Electric kettle - an innovative element of Birmingham enterprise
The first electric kettle was actually developed in the United States, but the idea was perfected in Birmingham by the creation of an innovative way of placing the heating element in the water.
The Carpenter Electric Company developed the first electric kettle in the year 1891 in America. But it took almost twelve minutes to boil the water as the elements were placed in separate chambers.
In 1922, the Swan Company in Birmingham created a kettle in which an element was sealed into a metal tube and was placed into the water chamber. This was a huge improvement on earlier electric kettles, which all tended to boil at a very slow rate. This Birmingham design soon became the dominant one and was also adopted by Swan’s competitors.
Swan produced a whole range of products based around their "immersion element", including tea urns, kettles, steamers and coffee percolators. The Swan electrical brand continued until 1989, when new owners Moulinex dissolved it after nearly a hundred years of operation.
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