Can We Talk Oil Cans!

Duplex Oil Cans 8

A Duo of Duplex Cans

The other day I found these two cool Duplex Oil cans on Ebay and grabbed them up fast, as a gift for someones birthday. And if that someone is reading today, then Happy Birthday. Thanks for ruining the surprise. Now, thats not what the story is about. Its about LITROS!

Duplex Oil Can 1

With the metric LITROS


duplex 1 Gallon type

Without LITROS

That’s right, These cans are a little chunky VS the other one I have from Sylvia. And I get that these came in all sorts of sizes, and even Quarts. But what does the LITROS under the Gallon type. YES YES, I know its Liter, and yes its metric. But why?

Duplex Gallon Size cans

The taller one I think is Pre War? and has a very cool cap set up.

duplex Oil can lid

A little pour area on the cap

Does it indicate a year period. In other words, I don’t dare us a 1935 can in a 1948 boat. I read on the Boat Buzz some discussion that these cans were used pre and some post war. But how late Post war? Is there a cut off date when they became TEXACO Marine Oil Cans?


Which I do need, if that’s what I need. Any experts out there on oil can dates and use?

28 replies
  1. Rick
    Rick says:

    Ug. We’re talking correct oil cans now? I really do need to write about my ride in a amphicar a couple of weekend ago. I’ll get it to you Matt.

  2. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    If I remember correctly, that stuff was made in Buffalo. The workers in Buffalo probably thought the oil might get exported to Spanish speaking countries like Quebec.

    Yes, I know you are thinking “but Quebec is not a country and they speak French, not Spanish” but we ar talking about Buffalonians. They put horse meat on a roll and call it “beef on weck.” Sometimes they buy fiberglass Arabians and think they have a classic wooden boat. Heck, they named their city after North American bison thinking they were buffaloes.

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      m-fine did you know that
      Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo.
      is a grammatically correct sentence?

      Oh the fun things you learn when paying your kids college tuition!

  3. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    If you are going to collect oil cans, why not buy the “Lucky Lady” dealer sign on E-Bay? Only $8.54

    That would look good in the Boat Barn!

    (PS it is OK that I borrowed the picture because I am reporting on the item for sale on E-Bay)

  4. Tim Robinson
    Tim Robinson says:

    When purchasing a reproduction oil can, be careful some are slightly larger and will not fit the original CC box.

  5. don vogt
    don vogt says:

    The correct pre-war duplex can is smaller than the post war version. You can tell by the smaller size of the pre war cc oil box, as mentioned above.

  6. Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson says:

    There is a science to everything, including oil cans. In general for Chris-Craft, it’s Duplex prewar and Texaco postwar, both gallon size.

    I’m always searching for a gallon can of Gargoyle Mobiloil for early Hacker’s… at a reasonable price.

  7. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Current size standard gallon can is slightly different from the can used for Duplex. Since it wasn’t economically practical to have an odd sized can manufactured for the possible 50 or so that might want a Duplex oil can the available standard size with a modified Duplex label was most likely made which explains why the replica cans are slightly different in size from the originals. It is my recollection that Jim Hastings may have been the one that had the replica Duplex cans manufactured. I remember he was into such with things like Reed & Prince screws and I think Willard batteries.

    • Ed F.
      Ed F. says:

      I have a Duplex can with the spout but I do not have the cap. Does anyone have an extra cap? Could you post a picture of the bottom of the cap please? I am assuming it has a male thread?

    • don vogt
      don vogt says:

      yes, wilson, Jim hastings was tracking down the pre war can when i last talked to him a number of years ago. I think he got to the right people about a year after they threw away the graphics for the can. a great disappointment to him. He was absolutely the penultimate purist. i hope he is still with us. He ended up buying some of the reed and prince machines from the closed factory and made some screws for a while. Yes, he also made a replica willard battery before antique auto battery did the wrap around the optima. his was the old style lead/acid trip.

      BTW, best holiday wishes to you and your family.

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