Way back in 1937, German engineers designed the Wehrmacht-Einheitskanister—literally “Armed Forces Unit Canister”—to safely and reliably transport fuel during the war. The Allied Forces also had cans for carting around fuel, but they were notoriously terrible: leaky, easily punctured and difficult to use. Upon seeing the German wonder—dubbed a jerry can because “Jerry” was slang for “German” among US troops—American Army engineers jumped at the chance to copy it. By 1945, US troops in Europe were moving fuel in more than 19 million of these souped up canisters. Basically, it’s the Mercedes-Benz of gas cans.