That’s a fabulous powder can. Very interesting that the front is in German, but the back entirely in Italian. I am fascinated by the “Jos. Dupont - Milano” appellation. Does that have anything to do with the huge Dupont firm, or is it coincidental? I was not aware of any connection between Wolff & Co. and Dupont. Was there one? Who was Joseph Dupont? I assume that “Jos” stands for “Joseph” or “Josef.”
This tin is confusing to say the least. A google search revealed that Wolff & Co of Walsrode Germany, displayed tin cans used for packaging of gunpowder at the 1888 Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition. I’m not sure if this meant they manufactured tin cans, or were makers of powder and were displaying the empty cans that their powder was packaged in. I would think it was the latter. There may actually be a connection to the DuPont gun powder makers that we are familiar with, based on additional Google info. While Wolff was located in Walsrode, it is obvious that Walsrode is also being used as a brand name on the tin, also. DuPont developed Walsrode powder. In addition, the name Schultz is also on the tin - the American EC & Shultz Gunpowder Co was one of over 60 powder making companies DuPont absorbed prior to being found in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1907. I was unable to find anything on Jos. DuPont, but I assume he was the Italian distributor.
As J-P was just posting a picture of his powder can, and not asking a question, I’ll post a couple of pictures of the earliest cans I have, these having been made by Laflins, Smith & Boies. This powder company went through a number of reorganizations and the resultant name changes. They used this particular name from about 1854 until about 1860.
Guy: Perhaps some of our posters with access to original German sources can help us out here, but it looks to me, after a bit of googling, that the Wolff interests were involved in the manufacture of black powder from the early 19th cent. and before 1880 were producing guncotton at Walsrode, Germany. The sources I find don’t specifically mention smokeless small arms propellant, but I think the use of the name Walsrode in connection with such propellant in the late 19th century probably relates to this firm. I have no idea what the connection with duPont might have been. JG