Arrowhead Spring Water

Arrowhead Spring Water

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In 1939, Walter Landor arrived in the United States to help install the British training pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. At twenty-six years old, Landor had left his home in Germany to study art and design in Britain, where he became the youngest Fellow of the Royal Society of Industrial Artists. With whispers of war circulating around Europe, Landor decided to stay in the United States and travelled to the West Coast in search of design work. In 1941, Landor and his new wife Josephine Martinelli founded Walter Landor and Associates (today Landor) in their San Francisco apartment. The company specialized in packaging and label design for a number of iconic brands ranging from Marlboro cigarettes to Aunt Jemima to Sara Lee. As the company expanded, Landor’s base of operations moved from his home through several locations until it settled in 1962 on the Klamath, a docked ferryboat in the San Francisco Bay that would become an iconic part of Landor’s own brand.
This 1954 Arrowhead glass bottle symbolizes a shift in water distribution and consumption. Arrowhead and Puritas Waters, Inc., a southern California company founded in 1894, bottles and distributes water from the San Bernardino Mountains outside of Los Angeles. In the early 1900s, Arrowhead became popular for providing water to areas where municipal supplies had tainted water sources with chlorine, salt, and unwanted minerals. As the company built its reputation for five-gallon and 13-gallon containers of clean water for California businesses, management turned towards new groups of consumers in homes and restaurants. With Arrowhead’s shift towards individual consumers, the company hired Walter Landor and Associates to design a convenient and appealing household product. This bottle, designed to rest on its side while pouring, matched the elegance of competitive brands, but its “no-deposit, no-return” policy eliminated the need to return the glass bottles to the store after use. The bottle’s bold red label across the neck also identified it as the Arrowhead brand. The US Department Commerce also recognized the product design and selected it as “one of the outstanding packages in glass in the United States” and exhibited it in trade fairs across Europe.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Water Bottle
Owens-Illinois Glass Company
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
Duraglas (overall production method/technique)
paper (label material)
metal (bottle top material)
overall: 28 cm x 10 cm x 16.5 cm; 11 in x 3 15/16 in x 6 1/2 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Bequest of Walter and Josephine Landor
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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