WWII Cot & Metal Tray

  • WWII Cot & Metal Tray
  • WWII Cot & Metal Tray
  • WWII Cot & Metal Tray
  • WWII Cot & Metal Tray

SOLD: An authentic military issue cot from WWII upcycled as a coffee table is a cool idea. However, paired with a metal tray and the printed cardboard from the cot’s original shipping box make this a one-of-a-kind link to the past. When I first saw the folded cot still cradled in its box that had survived more than seventy years, I knew I had to design a piece that incorporated both pieces. Although I didn’t know the entire story of this cot, I felt it important to preserve, at the very least, a part of its journey. I knew that for many of us, the cot, the box and the words — together — would be a reminder of an era when America’s strength and pride were front and center.

The tray is made from the lid of a vintage metal tool chest and measures 32.5″ by 11.25″. After carefully slicing the top layer of cardboard from the very brittle and water damaged shipping box, I sealed it and glued it to the bottom of the tray. I had a piece of tempered glass professionally cut and permanently siliconed in place. The printing on the cardboard includes a US Navy logo, the manufacturer who is a known supplier during WWII and Navy contract number, consistent with the number system used during the war. The handles on the tray are made from the original straps used to keep the cot together when folded. Since the tray is large and not intended as a piece that one would carry around, the handles were designed to be decorative.

The cot measures approximately 77″ by 26″ and 17.5 high. The wood is in very good vintage condition as is the canvas, with the exception of a quarter-size worn area in the corner near the wood that has been patched from the back and a couple of spots on the fabric that appear lighter in color (as though someone had spot cleaned the area). Although one would not expect a cot of this age to be perfect, it is fortunate that the spots are near the center of the fabric and almost totally covered by the tray.

And keep in mind… the cot can be also used as an extra sleeping bed when necessary.

Other than cleaning, I have not attempted to change or remove any imperfections of the cot nor the tray. Therefore, it should be noted that because of the hard and (in places) rough edges of both items, this piece is not one I would recommend to be used around small children.