SINCE the Age of Industrialisation in the 18th and 19th centuries, many inventions have come and gone, as they mostly address the needs of the time.
Ones that persist till today remain crucial and significant. Some like the automobile and the printing press evolve, and today we have green electric cars and 3D printing.
Another very good example of a game-changing invention is the humble vacuum flask. Although invented in 1892, the early versions were mostly used in laboratories to store liquified gases.
It wasn’t until 1904 when three Germans produced the glass-lined vacuum flask we know today, ready for mass production.
In looking to name their product, the glassblowers opened up a contest and a Munich resident submitted “Thermos”, after the Greek word therme, meaning heat – and that name stuck.
Thermos has since kept food warm or cold overtime shaping lives over the century and still continues to do so today. At key moments, these flasks even made history.
Making a mark in history
Thermos soon gained widespread appeal in the UK, Canada and the United States by 1907. In the following year, an office in New York was set up while its popularity hit Japan.
To spread the word, in 1909, a Thermos bottle-shaped “Thermos The Bottle” truck was made and toured every city, winding through the streets across the US to convey the brand promise and persistence of Thermos products in keeping the contents cool or hot.
It even won runner-up at the “Automobile Carnival Parade” in Manhattan, New York at the time.
Rise of the adventure gear
The uses of Thermos began to spread, emerging as a must-have adventure gear for those attempting to brave Nature’s wild extremes, like the polar regions.
When Lieutenant Robert E. Peary ventured to the geographical North Pole, his trusty Thermos kept his nourishment warm. One even accompanied Anglo-Irish Antarctic explorer Sir E.H. Shackleton to the South Pole.
And Thermos went on more extreme missions; during the Apollo 12 moon landing in 1969, a sealed Thermos container was specially made to hold moon samples.
Astronaut Alan Bean collecting moon soil samples using a specially made Thermos container.
These missions and expeditions proved the worth of Thermos to withstand extreme temperatures and help keep its contents the way it should be.
Going big in modern times
By 1957, the science and medicine community and other industries used products by Thermos to measure electric power, rate of climb in airplanes, detection of oil deposits and weather recording. It’s also used for preserving and transporting blood plasma, serums, bones, tissues and insulin.
By 1978, Thermos introduced another world’s first — its stainless steel bottle, which revolutionised hot and cold storage worldwide. Stainless steel makes the bottle resistant to corrosion and temperature changes and has antistatic qualities, is hygienic and easy to maintain.
Another world’s first thermal cooker was introduced by Thermos Japan in 1989 with the Shuttle Chef series.
With an initial short boiling period, it then makes use of vacuum insulation technology to hold the heat in, allowing the food to cook slowly. That trims down the actual cooking time while helping households serve quality meals and conserve energy. The effect is the same as cooking food slowly using for hours without constant attention.
So as Thermos celebrates its 115th anniversary this year, it marks its enduring strength along these defining historic moments, which invariably seals it as an essential in today’s modern healthy lifestyle.
In conjunction with the anniversary, Thermos is launching its Thermos Limited Edition Set, available at its official online store. You can also purchase the set at its Experience Shop at the Gardens Mall or in major departmental stores.
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