The Teasmade could only have been British! Goblin started manufacturing them in 1933, and brought out a radio alarm clock in 1947, but took another 30 years after that to combine the two!

Related link: Teasmade Home Page

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The Goblin Teasmade is a true cult appliance! Many people regard them as a bit of a joke, and it has to be said that there is something peculiarly British about an alarm clock that wakes you up with a cup of tea...

The first ever Teasmade, a Heath Robinsonish affair using a spring loaded match(!) and a spirit lamp was invented in 1902, by a Frank Clarke, who was, of all things, a gunsmith. But it was not until 1932 that Goblin produced their prototype electric Teasmade. The Goblin company had been founded by Hubert Booth, the inventor of the vacuum cleaner, in 1901, under the name of The British Vacuum Cleaner Company. The company later adopted Goblin as a less wordy brand name, although it was still to all extents and purposes known as B.V.C.

Teasmades entered production in 1933 with the D21, a distinctly art deco machine made out of wood. It proved popular, and after world war two, was replaced by the similarly deco-styled D25, although this model was produced in urea plastic. The Teasmade sold well,although it cost more than an alram clock and kettle together, but as the 1970s dawned, the humble teasmade was started to be looked upon as an anachronistic contraption for middle aged couples.

The final Teasmade goblin introduced was the mid-70s 870, illustrated on this page. This was significant in that it was the first radio Teasmade, as all previous models had a rather irritating buzzer. Unfortunately, the high retail price and the unfavourable image of the Teasmade led to Goblin being split up and sold off in 1983 to Swan BSR. Swan continued making Teasmades, but was sold to the Littlewoods group in 2001, which might spell an end to this great appliance.

Nowadays, vintage Teasmades have been known to command rather high prices, but as a veteran of several models, I have to say that the 870 is the best of the lot. This is for the simple reason that the radio is a lot more pleasant to wake up to than the buzzer of all the other models, and these later machines boil a lot more quietly as well-the cacaphony of the kettle mechanism of earlier models usually wakes you up long before the buzzer does!

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