Blog Article / Vollrath Corporate / Mural Story

The mystery of Vollrath's mammoth tea kettle


Jan 8, 2024


Vollrath Author

Join us for a journey through time as we uncover the remarkable tale of Vollrath's iconic landmark, the Mammoth Tea Kettle. The massive beacon that once stood at the Vollrath Company, beloved by the community, graced the land for close to 20 years. Perched on a twenty-five-foot tower, the tea kettle became a beacon of pride and intrigue, illuminated by spotlights at night.  

The giant wooden masterpiece was crafted by Sheboygan’s own Henry Williams from the Falls Machine Company. Overlaid with canvas and painted to mimic Vollrath's signature blue kitchenware, the Blue Label kettle was a whopping 2,256 gallons and deemed the “Largest Tea Kettle in the World”. 

In 1904, the kettle stood tall as a centerpiece in the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri alongside many other great innovations. The Exposition drew in twenty million spectators as the kettle claimed a blue ribbon and the Vollrath Company earned honors for “Excellence in the Production of Colored and Plain, Stamped Steel Enameled Wares”, but the fame didn’t end there. Post-fair, Vollrath's mammoth tea kettle became a local celebrity, making rounds by horse at parades across Sheboygan County and even taking center stage at the 1909 Sheboygan Centennial.  

With the relocation of Highway 23 in Sheboygan, WI, the kettle was taken down in the 1940s, but its legacy lives on. The current whereabouts of the Blue Label tea kettle are unknown. One rumor suggests it ended up in northern Wisconsin and was re-purposed as a chicken coop.

But there is no doubt the tea kettle left an indelible mark, becoming a cherished chapter in Sheboygan County's history. So, here's to the Blue Label tea kettle—more than just a vessel for hot beverages, but a symbol of innovation, community, and the quirky spirit that defined a bygone era. Cheers to steeping in history! 

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