The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that the MAAS website contains a range of Indigenous Cultural Material. This includes artworks, artifacts, images and recordings of people who may have passed away, and other objects which may be culturally sensitive.

No image is publicly available for this object

Due to the age of the Museum's collection, some objects have not been digitised yet. Images may also not be available due to copyright, cultural or privacy reasons.

Jug, electric, Nilsen Porcelain, Australia, 1930-1940

Made in Australia, Oceania, 1930-1940.
Jug, electric, Nilsen Porcelain, Australia, 1930-1940


Object No.


Object Statement

Jug, electric, Nilsen Porcelain, Australia, 1930-1940

Physical Description

Jug, electric, Nilsen Porcelain, Australia, 1930-1940



230 mm


190 mm


230 mm



Australia, Oceania 1930-1940


Electric jug timeline in Australia:

25th November, 1920- Arnold John Hamilton Love, an inventor lodged an application for a patient, that was later accepted on 23rd December, 1930. It was proposed to be a simple and economical heating appliance that had a lid in a closed position, which must remain locked as long as the circuit is active. The liquid is also difficult to pour until it has been unplugged and it is impossible to make contact with the heating element 1.

5th September, 1924- Ernest Charles Steere, an inventor lodged an application for a patient, that was later accepted on the 1st September, 1925. The lidded water heater was designed in a way that would prevent access to the heating element whilst it was in use and plugged into electricity 2.

1920- Bendigo Pottery, established in 1858, began making jugs that are today much sought after 3.

Late 1920s- Mid-1940s- This is a period when jugs were the most colourful in design. The most collectable jugs were made during this time by major potteries of Bendigo, Lithgow, Koster, Mashman, Sunshine, 'Helca', 'Nilsen' and Cooper and Cook 4. This was a period in which Australian favoured bright designs 5.

Late 1920s- Simplified designs and bakerlite lids introduced 5.

1930s- Three companies merged: Metropolitan Vickers, Electrical Equipment Co. South Melbourne and Ferguson Pailin Ltd. and traded as Australian General Electric Co. 6.

1933- Hotpoint created major improvements over their competitors when they introduced the flip up lid. Advertisements at the time were promoting the new General Electric 'Hotpoint' electric jug as the "..finest quality porcelain with a practically unbreakable permanently hinged 'Ageite' lid" which could be purchased for 25/6 6.

1940s- Thought to be bought on by the second world war, electric jugs become more functional and practical in design. The newer eclectic jugs lacked the flair in design and colour previously seen in Australia. Early on in this decade Bendigo Pottery ceased producing the colourful Waverly Range due to competition in the market 5.

1950s- Australian household were now entering a period of white goods. A flow on effect from this was mass production, including electric jugs which saw thousands producted for use in the family home. Resurgence in jug shaped appeared at this time from companies such as Nilsen (NPA) 5.

1960s- Sunshine face jugs ceased being manufactured. They would later become very collectable, reaching prices as high as $1,500 3.

1970s- The decline in electric jugs, due to the invention of cheap plastic and aluminium kettles.

1- Department of Patents, Improvements in Electrical Water Heating Appliances, Commonwealth of Australia, 1930.
2- Department of Patents, An Improvised Electric Water Heater, Commonwealth of Australia, 1925.
3- James Cockington, Boiling Point, August 16, 2005, The Sydney Morning Herald.
4- Daryl, Antique Ceramic Electric Jug Collecting in 2010, viewed online on
5- Ian Fenselau, An Introduction to Collecting Electric Jugs, in Australian Antique Bottles and Collectables, n.d
6- Ian Fenselau, Hot Point Electric Jug, in Australian Antique Bottles and Collectables, n.d


Credit Line

Purchased 1987

Acquisition Date

7 September 1987

Cite this Object


Jug, electric, Nilsen Porcelain, Australia, 1930-1940 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 28 May 2020, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Jug, electric, Nilsen Porcelain, Australia, 1930-1940 |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=28 May 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

Know more about this object?


Have a question about this object?