Right out of the pages of history, Sportsman's
Guide ( www.sportsmansguide.com )
is again offering French linen water buckets. They're most likely WW II surplus, but look just like the old ones you would have seen in any Abercrombie and Fitch catalog from the day. The way they work is based on the swelling thread of the fabric weave sealing the bag and holding water.
The Desert Water Bag (www.can-spec.com) made by Canvas Specialty from Scottish flax duck works the same way, except that the closed bag sweats and cools the water just like an old gourd canteen would have done. Water is always cooler when stored this way than in some plastic tank.
The Desert Water Bag can still be found in old out buildings and antique shops for a pretty decent price. Many no longer hold water, but they look cool. If you want a new one, Canvas Specialty still sells them, but at a price. They require a minimum order of 2 and cost $52 each- if you buy 50, the price goes down to $45. That's a bit different from the the ones listed in A&F at $2 each in 1924.
From the Canvas Specialty site - Canvas Specialty offers a full line of accessories including Water Bags. These bags have been used by the military for years. Especially designed for extreme weather conditions, Canvas Specialty Water Bags are the perfect solution for very hot environments (Desert Camping).