Vintage teasmade

Goblin teasmade, 1972

As part of our renewed appreciation of all things 70s, the teasmade is back in fashion. After years in the naff cupboard, John and Norma Major owned one, it is now hip to own a teasmade.

The teasmade was a luxury item in the 70s household. Although primitive devices for automatically making tea were available since Victorian times and leading manufacturer Goblin made teasmades since the thirties, they were never considered essentials.

Most teasmades (sometimes incorrectly spelled 'teasmaid') comprised a teapot, kettle and clock. To prepare the teasmade ready for use tea, or teabags, fashionable in the 70s, were added to the pot and water into the kettle and then the alarm was set for the time you wanted to wake up to enjoy your freshly made pot of tea. About ten minutes before the alarm went off, the kettle boiled the water, which bubbled through a spout into the teapot. If you forgot to put the spout into the teapot some 70s models poured boiling water on to whatever the teasmade was stood on. Once the tea was brewed, the alarm sounded to wake you up, if the mechanism had not already woken you.

In 1971 there were only three manufacturers of teamade: Goblin, Ecko and Russell Hobbs. The Goblin model shown here cost £27.18 [265 in today's money]. It is no wonder that the teasmade was a luxury.

Goblin teasmade, 1976

This model, left, is from 1976. It shows that the teamade was sufficiently popular for a style update for the mid seventies.

Like the hostess trolley and fondue set, the teasmade was a popular item on a 70s wedding list. Now is the time to wake up the 70s and rediscover the teasmade.

More on teasmades

See for a comprehensive site about the history of the teasmade and photographs of numerous models of the Goblin teamsade - enjoy.

See also teasmades at the Science Museum and The teasmade is making a come back on the Daily Mail's site.

Your comments on the teasmade

"My Gran had one of these in the 1980s. To prevent hot water from pouring out the water wouldn't boil unless the teapot was sitting on a pressure switch. We found that out when my Gran was testing it out once & wondered why it didn't work." Richard Davies

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Phil Woolf
Bluebottle: You should get one of them tings my Grandad's got. Eccles: Oooohhh. Bluebottle: His firm give it to him when he retired. Eccles: Oooohhh. Bluebottle: It's one of dem tings what it is that wakes you up at eight o'clock, boils the kettil, and pours a cuppa tea. Eccles: Ohhh yeah. What's it called? Um. Bluebottle: My Granma.


Retrowow - vintage, retro and social history

Mid Century ★ Facts & Figures ★ Collectibles

Retrowow - vintage, retro and social history

★ Mid Century ★ Facts & Figures ★ Collectibles ★