"Buy Hecla its good!" is the since forgotten slogan of the HECLA ELECTRICS make of ceramic electric jugs who during the half century spanning 1920s-70s built a nationally recognised brand name with it as electricity use in Australia exploded! Now prized for the great variety of drip glaze, marble effect and speckling effects given to the ceramics creating individual works of early 20th Century art.
Made in Australia
HECLA SEAL OF QUALITY
Hecla Electrics Pty Ltd
The Hecla brand name and logo was registered in Melbourne, 1918 and the names’ inspiration came from Clarence Marriott who’d been inspired by the recent volcanic eruption of Mt Heckla in Iceland. Clarence and his father were metal workers who had made Australia’s first carbon filament electric radiator in 1899 for use in early steam cars. In 1927 the company shifted from small premises in the city to a bigger, electric-powered factory in South Yarra. Hecla began mass-producing appliances for both the domestic and commercial market until manufacturing in Melbourne ceased in the 1980s.
Hecla had early ambitions to make their kettles the most attractive available. Early antique urn shaped jugs with the removable lids are highly sought-after as are heavily decorative varieties. In later years potteries mass produced plain styled jugs with Bakelite lids, which too are becoming retro collectables especially when transfer labels are intact and where the box has been retained.
Fancy Hecla electric jugs became a status symbol during the Great Depression era and anyone who had electricity and could offer to boil you a cuppa from a jug like this was obviously doing swell. Early jugs are rare having survived decades of dutiful service and a world war. Some will have been damaged over the years by knocks to the lip by the tap. Removable ceramic lids were very fragile and could break after accidentally striking the sink. After decades of service its rare to find a museum quality piece.
Hecla Grecian Urn Electric Jug 1929 with Removable Ceramic Lid
Made in Victoria
An example of this jug is displayed in the Powerhouse Museum's collection
Hecla Drip Glaze Electric Jug With Removable Bakelite Lid
With Removable Ceramic Lid
Hecla J9 circa 1935
Model J9 with ceramic swing lid
Hecla Beehive Jug 1949
With Bakelite swing lid
Hecla Electric Boilo Jug circa 1955
With Bakelite flip lid