Whether you’re packing a picnic for a day at the park or traveling long distances on a family vacation, this picnic jug holds a gallon of your favorite cold drink to enjoy away from home.
Scottish chemist Sir James Dewar developed the idea for a vacuum flask for storing liquid gasses in 1892. Using two glass bottles, one which fit inside the other, he removed air between the two, thus creating a vacuum. Later, the glass blower who had assisted him with the design, Reinhold Berger, teamed up with partner Albert Ashenbrenner and they added a protective metal coating to the design. They patented the new product in 1903 and held a contest to name it. The winning name, Thermos, comes from the Greek word for “heat.”
By 1904, a pint-sized Thermos was readily available to consumers. The Jumbo Jug, a gallon-sized container, first appeared in 1923. Using the same technology, other brands soon appeared on the market, including this Revelation brand one gallon thermal jug.
Users would turn a screw mechanism style spout to access their beverage, then screw it closed.
Revelation brand products included jugs, coolers, fishing gear and firearms, and was owned by Western Auto Supply Co., which had its corporate office at 2107 Grand in Kansas City, Mo. The brand mark includes the curling red arrow, as seen on the iconic lightened sign that still lights up the Kansas City skyline at night.
The company began in 1907 as a catalog offering auto parts. Owners George Pepperdine and Don Abner Davis added additional products and opened the first retail store in 1921, where shoppers could find a full line of sporting goods, tools, seasonal items, toys and appliances.
Pepperdine is also known as the founder of Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, Calif., where a statue of him marks his legacy.
At one time, 1,200 Western Auto locations dotted the United States and Puerto Rico. Chicago-based retailer Sears Roebuck bought the company in 1987. Locations that weren’t closed were merged with Advance Auto Parts in 1998 and all Western Auto brands were discontinued by 2003.
The picnic jug shown here was one of three styles available in the gallon size and retailed for $4.25 in 1956.