The Stanley brand has been in the business a long time. For real. Over a hundred years, to be exact. It was 1913 when William Stanley invented the all-steel, double-wall vacuum bottle and stuck his name on it. Rumor has it, that he wanted his coffee hot all day while he was working, and was inspired to apply some of his theories learned while developing transformers. As it turns out, necessity really is the mother of invention. Since then, the Stanley name has become synonymous for ultra-durable, super reliable products made with an eye for sleek design and real life uses. Generations of people have come to rely on their Stanley bottles, mugs, lunchboxes, cook sets, flasks, growlers, coolers, and more every single day, knowing that they’ll keep their food and drink at temperature longer, all while standing up to life’s wear and tear.
Today, Stanley’s Built For Life™ promise means means that your grandad’s thermos that supported pilots in World War II could very well get set beside that brand spankin’ new Classic Vacuum Insulated Bottle you picked up for your weekend camping trip. At first glance, you might be hard-pressed to notice a difference: Same tough construction, same classic look, same Stanley hammertone green finish, although once you pick them up, you’ll be able to tell which is which.
So when you’ve been the gold standard for “Unbreakable” for literally generations, one question keeps coming up from our customers who have seen the way Stanley bottles seem to last and last: What’s changed over the years?
The answer? Everything and nothing.
To start out, you have to understand what makes a Stanley a Stanley. When William Stanley invented double-wall steel vacuum insulation all the way back in the Teeming Teens, he set the fundamental groundwork for the technology that would define the company’s reputation for unparalleled performance.
At the time vacuum insulated bottles were lined with glass, and they did a fine job keeping coffee hot. That is until one of those suckers got damaged.” Glass in your cup of Joe may ruin your day, but in 1913, the equivalent of having to fork out $150-$200 for a new bottle could ruin your entire month or more.
This is where Stanley really came to save the day — with value and durability. One of Stanley’s key innovations was Char-Vac™, where charcoal dust was packed between two stainless steel walls while the vacuum insulation was created. This method made the bottles tougher and more resilient, albeit heavier and bulkier. Stanleys from the time of Char-Vac™ were much coveted and are still in use to this day, with some Stanley fanatics still obsessed with the decades old bottles they bought as teenagers.
Stanley discontinued use of Char-Vac™ in 2009, opting instead to thicken the outer steel wall. This resulted in a bottle that was significantly lighter weight and built to the same industry- leading specs. But if we’re keeping it real, then we have to say that the old bottles were built to handle some damn good abuse. A level of tough that our newer Classic Series bottles can’t always compete with. This is why we introduced the Master Series in 2017. It’s designed for the people who need the over-the-top durability of the previous Char-Vac™ model and, the new Quad-Vac™ technology means it’ll keep your drinks hot for a week.
Other innovations were implemented over the years as we constantly tweaked our formula. Bottle necks were widened for easier filling and cleaning. We switched up the kind of stainless steel we use to make our bottles far more resistant to corrosion. We found ways to reduce body welds, reduce the number of potential fail points.
Old Vs. New: Which Bottle Is Better?
All of these little changes were and are part of the same obsessive hunt for perfection we’ve had from the beginning. William Stanley invented something amazing all the way back in 1913- and we’ve continued to improve on what made our bottles great to begin with, thermal insulation and unprecedented durability.The new Quad-Vac™ technology used in the Master Series collection is unrivaled in a marketplace of look-a-likes.
The conversation of which bottle is better - the new Stanley bottle or the old Stanley bottle - is always coming up. The truth: neither is better than the other, because they’re both Stanleys. The new bottles are part of a constant evolution, of never being satisfied. Like every great inventor the pursuit of perfection never stops. The Stanley name is more than a single product or process, it’s a promise to the people who have come to rely on us for years: we make bottles that last a lifetime. That’s why, whether it's a Stanley you bought in 1965 or one you picked up just yesterday, we will always honor our lifetime warranty to make sure that every product is as reliable and durable as the day you bought it.
Have you had a life changing experience with your trusty Stanley bottle? Tag #Stanleyness to share your Stanley story!