Summary

Dome-shaped, non-ferrous electric kettle produced by Hecla Electrics Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Australia around 1925. Made primarily from copper this kettle features a black bakelite handle and brass lid. Hecla designed it to accept 240 volt AC.

Physical Description

Non-ferrous dome shaped kettle with slightly curved spout pointing upwards and the glossy shine is gone. The removable brass lid has a raised opening for steam release and a brass handle. The pouring handle is black bakelite and sits high above the kettle fixed to brass supports. Designed to accept standard flat 2-pin 240 V AC electric power cord. There is a brass label with the Hecla volcano logo attached to the kettle near the base to the left of the spout. There are three small round wooden feet attached to the base of the kettle where there is also a small, white, square sticker with hand writting on it.

Significance

Hecla Electrics Pty Ltd were a significant Melbourne manufacturing company, who became a household name in the 1920s making small electric appliances such as heaters and kettles. They also made a variety of other electrical appliances for domestic, commercial and military use. The company manufactured electric appliances in Melbourne from about 1922 until the 1980s, although Clarence Marriott, who formed the company, had begun making radiators with his father James in 1899. The company had a reputation for quality products. The company also played an important role within the Australian domestic and commercial appliance industry, both as a leading innovator and through its role in training skilled staff, many of whom went on to work for competitors such as Kambrook, Electrolux and Sunbeam.

This electric coffee percolator represents the typical small domestic appliance that the Hecla company was famous for. Along with other items in the Hecla Collection, it highlights the diversity of electric appliances that the company made. This object also highlights the legacy of high quality design and metal construction work that Clarence and James established for the company, stemming from their early work as talented art metal workers. It also represents the first major period of the take-up of electricity use in the home. This take-up began in the 1920s and 1930s with the use of small appliances, and by the 1950s electricity had become commonplace in the home, and large appliances such as refrigerators and stoves became standard.

More Information

  • Collection Names

    Hecla Collection

  • Collecting Areas

    Home & Community

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation from Mr Phil Wollen, 22 October 2004

  • Manufacturer (Probable)

    Hecla Co, Victoria, Australia, 1925
    Hecla advertising suggests this was made about 1925 but as the advertising archive is not complete it could have been made earlier or later.

  • Inscriptions

    Metal label with Hecla volcano logo: "HECLA" KETTLE / PAT. No. 4874 / VOLTS 200 / WATTS 600 / MANUF. BY / HECLA ELECTRICS PTY. LTD. MELB. / SERIAL NO. K6414 White sticker on base of kettle in hand writting in pen: 24 / $28 [28 has 2 pen lines through it]

  • Brand Names

    Hecla (Electric Kettles)

  • Classification

    Domestic life, Food & drink preparation, Appliances - water heating

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline

    Technology

  • Type of item

    Object

  • Overall Dimensions

    26 cm (Length), 18 cm (Width), 22 cm (Height)
    Kettle body including spout and handle protrusions.

  • Overall Dimensions

    7.5 cm (Length), 7.5 cm (Width), 3.6 cm (Height)
    Lid with handle.

  • Maximum dimensions

    247 mm (Length), 170 mm (Width), 220 mm (Height)
    Measurement From Conservation.

  • References

    Collection includes a significant amount of archival material.