There have been plenty of technological advances in the army since the early 1900s.
But it was a meeting, right here on the Rock Island Arsenal, that brought military equipment to whole new level and even upgraded one tool that's stayed relatively unchanged for more than a century.
"These same items are used by our soldiers now out in the field as they were shortly after 1910, and I think that's amazing," says Jodie Wesemann, Arsenal Museum.
In April of 1909 at the Rock Island Arsenal, the Secretary of Army commissioned an infantry equipment board to look at what soldiers needed out in the field.
"As far as what the equipment they wore, was it actually necessary – was it hindering them or helping them," says Wesemann. "I think a lot of what soldiers were using was things that worked in the past – so it could be a mish mash of items."
So, army leaders gathered up different kinds of equipment used all over the world to see if anything was the perfect fit.
"Why reinvent the wheel if it's working so well somewhere else," Wesemann adds.
After looking at items from Denmark, France, Germany, and plenty of others, the military created the model 1910 – a set of universal equipment for every solider. Among those items was a canteen and that canteen is almost identical the one used today.
"The fact something that long has retained the same shape is pretty fascinating," she says.
And it wasn't only the design made here, that canteen, along with many other items were manufactured on the Arsenal as well.
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