The History of the Kettle

Apart from my oats in the morning, the thing I am most looking forward to is my first cup of tea. My brew of choice is Yorkshire English Breakfast Strong. I am very lucky that I live in an age where there is electricity at a flick of a switch. When my family would visit my nana in New Zealand, I remember that she had a stovetop kettle – I used to hate that it took so much longer to boil. Now those few extra moments that it would take to boil on the stove, I knew that the cup of tea would be worth the wait. At a later stage I will do a post on the history of tea, but today lets talk on the history of kettle.

Just so we understand how did we end up here, the oldest known kettle came from Mesopotamia and dates back to around 3500 and 2000 BC.

The reason for boiling water in the first place was to make it clean to drink it general, as there were many impurities and was a breeding ground for disease.

The first kettles were cast iron and copper. Silver kettles became part of England during the 1700s. It was up until than that the kettle was placed above the flame. This is the practice continued until the 19th century, it was than that the way people got hot water for their drinks changed forever.

Carpenter Electric Company of Chicago introduced its first electric kettle in 1891. It had a heating resistor in a separate compartment underwater. The same year, a British inventor, R.E.B. Crompton of Crompton and Company in the United Kingdom, has developed a concept of heat radiator for the electric kettle. When the electric Carpenter company exposed its electric kettle at the Chicago World Fair in 1893, the company incorporated Crompton’s thermal radiator concept.

Electric Kettle Guide

The heating element wasn’t intergraded with the kettle by the company Swan, which included the heating element. The heating element was enclosed in a metal tube, this in turn was inside the water chamber.


Source: K2 Kettle

The first electric kettle was invented by, Russell Hobbs in October 1955. This is a company created by William Russell (1920-2006) and Peter Hobbs (1916-2008). The invention of this kettle marked a distinct difference from the ones prior to it. If you were to use the ones before than the water could evaporate completely if unattended or cause an electric shock.

Since than – the design of the kettle has remained pretty universal.

It is only in the invention of WiFi – that the kettle has become another smart device.

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