The collection
Dome-shaped aluminum kettle with a short spout, a conforming metal lid with black finial, and a shaped black plastic grip on the arching handle above.

Kettle, Wear-Ever

Designed by
Lurelle Van Arsdale Guild (1898–1986) and James K. Matter
Aluminum, Bakelite
Produced by
Aluminum Cooking Utensil Company (division of Alcoa), New Kensington, Pennsylvania
24 x 29 x 23 cm

The Liliane and David M. Stewart Program for Modern Design, gift of Dr. Michael Sze, 2011.15

Wear-Ever cookware was one of the product lines that helped expand the use of aluminum in the 1930s. The light weight, bright appearance, and quick, even heating offered by aluminum made it a symbol of the modern kitchen. In the 1930s Guild became a leading industrial designer in North America, and his designs for aluminum products helped establish his fame.

The basic shape of this modern kettle updated a traditional form. The non-heat-conducting Bakelite handle is set back, away from the spout, both protecting the user’s hand from heat and steam and also giving leverage for easy pouring. No wonder this design was selected by the Museum of Modern Art for its landmark Machine Art exhibition of 1934.

The Stewart Program for Modern Design, photo: Denis Farley.