Historical information

Electric kettles were invented by the English to speed up tea preparation. In Australia fancy ceramic electric jugs quickly became a status symbol. During the Great Depression era anyone who could offer you a cuppa from a beautiful Electric Kookaburra Jug was considered to be doing well. Made by Nilsen Porcelain Australia in the 193Os, these kettles were unique for their charming art deco bird shape. Nilsen Electric Kookaburra Jugs are now regarded as a classic Australian icon prized by collectors.
Oliver John Nilsen was born in Collingwood, Victoria in 1894. In 1916 he began his own electrical business, Oliver J. Nilsen & Co. (later Oliver J. Nilsen (Australia) Ltd). Nilsen's manufactured goods included such diverse products as transformers, bearings, battery chargers, bells, buzzers and gongs, porcelain ware, fuses, insulators and neon signs. Nilsen Porcelain Australia was a smaller company within the Nilsen group.
Nilsen still operates as an electro-technology company operating throughout Australia


This jug is an excellent example of art deco ceramic appliances of the 1930s to 1950s on both a local and national level. It is also representative of products developed by a major Australian manufacturer.

Physical description

Earthernware ceramic jug, moulded in art deco style to represent an Australian kookaburra.