Cross an alarm clock with a tea maker and you end up with a teasmade, a device that’s also referred to as a teawaker. These gadgets are relatively rare in many parts of the world, but teawakers have long had a considerable following in the United Kingdom. The device is so common there that it was recognized as part of the ICONS project, which features items that helped make England what it is today.
One of the first people to make a teawaker was Samuel Rowbottom, who received a patent in 1892 for a contraption called an Automatic Tea Making Apparatus. It was powered by gas and an alarm clock served as the timer function. About ten years later, a gunsmith named Frank Clarke came up with a gadget that was later known as “A Clock That Makes Tea!”.
About thirty years later George Absolom devised a gadget he called the Teesmade. Not long after that a company named Goblin rolled out the teawaker that became synonymous with such machinery – the Teasmade. They soon became quite popular in the United Kingdom and may have been a fixture in as many as two million homes at the peak of their popularity. During the 1960s as many as 300,000 Teasmades were said to be sold there annually.
Over time teawakers became less popular and the companies that made them began to dwindle. Nowadays, thanks to renewed interest in these unusual gadgets, there are companies that are turning out teawakers again. Among them are Swan Products Ltd., who make a rather slick looking version of the teasmade.
For just about anything you might want to know about teawakers, be sure to navigate to Teasmade.com, where they provide extensive info on what’s been called “the greatest advancement in civilisation since the aqueduct”. Wow. If you can’t find out what you want to know about teawakers here then you’re probably out of luck.
Don’t forget to check out William’s blog, Tea Guy Speaks.