Advertisement for a Bescol electric kettle, 1949.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The 2,000-watt Bescol 'Elephant' electric kettle could boil three pints of water in 4 3/4 minutes, the fastest known at the time, according to its makers, Bescol (Electric) Ltd in Birmingham. Its 'Thermostatically Controlled Protective Device' switched off the current as soon as the water dropped below a certain level, preventing the kettle from boiling dry. The 'Elephant' was for use with alternating current. This advertisement appeared in the 'Electric and Radio Trading' magazine, April 1949.