Whisk, ca 1950

From the moment when, in 1963, Julia Child whisked up an omelet on the pilot for her new cooking show, The French Chef, Americans wanted that whisk for their kitchens, just as they came to want any tool or utensil that Julia used. Certainly, egg beaters of all sorts were common in American kitchens, and they whipped up the heavy cream and egg whites (for meringues) as well as eggs. But they didn’t have the leverage offered by the European-style whisks that Julia introduced, and they were especially successful in getting air into those soufflés and omelets they were just learning how to cook.
Although whisks varied in sizes, from tiny to giant, people loved the gigantic balloon whisks Julia had used on television, almost like props, to dramatic and comic effect. Julia loved giant tools, the more outrageous the better. Audience remembered the lessons when Julia deployed her giant whisks, blowtorches, salad spinners, and they learned that some of these tools were actually useful. Still, they especially remembered Julia AND her whisk when next they went to the kitchen store, creating a whole new market for these useful tools. This whisk, a part of Julia’s batterie de cuisine, had served her well in her home kitchen and television kitchen, in some cases the very same space.
Object Name
Physical Description
stainless steel (overall material)
overall: 49 cm x 13 cm; 19 9/32 in x 5 1/8 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Occupations
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Food: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Julia Child
Additional Media

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