Electric Jugs Were Made In Australia By HECLA Its Good!

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"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 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

Vintage jugs would still function if re-electrified. Beware original cords and rusty elements need replacing and the jugs do not whistle or automatically shut off so must be supervised. Primarily, these jugs are enjoying a second life as ornamental features in modern kitchens and why not, they're a beautifully unique piece of Australian kitchenalia that appreciates in value every year.

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