They are called "Gerry Cans" because the first to use them in WW2 were the Germans. The Allies copied them - but they were never fuel cans, they were used to haul water. Fuel was hauled in fuel trucks.
The Blitz company made the WW2 water cans, and continued to make red civilian versions to carry gasoline until very recently when lawsuits over injuries caused by the government regulations over air quality caused the company to fold. The defective design originated in California in response to CARB regulations, but the Feds unwisely adopted the same standards for all states. There are still plastic cans but metal versions are no longer manufactured or imported. If you run across some pre-ban fuel cans, BUY THEM.