Monday, August 1, 2011

Old Fitzgerald "Candlelight" Decanters - 1950's

We recently came across three, very unique, Old Fitzgerald Bourbon decanters. We looked at them for some time, thinking, "These decanters look strange. There appears to be a shot glass on top, but the rims make them look like candle holders. These are very odd."

These decanters were so strange that we just had to get them and learn more about their unique design.

About The "Candlelight" Decanter

Designed in 1955 & 1956 by Walter Landor & Associates for Stitzel-Weller Distillery, these decanters were meant to be functional even after the bourbon was gone.

The tops of the bottles served as a jigger for pouring, but could also hold candles.

That is why these were known as the "Candlelight" decanters.

From the article, "Walter Landor: Portrait of a Pioneer" by Bernie Gallagher, July 2009:
In 1955, the owners of Stitzel-Weller Distillery wanted to market a Christmas decanter for their Old Fitzgerald bourbon. Walter required his team of designers to go beyond the basics and take the decanter concept in new directions. The final design, called Candlelight, was selected from among 50 possibilities.

The Candlelight decanter achieved popularity not only because of its contemporary look but also for its innovative utility. The packaging allowed the gift decanter to function as a candleholder—one of its many “after-uses” in the home.[24] In Minneapolis, it was reported that women bought additional decanters to make candleholder sets, thus augmenting Old Fitzgerald’s sales.[25]

[24] “New Decanter Shown For Old Fitzgerald,” Advertising Requirements (December 1955), reprint from the Landor Archive Project, Landor Design Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
[25] “Dealers on Decanters,” Tide (28 January 1955), reprint from the Landor Archive Project, Landor Design Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.

More Images

1955 Holiday Ad
1956 Holiday Ad
The design group, Walter Landor & Associates, was headed by Walter Landor. You may not know his name, but if you have ever been involved in any kind of consumer research testing, Mr. Landor was the pioneer of that.

About Walter Landor

From -
Walter Landor (9 July 1913 – 9 June 1995), born Walter Landauer in 1913 in Munich, Germany, was a brand design legend and the founder of Landor Associates. He was an acclaimed designer and a pioneer of branding and consumer research techniques widely used to this day. Landor Associates, the company he founded in 1941, has offices around the world and enjoys a significant reputation for rigorous strategic thinking coupled with groundbreaking creativity.

"Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind," Walter Landor memorably stated. He had a particular gift for creating designs with broad popular appeal, such as the Coca-Cola script. Brands as diverse as General Electric, Japan Airlines, Levi Strauss, and Shell Oil all benefited from his vision and commitment.

In 1994 the Smithsonian Institution honored Walter Landor by establishing a permanent collection of his designs and packaging.

From -
In 1994, a year before his death, the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History assembled The Walter Landor Collections of Design Records and Packaging to document and permanently house the legacy of Landor's contributions to American design history in the 20th century.

1 comment:

  1. So glad to see these are still around. And being appreciated.