From 1918 through the early 1920s, and again from 1945 through the early 1960s, American soldiers purchased steins as souvenirs of their service. While the porcelain .5 liter steins of the 1950s are fairly common, earlier German military steins are somewhat harder to find.
Collecting military steins is often approached from the view of collecting history. Therefore, some collectors are interested in specific military units or types of units. Other collectors use a more general approach of collecting by style or type of decoration.