Dear Mr. Higgs,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series American Unofficial Collection of World War I Photographs in the Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (Record Group 165) includes 6 images related to steel drum manufacturing that might be of interest to you. These images have been digitized and can be viewed online using the Catalog.
Next, we located 4 files related to Draper Manufacturing in various series and record groups. These records have been digitized and can be viewed online using the Catalog. If you know the names of other manufacturers, you may use the Catalog to search for other potentially relevant records.
We suggest that you use the National Archives Catalog to review records related to "steel drums", "steel manufacturers", and the Bureau of Explosives in numerous series and record groups. The Advanced Search feature lets you narrow your results by time period, record group (e.g. Record Group 134 - Records of the Interstate Commerce Commission), type of record, and more. Please contact the National Archives reference branch listed in each Catalog entry for assistance with those particular records.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from any NARA reference unit. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
In addition, we searched WorldCat.org and located several entries related to the Interstate Commerce Commission and steel, the Bureau of Explosives and Interstate Commerce Commission, and the American Railway Association and the Bureau of Explosives that may be useful for your research. The Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) Cooperative also provides links to information about archival collections related to the Association of American Railroads and to the American Railway Association.
Finally, since the Bureau of Explosives was located in New York City, we suggest that you contact the New York Public Library, the New York Historical Society, or similar organizations for further assistance.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!