factors in the formation of the Danish Fuel design ethos. We keep that in mind when creating the re-designs of the jerry cans in order to match or mix into any interior.


- truly international

The complete destruction of the social order due to the First World War influenced the course of arts and Danish design greatly. The simplification of design in the interwar period, and the gradual influence of art movements such as German Bauhaus gave way to the awe-inspiring designs that emerged in Denmark, starting as early as 1914 with Kaare Klint’s Faaborg chair. This image is an example of how to decor a tiny bathroom. Embraced by a raw brick wall and concrete floors, the Danish Fuel Bathroom Cabinet, shown with shelves of warm shade walnut, stands out. Its an icon on the wall, with a build-in-mirror in the door of the cabinet. Do you dare open it?

Danish Fuel Wall

Danish Fuel Package

Danish Fuel Cold Stamp Cert

Danish Fuel PackageDanish fuel Wall Green


The small can was brilliantly designed. It had to be affordable to produce and easy to transport. The square design made it easy to stack and store the cans in small spaces. During the Second World War II, more than 200 factories were manufacturing the small, unique and lifesaving can.

  • Invented in 1937
  • Designed by Vinzenz Grünvogel
  • Name: Whermacht-Einheitskanister
  • Holds 20L / 5 gallons
  • Empty weight 4kg / 8.8lbs
  • Adapted by American and British in 1941 
  • + 1800 duplicates made
  • 21 million made by 1944 

 Jerry Can Specs


Though jerry cans were made for the purpose of war, they were also heavily used by the civilians. At the beginning of the Second World War, Australia was lamentably unprepared for a conflict, especially in regard of petrol supplies. The First World War provided no guidelines to the matter, although petrol rationing had been considered early in 1918. But restrictions would have meant that fewer ships would have made deliveries all the way to Australia. Rationing during the Second World War was a fact of life for everyone. Drivers had to apply for a petrol license, from which they were allocated ration tickets based on their needs. The jerry can was designed to hold 5 gallon / 20 L, so the rationing was measured after its size. The cans popularity was huge back in it´s heyday around 1950. Even though the Second World War had ended and left more than 21 million jerry cans,



During World War II, an unbelievable 3.5 million jerry cans were reported lost in October 1944, when military movements of troops and vehicles reached its peak. This problem reached such epidemic proportions that the U.S. even offered rewards to French schoolchildren for collecting empty, discarded jerry cans. Approximately one million cans were recovered this way.

Recycling Jerry Can 


The bar cabinet was actually not the first design we came up with. Since 2010 we have worked towards a streamlined upcycling process, but we actually progressed in the opposite direction. We had a unique idea, but we had to focus on the economical possible. It turned out that the solution we chose was neither easy nor the cheapest. Making the product details stand out is far from a simple job. Images to the left show the before and after upcycling. The Danish Fuel designs have been the mother of inspiration for a tremendous numbers of DIY made jerry can products, that have popped up all over the internet these. We feel honored when someone finds inspiration in our designs - and even try to duplicate our creations. We see it as a public quality stamp of our way to make creative designs. Below, the original design drawing of The Danish Fuel Bar Cabinet.

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