The collection
Dome-shaped thermal pitcher in green enameled metal with an aluminum base, top, and handle, and a lid of clear glass. It sits on an oval tray in matching green.

Pitcher and Tray, Thermos

Designed by
Henry Dreyfuss (1904–1972)
Enameled steel, aluminum, glass
Produced by
The American Thermos Bottle Company, Norwich, Connecticut
Pitcher: 19.5 x 20.5 x 13.3 cm; Tray: 19.5 x 26.3 cm

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, gift of Eric Brill, D81.155.1

Industrial design first emerged as a profession in the 1920s and 1930s, and some industrial designers became famous for their work. This streamlined Thermos pitcher reflects their new status in the prominent signature impressed on the bottom: “Designed by Henry Dreyfuss.” The designers of many products are unknown, but some manufacturers changed that in order to help sell their products, and through this effort help bring the economy out of the Depression of the 1930s.

This jug design is fully integrated, with its arced handle, lid and base of aluminum. The accompanying tray provided space for a water glass at one end, and the set was advertised for use in the office or home.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, photo: Denis Farley.