Artillery shell ashtray

Found this in the clutter of the old gun shop I frequent.
Rim diameter 135mm
case base diameter, 125mm
Rim thickness , 5mm
The case has been cut off and turned into an ashtray.and a rim that holds the cigar/cigarette holders is soldered on. The only markings are on the primer and an enameled badge applied to the side of the case. The case head itself bears no marks at all. My question, What is the origins of the case,? The GECO enameled badge says “Munitions Worker” GECO. I didn’t know that GECO made artillery shells. I thought they were primarily small arms ammunition. I suspect this is fairly recent manufacture. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Dave,

This “GECo” is the company that filled the primer: General Engineering Co., Scarborough, Canada (Sc/C). The manufacturer is Morrow Screw & Nut Co. (MSN/C).

Nice find!



Thank you !! I was a bit curious about the Maple Leaf and the use of English in the enamel badge. About when might this have been made and what caliber the case was?


With Fede’s info I did a bit of ‘net’ searching and discovered a bit about the General Engineering Co. and the Morrow Screw and Nut Co.
GECo. Plant was built in 1941 to fill and arm munitions. The plant operated from 1941 to 1945 and employed 21,000 workers of which 17,000 were women. The average wage for the women was $22/week. They were known as the Bomb Girls.The plant consisted of 172 buildings on 350 acres.With over 4 km of underground tunnels. 21 buildings remain today. The plant filled and armed 256 million pieces of ordinance with a quality control rate of 99+%. There was one fatality at the plant but not related to the work done there. A worker run over by a shuttle bus.
The John Morrow Machine & Screw Co. of London opened the Ingersoll, Ont. plant in 1887 the name changed to Morrow Screw and Nut Co. and in it’s history made nuts , bolts , screws, drills, taps, bicycle parts and munition fuses and primers.
I believe the "ashtray " was made probably at the end of the war when time was not a premium and war priorities were declining and allowed more frivolous endeavors.
I now have a Canadian WW2 paperweight. Cool. Moderate degree of “Gee Whiz” factor

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What is the head stamp?

There is no headstamp. The only marking are what I pictured… i would like to find out what the case origin is.

Impossible without headstamp.

Alex, The rim and base measurement, and what might have been loaded or handled in a Canadian Munitions facility couldn’t that narrow the possibilities?

Assumming that is the right primer in the case. The No. 11 was used in four cartridges; 17 Pr, 25 Pr, 77mm and 3.7"
From what I can tell from the photos the case hasn’t got a stepped flange, that rules out the first two. Comparing head stamp photos of the last two with a caliper, 77mm comes out about 115mm, 3.7" comes out at about 135. So educated guess 3.7"

Sportclay, sure it is limiting the possible manufacturers but to how many? All within the United Kingdom and maybe the US if they made cases for Canada as well?

Did a bit of searching for the various cases listed by TimG, there is a lot of variations and makers ! Thanks for all your help guys. Very interesting.

The primer was manufactured in 1944.

I am unsure if the 6 before the 44 marking is a month or a lot number.


6/44 Is the date of filling. The filling lot number is 2630, which has been barred out.