Automatic Kettle
Domestic

Russell Hobbs 1955

Bill Russell and Peter Hobbs
Bill Russell and Peter Hobbs



William (Bill) Russell (1920-2006) and Peter Hobbs (1916 - 2008) produced the first automatic electric kettle in 1955.


Hobbs had gone into business with Russell in 1952, designing and manufacturing a coffee percolator that - for the first time - kept coffee hot, and also producing an automatic tea-maker to rival the Goblin Teasmade.

The K1

K1
K1

Their first automatic electric kettle, the vapour-controlled K1, appeared in 1955 and was superseded by the more elegant K2, a modestly curvaceous design originally produced in spun copper and polished chrome.

1955


Before this kettle was introduced in 1955, boiling water by electricity could be a hazardous affair. Not only did some early electric kettles boil the water by making it live, if the kettle was not switched off in time, it could boil dry, which at best would wreck the kettle, and at worst could cause a fire.
 

1960 K2
K2
K2

Later on, manufacturers introduced a variety of fail-safe methods to prevent this from happening. some kettles had replaceable fuses, whilst others had spring-loaded ejectors.


K2a
K2a

At the rear of the appliance was a bimetallic strip, and when water boiled, steam was forced through an aperture in the lid to the strip, which knocked the switch off. It was simple but ingenious. Even today examples of the K1 and K2 can be found in regular domestic use, proving it not only to be a highly popular design, but a most durable one as well.

Working combination
Inventor
Inventor Peter Hobbs
Peter Hobbs
Born3 May 1916
Wells Kent
Died11 April 2008 | Age 91

Peter Wallace Hobbs was born on May 3 1916 at Langton Green, near Tunbridge Wells Kent, England, and educated at the Skinners' school, where he was keen on drama. Working from a rundown factory at Croydon, Russell took charge of developing new products while Hobbs concentrated on sales.
The emblem of Rule Britannia
In History
  • 18 February 1871.
    On this day 148 years ago Harry Brearley was born
  • 06 February 1804.
    This month 215 years ago the world lost Joseph Priestley
  • 10 February 1912.
    This month 107 years ago the world lost Joseph Lister
  • CT Scan. 100 years ago 28 August 1919 Godfrey Hounsfield was born
  • 16 February 1834.
    This month 185 years ago the world lost Lionel Lukin
  • 05 February 1790.
    This month 229 years ago the world lost William Cullen
  • 21 February 1741.
    This month 277 years ago the world lost Jethro Tull
  • 19 February 1927.
    This month 91 years ago the world lost Herbert Akroyd Stuart
  • 08 February 2017.
    This month 2 years ago the world lost Peter Mansfield
  • 17 February 2011.
    This month 8 years ago the world lost Ron Hickman
  • 14 February 1779.
    This month 240 years ago the world lost Captain Cook
  • 26 February 1884.
    This month 134 years ago the world lost Alexander Wood
  • 23 February 1965.
    This month 53 years ago the world lost Stan Laurel
Who Invented?
Who Discovered?
Who Created?
The History of..

TAGS:Inventor, Automatic, Kettle, hobbs, 1955, russell, peter, could, water, electric, first, 1916