The History of Kettles

In ancient China, soldiers and travelers used to boil water. They came to know that by boiling water to a certain temperature, impurities in it get removed. To give the boiling water an added flavor they started using green tea leaves which finally lead to the formation of tea.

At the same time, in Europe, warriors and nomads also boiled water to make it potable but the only difference was that they placed barley and wheat grain in their water to get that extra flavor, thereby fermenting these components to what we today know as malt beer.

In the regions of North America, cowboys normally use tea kettles during their cattle runs for making their coffee. So it was necessary to make the kettles sturdy and strong for the long haul. Most of the time, tea kettles were made from copper, a material which conducted heat efficiently and quickly.

In China, porcelain was used to make tea kettles which attracted the eastern part of the world. These tea cups and tea pots were artfully created in such a way that they were traded in huge quantities. For a tea lover, nothing brings more pleasure than the whistling sound of a tea kettle. It provides a signal that a hot cup containing tea is close at hand.

Mesopotamian Vessels

In Mesopotamia, a vessel was made from bronze identical to our modern kettles with respect to shape and they also had decorated sprouts. These were made from 3500 to 2000 BC.

The Earliest Kettles

The early kettles were made from iron and were placed directly on the flame. Copper wouldn’t become common until the 19th century.


The Electric Kettle

Aroma Electric KettleThe Carpenter Electric Company developed the very first electric kettle in the year 1891 in the United States. It took almost twelve minutes to boil the water as the elements were placed in separate chambers.

The Swan Company, in the year 1922, created one kettle in which an element was sealed into a metal tube & was placed into the water chamber directly. This was quite different from the electric kettles produced earlier, ones which tended to boil at a very slow rate. This design immediately attracted the majority of the companies in this field.

Automatic Devices

Russell Hobbs developed the first kettle which was fully automatic in the year 1956, which brought the teapot into the modern era. While it’s very uncommon to find a kettle that doesn’t operate in automatic mode nowadays, back then it was sort of revolutionary. However, with this innovation also came the practice of producing plastic kettles, a trend which continues to this day.

Whistling Kettles

Micheal Gray Kettle PictureThough plastic kettles are one of the most recent types of kettles available on the market today, whistling kettles are even more popular nowadays than they ever have been. That’s probably due to their heat-resistant handles and lightweight, not to mention they look very shiny and sleek as well. 🙂