Vintage Thermos Food Jar and Jug

Vintage Thermos Food Jar and Jug

The Thermos Food Jar and Jug was made by the American Thermos Bottle Company, 35-37 West 31st Street, New York City. The “vacuum flask” was invented in 1892 by Sir James Dewar. Over 120 years later, the Thermos brand continues to thrive and is available around the world.

play-audioListen to a vintage music of the period – Aunt Susies Picnic Day

A piece that appeared in the Norwich Bulletin in 1912 explains how it works –

Thermos does something that never was done before it keeps hot without fire, keeps cold with out ice. In the saving of fuel and ice alone Thermos will pay for itself in thirty days’ time. To test the efficiency of Thermos, fill the bottle with chopped ice, cork tightly and close with the screw cap cup, place in a vessel of boiling water and boil for 72 hours, then lift out with bath towel (to keep from burning hands) and within the bottle you will still have your ice. Remove the ice from bottle and fill with boiling hot water, cork tightly, pack in a bucket of ice and salt, after 24 hours lift out with bath towel (to keep from freezing your hands) and you will still have within the bottle steaming hot water.

There is really nothing wonderful about the principle of Thermos, in fact it is so simple that the only wonder lies in the fact that the idea has never before been made practical use of. It is the employment of the scientific fact that heat can not radiate from a center surrounded by a vacuum wall; wonderfully simple yet simply wonderful in the results obtained. It is the invention of Professor Reinhold Burger, of Berlin, perfected and commercialized by American brains.

What Thermos does everybody wants done; what Thermos saves everybody wants saved. That which pays for itself in one month is cheap at any price; therefore Thermos from $1.00 up is within the reach of every wage earner in the land.. .Supplying a universal demand at a price within reach of all, Thermos will unquestionably have a universal sale. Thermos is therefore a standard piece of merchandise and will be carried in stock by all good dealers for that reason.

The following is a test of the vintage Thermos food jar by the Tribune Institute 1916 –

If you want to test the depths of misery, go on a long, dusty motor trip and forget the Thermos bottle. This is no idle dream. It has happened, as we know from bitter personal experience with everybody hungry and thirsty and a tempting luncheon spread in spot miles away from any natural source of food or drink. Words fail to paint the sentiments of that party when it discovered that some absent-minded idiot had forgotten to pack the bottles which contained all the liquid refreshments!

The situation is equally serious when it is the food jar which is forgotten. because this is meant to hold such things as salads, ice cream, chowder and soups, and these luxuries do wonderfully to relieve the dryness of a picnic lunch. The home-loving Thermos jug is made for table use alone, but the bottle and the jar are travel citizens who know how to create a heartfelt appreciation of their presence by making their absence most uncomfortable for everybody concerned.

The Thermos food jar is simply a slender cylinder with a mouth as wide as the rest of it. Like the Thermos bottle, the case is made of brass heavily nickel plated. A cork-under metal screw cap covers the mouth, and the glass filler projects above the rim so that the contents, when poured out, do not touch the metal.

In the tests given in the Tribune Institute, soups were kept hot for twenty-four hours and ice-cream stayed firm for a little more than eight hours. The case unscrews at the top so that if the glass filler is broken it can easily be replaced without sending the jar back to the factory.

The Thermos jug No. 556 is shaped like a carafe. It holds one quart and consists of an all-metal case, nickel plated, which entirely encloses a glass vacuum filler. The stopper is of combination cork and metal. This jug is a most convenient thing to have around the house, because it not only serves as a carafe on the dining table but is equally handy for veranda or guest-room service, whether it be hot tea or iced lemonade that is needed. Like the Thermos bottle, this jug will keep hot liquids hot and cold liquids cold for twenty-four hours or longer. In case of breakage, a new glass filler can be put in without returning to the factory.

Find vintage Thermos Lunch boxes

An advertisement in the Topeka State Journal featured the “Thermos Car” in 1912

thermos car 1912

The Thermos Car – click for full sized image

This advertisement for Vintage Thermos bottles from the Washington D.C. Evening Star in 1914 shows the models available from that year with the price too –

1914 thermos

Vintage Thermos models from 1914

¬†From the ad above that linked the Thermos Bottle and who it helped in WWI –


The Washington Times 1918

Thermos Enables Millions of Men and Women of Our Industrial Army in America to Daily Enjoy Hot Home Cooked Food in Mills, Factories and Offices.

The same type ad was used at the end of WWI –


New-York Tribune Dec. 1918

Finally, we feature an ad from the New York Tribune that showed where all the Thermos factory’s were and the home plant in Norwich, Connecticut –

where thermos was made 1920

Thermos Plants in 1920 – click for larger image



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