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The Electric Tea Kettle

Updated on August 24, 2015

The Electric Tea Kettle

Behind every product, there is a story. This is even true of the humble electric tea kettle. It has evolved to meet the demands of the times.


In the past, preparing a cup of tea, hot chocolate or coffee, required placing a pot or steam kettle on the stove. As time passed, inventors came up with faster and more modern ways to boil water. In 1892, the Carpenter Electric Company of Chicago exhibited a type of electric tea kettle at the Crystal Palace in 1892. It featured the R.E. B. Crompton heat-radiator – a device that sat in a separate compartment to heat the water. It was the start of a warm friendship between people, their tea and the electric tea kettle.

The early years of the 20th century saw further development of electric hot water kettle technology. Each company developed their own version of the electric tea pot. G. Binswanger and Company (later General Electric), produced an ordinary teakettle attached to a hot plate. Some of these early electric hot water kettle proto-types resembled old-fashioned stovetop tea kettles; others looked like large water jugs.

The early 1900s also saw experimentation with materials and various safety devices. Premier came out with their best electric kettles, cast-aluminum electric hot water kettle. Other manufacturers worked on providing protection from one of the basic problems - preventing electric tea kettles from boiling dry.

In 1922, the first electric tea kettle featuring a built-in heating element came out. It was the product of the Swan Company - the best electric kettle of its time. Yet, electric tea kettles still took second place to their stove top rivals. Electricity was expensive yet even during the Great Depression electric hot water kettle technology did make some progress, including the development of the re-set button.

Swan offered a fused safety ejector in many of their electric teakettles in 1935. Several manufacturers of these electric tea pots began to add durable and heat proof Bakelite handles and lids. This made handling electric tea kettles safer. It also added a stylish look to the utilitarian kitchen appliance. The Hawkins Supreme, a 1933 electric hot water kettle, boasted stylish a grey raffia-covered handle.

The War Years and Afterwards

In the prewar years, the electric tea kettle became available in different metals. During the Second World War, metal was in short supply. Consequently, electric tea kettles reverted to an older material – ceramics.

In the late 1940s and 1950s, the technology of the electric hot water kettle once again made advances in design, safety and content. The Russell Hobbs Company of England was at the forefront of the new electric kettle revolution, developing the first automatic electric tea kettle in 1956. It became the best electric tea kettle of its time, garnering attention in various electric tea kettle reviews.  By 1960, the Russell Hobbes electric kettle was the standard for all electric tea kettles in the UK. Meanwhile, GEC had developed in 1958 a lightweight electric hot water kettle with a tapered shape.  The Russell Hobbes electric kettle marked the start of a new era. In fact, the new Russell Hobbes electric kettle was to continue to have a major impact on the market.

Since 1970, the manufacturers of electric hot water kettles have discovered different ways to ensure safety. They began to experiment with new materials. Stainless steel electric kettles replaced the ceramic or metal kettles of the past. Safety devices made the new electric tea pots safer, faster, more energy efficient and more durable. With polymer handles stainless steel kettles became safer and easier to handle. Stainless steel electric tea kettles were also lighter.

Today, you can purchase a wide variety of electric tea pots, including the Russell Hobbs electric kettle. Hot water tea kettles come shaped like a jug or a tea pot. You can also purchase a hot water kettle, if not a stainless steel kettle, in the shapes of different animals. Cat whistling tea kettles seem to be popular among electric tea kettle reviews. Electric tea kettle reviews also concern themselves with the efficiency and safety of some of the newer stainless steel electric tea kettles. Some may refer to whistling tea kettles as a thing of the past. They write about the cordless tea kettle.

The cordless electric tea kettle has become popular. Reviewers consider the capacity, ease of pouring and efficiency of the cordless electric tea kettle. They admire the eco friendliness of certain models of the cordless tea kettle. They even write about the designs and styles of the cordless electric tea kettle. The cordless tea kettle draws comparisons with the stereotypical stainless kettle.

While the electric tea kettle reviews and their reviewers may argue about whether the cordless tea kettle is better than the stainless tea kettle or old fashioned whistling tea kettle, the answer is not unanimous. Some will always prefer a traditionally designed Russell Hobbes electric kettle over any modern electric kettle cordless model. There are others who will prefer the electric kettle cordless model to the simple stainless steel tea kettle. The arguments will continue with variations as the electric kettle continues to evolve, perhaps leaving the electric kettle cordless version behind as newer versions arrive.


The world of the electric tea kettle has expanded since its origins in the 19th century. You can still buy whistling tea kettles, yet there is also a soundless cordless tea kettle on the market.  There is a stainless steel electric kettle, a stainless tea kettle and durable plastic electric tea pots available. You can also buy a silver electric tea pot. You can even purchase a cordless electric tea pot for your home or business. While some of the shapes may remind you of the antique tea kettles, many designs and the safety features show how far this simple kitchen appliance has come. Just check out any of the electric tea kettle review online. It will help you decide on what is the best electric tea kettle for you. It may or may not be a Russell Hobbes electric kettle.

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      plumbing 6 years ago

      Of course you want your electric cordless kettle to stay as sanitary as possible and that just isn't going to happen if you choose one of those plastic kettles. It doesn't take long for these kettles to crack and then all that bacteria hides in all those little tiny cracks. Glass or stainless steel cordless kettle are much more sanitary and far easier to keep germ free.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for a very informative hub.