The Electric Kettle – a brief historical overview

The electric kettle was invented to quench the thirst of British tea drinkers sometime in the late nineteenth century. Although the invention of the electric kettle cannot be attributed to one single person, it is said that the first one was made by Compton and Co in 1891.

Over the years many versions came and went. Many were inefficient, slow and expensive to operate until 1922 when The Swan Company produced the first electric kettle with a built-in heating element.

During the 1930s, metal kettles with Bakelite handles and lids grew popular until metal became in short supply during World War II. For this reason, ceramic kettles began to grow in popularity.

Electric Kettle – Heritage and History at Russell Hobbs

Russell Hobbs founders Bill Russell and Peter Hobbs changed the industry with their groundbreaking vapour-controlled K1 design in 1955. This was the first automatic electric kettle to hit the shops and it quickly grew in popularity.

Prior to the K1 model, kettles were prone to boiling dry if left unattended, which was never the safest method of boiling water for households around Britain.

Over the subsequent years Russell Hobbs continued to lead the way in kettle manufacturing and in 1960 the iconic K2 kettle was born. This quickly became a hit and was the must have kitchen appliance during the 1960s and 1970s.

Celebrating 50 years of the K2 electric kettle

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the K2 kettle, Russell Hobbs is proud to launch the new Heritage collection. The heritage collection recaptures that classic and timeless feel of yesteryear with all the contemporary features we’ve come to expect in modern day Britain such as rapid boil function and a cordless rotating base.

The range features matching kettles and toasters in classic stainless steel, farmhouse red, traditional black and country cream.

Electric Kettle Innovations for the 21st Century

Over the years Russell Hobbs has been at the forefront of electric kettle technology with many firsts such as the first cordless kettle and the first base with 360-degree rotation. Now, yet again, it’s setting the standards with more modern innovations like touch control technology, instant boiling and variable temperature settings.

To find out more about these, take a look at our Glass Touch

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