August 31, 2010

First Day of School. Do you have a new Thermos?

My journey into the past and vintage living has taught me many things about how our recent mothers-fathers-men-women lived that is very different from today. Our world today is instantaneous, fast, and furious. I know that even for myself,when my computer starts chugging along, and downloading something on its own and I need to be uploading or getting something done on it, I go crazy. If I can't move around quickly on the computer it about drives me out of my mind. This is just one aspect of our fast life today.

We want our food to come out of the drive through FAST. We have drive through banking, prescriptions, weddings, and funerals!!!!

Those before us moved at a much slower pace. Things that mattered took time and they seemed willing to give it the proper time it needed. Wheat had to be grown and harvested, milled and only then could the bread be made. But not before it was kneaded and had risen a few times and then baked. But oh, the reward of a baked loaf of bread fresh out of the oven, maybe even with some hand-churned butter made from cream from the family cow. Yup, the family cow! I want me one of those. Today, if we can't get to the store and buy a loaf of bread in 5 minutes, we think it is too much time. What has happened to our world?

Another thing I have noticed, is that when they made something, whether it was bread, a sewing machine or a Thermos, it was made with care and quality. They put the best they had into making their products and they stood by them. That is why all my sewing friends can today still  purchase a 100 year old sewing machine and still have it work. And it might just work better than a fancy shmancy new one, although it might take time to get it to do the same thing. No built in stitches. The machine will have to be adjusted and time will be taken to get it just right. Time to understand the workings of the machine so it can be cared for properly, oiled and lint and dust removed. But again, the reward of a beautiful stitch.

And that brings me to this lovely thermos that was left in our new home. I'm sure it was used by Mr. Rooney. It stood on a shelf along with a few other newer (1960's and 70's) thermos jugs and a metal lunch pail. Mr. Rooney was a working man who took his lunch with him every day. I can't know this for sure, but I believe I am fairly accurate in stating this based on where these were in his house.
 And there you see it again:
In 1906, William Walker, an American businessman visiting Germany, learned of the invention of the vacuum bottle. He immediately began to import and market the new product in the United States. The following year, Walker created the American Thermos Bottle Company and began producing vacuum bottles in a Brooklyn, New York, factory. The product met with such success that the expanded New York plant proved inadequate within the first five years. Walker moved the Thermos Company to Norwich, Connecticut, in 1913. Five years later, the company had nearly doubled its size, and after World War II a second plant was opened in Norwich's Taftville section. The Thermos Company became Norwich's largest employer, with more than 1000 workers.
Look at the beauty of this with the distinct thermos logo still very much intact on the cup. Hubby and I about fell over when we saw the cork stopper still as fresh as the day it was made. Unfortunately blogger is turning the photos the wrong way again when uploading and I can't fix this one.
This might just be the start of a new collection for me. I love them. Do you remember your thermos and lunch pail from childhood? Did you get a new one each year? Perhaps a David Cassidy, Miss Stephanie? I would love to hear your comments about them.


  1. There are my curtains again! I love them! I have been collecting thermoses for bringing drinking water with us when we leave home. I have admired the different styles and designs of thermoses, but yours is the first square thermos I've seen. My sister and I went to grade school in the late 70's early 80s. We have fond memories of lunch boxes. My mom verified that our early ones were metal and then became plastic as we moved into the 80s.

    Recently, I was at a second hand store and came across an old smurf thermos lunch box. Boy, that brought back memories. My older daughter and I filled it with doll clothes we made and gave it to her younger sister for a birthday present.

    My mother was sharing her memories of my grandmother filling a thermos with coffee everday for my grandfather to take to work. I learned that by rinsing the thermos out with hot or cold water(according to what you want)before pouring the beverage in, helps keep the beverage inside at the temperature you want.(duh! I don't know why I didn't realize that sooner!)
    My husband is a construction contractor and shared with me about one job he was on. My husband was in his 20s at the time and there were several men in their 60s who worked on the job. The older men would pack in their lunches in a metal lunch box and had thermoses with them. After lunch he said the men would carefully collect their wrappings and generally tidy up. My husband said that the younger guys(around my husbands age) would bring bags of fast food to eat everyday and then would leave the garbage strewn all over the place and leave a general mess. I thought it was a very interesting testimonial to generational differences.
    Sorry to make my comment so long!
    Amy F.

  2. Loved your comment Amy. No worries about it being long. I love hearing others stories.

  3. I found this similar one on e-bay. Ours had the number 35 on it and it says this one on e-bay is 34A. About as close as I have found to ours. Same color and quite clearly, of the same time period.

  4. Now, Miss Sassy Lassie, how did you know that I had a David Cassidy thermos?!! Actually, it was a Partridge Family metal lunch box and thermos and I wish I still had it today. I got my very first lunch box and thermos when I started first grade and it was a red vinyl Peanuts/Charlie Brown one. A few of my friends in elementary school had the Disney school bus lunch box and thermos; some had those red plaid metal ones--do you remember those? What was better than drinking your milk out of a thermos? Gosh, those certainly were the days, weren't they?


    P.S. That square thermos is quite unique--I don't believe I've ever seen one quite like it.

  5. Wow. Very Nice!! I have several vintage thermoses, but none this old. I still have my old mans gray lunchbox he used everyday in the 60's. Remember the kind that held a Thermos in the top portion? I'm currently searching for just the right Aladdin thermos to fit in there.

    As for kids lunch pails and Thermoses, Dad still has a Flipper lunchbox my brother used, and my old Metal Disney lunch pail that looked like a bus. The windows of the bus featured an array of Disney characters. Not sure what ever happened to my STAR WARS Lunchbox set, but I sure wish I still had it today!

    Nice post! Good memories!!


I appreciate each and every one of your comments. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me.


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