Copper bowl, about 1950

Julia Child whisked eggs for an omelet in this French copper bowl on the first test episode of The French Chef in 1963. Julia acquired it, as she did much of her copperware, from Dehillerin, a French kitchenware store in the old market at Les Halles. Julia, as The French Chef, created a run on copper bowls, omelet pans, and whisks that had not been commonly available in stores in the United States. That demand has never ceased, and has been extended to the many tools, utensils, and appliances that Julia introduced and championed, as well as to many others that have filled out the American batterie de cuisine.
Copper bowls, unlike their stove-bound relatives, are unlined, and it is the somewhat scientifically demonstrated belief of chefs who use them that the interaction of air with agitation on copper produces fluffier and airier eggs than any other cooking material. With their legendary ability to conduct heat evenly, the copper pots, most tin-lined (and re-lined over and again), reflect cooking methods typical for the French food Julia taught America to appreciate. Modern copper pots are typically lined with stainless steel, and many may have a copper-over-aluminum bottom to further create an even heat.
Object Name
date made
ca 1940-1990
Child, Julia
E. Dehillerin
Physical Description
copper (overall material)
cast iron (overall material)
overall: 14.5 cm x 27.7 cm; 5 23/32 in x 10 29/32 in
overall: lip on rim: 2.5 cm; 31/32 in
place made
France: Île-de-France, Paris
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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