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Model CP1

the world’s first automatic coffeepot London,

A white coffee pot resting on a black base. It has a clear glass lid and a pattern of leaves and pink flowers on its side.
The first type of automatic electric coffee percolator, the model CP1 by Russell Hobbs, 1952. Science Museum.

When William Russell (1920-2006) and Peter Hobbs (1916-2008) came together to form Russell Hobbs they created a series of innovative appliances for the home.

One of the most significant was the world’s first automatic coffeepot, which they invented in 1952. Called the CP1, the percolator regulated the strength of the coffee according to taste and had a green warning light and bimetallic strip that automatically cut out when the coffee was ready.

Bimetallic strips are formed of two strips of metal, with different properties, joined together. This causes the strip to bend when heated, and cut off the power.

Perhaps more notable for the tea-drinking British public was the release a few years later of the K1-style kettle. Before the K1, kettles tended to boil dry if left unattended, but using the same bimetallic strip meant the current cut out once the water had boiled. Both the automatic coffeepot and kettle found their way into homes and offices around the world.

Science Museum

Decade
Type
Engineering,
Region
London
Location
Russell Hobbs, Croydon, Surrey
Key Individuals
Bill Russell, Peter Hobbs,