" The book described aluminum pots as being virtually indestructible and having superior longevity used over an open fire. Strange considering at the time they were replacing steel or cast iron."
Aside from the cast iron (fine for canoe packhorse trips, not so good on foot) a lot of the cookware around that time, especially things like cups and coffee pots, was soldered tin. It had a number of admirable qualities, but the solder melted at a considerably lower temperature than a decent campfire could achieve, which meant that the bottom dropping out of your coffee pot was a common problem. Aluminium may have dented easily, but it remained functional and could be easily formed into seamless vessels. And then the complaints about aluminium cups burning your lips started... :-)