The Victor Mug: The Social Life of Things:

More than a drink, coffee is a ritual. Sleepy-eyed in the early morning quiet . . . we follow a familiar and comforting routine.  After a few minutes, the coffee  is ready and hot. Grab your mug. . . . your favorite mug, the mug, the ritual mug. The vessel for the ritual of waking to a new day.

More important than the brew is the vessel. I didn’t understand the importance of this until I spent time in France. There is no better coffee to be found; but, I needed a mug for coffee that I made in my apartment. Not pretty. Not porcelain. Not delicate. Not small. A real mug.

I searched for a mug with the proper weight, ample size and simple. It took days to find a mug that was adequate. I settled for a mug from England that was very close. Handsome it was . . . over time, I learned to appreciate this mug. But, I was disappointed when it did not survive the journey home.

I was not the first to need a mug that could make a long journey. The armed services especially the Navy looked for mug that would “work” on a ship. The necessary characteristics were heft and stability – Victor produced the mug needed by the Navy. The porcelain produced by the Victor Insulator Company in New York was used to ground electrical wires. Heavy duty thick ironstone that also keeps coffee warm for a bit longer.

Coffee is a habit loved by men and women in all walks of life. Indeed, for many of us, it is a  struggle to go through the morning without coffee. Especially for a soldier who is far from home. During the Civil War, one young man wrote,  “We are reduced to quarter rations and no coffee,” he continued. “And nobody can soldier without coffee.” NPR 

http://beetlebailey.com/comics/november-12-2007/

I have read stories about men in World War II giving their mugs to those who asked. They were in demand. Hopper painted a diner scene with the familiar white mug. In the cartoon, Beetle Bailey, there is the white mug. And I have seen the Victor mug in quite a few old films. Stay tuned to see a few of our Victor Mugs in the new film, Midway.  Certainly a film about a critical Navy battle would not be complete without a Victor Mug!

We have sent Victor Mugs to buyers all over the world. This morning a Victor Mug was sent to North Carolina and Germany. We have mailed them to Saudi Arabia and Istanbul. Hong Kong and Australia. We have even sent them to sailors on Navy vessels in the Pacific.

 

The Victor Mug

 

Some days, I have the crazy idea that peace in the world is possible. If only we could sit with a cup of coffee in a Victor Mug and talk. There is a spirit in the thing itself . . .

Notice the dings on the bottom rim; but yet, the mug did not break. It survived to see another coffee break!

You can see our Victor Mugs – some with green lines – in our Etsy Shop.

 

 

 

More to Explore:

http://victormug.com/index.html

http://www.thepirateslair.com/4-enlisted-mess-white-mug-handle.html

http://www.arjunappadurai.org/articles/Appadurai_The_Thing_Itself.pdf

Written by Putnam & Speedwell

Historian. Collector. Curator.