1893 James Greenhalgh’s Gas Tea Maker

On 17th August 1893 two men from Salford, Lancaster, patented a gas-powered teasmade. James Alfred Greenhalgh and his neighbour, John Thomas Hardman, a clerk who lived at 8 Granville Street. They appear to have been in business together in Regent Road. In their Patent application they wrote:

“The object of this invention is primarily to enable a person who requires to attend work or other business, at any early hour in the morning to have a cup of tea or the like prepared without attendance and ready for consumption previous to departure, but the same apparatus may be employed for domestic purposes at other times.”

Barry Wilkinson, Editor of Historic Gas Times, from Wetherby, West Yorkshire writes:

“James Alfred Greenhalgh, a 26-year-old gas inspector from Salford, took out patent No 15,604 in 1893 for a gas-fired clock-teamaker. He described the device, which resembled a large carriage clock, as “an improved means of boiling water and obtaining an infusion of tea or other beverage at any pre-arranged time without the aid of attendant”. The gas valve was opened by a mechanical link to the integral alarm clock. Greenhalgh appears to have had a sponsor, since he could not afford the fee for the patent application. But, sadly, the market was not ready for the device and he did not prosper from his invention. However, they were made at the rate of one a week and given away as prizes in a draw at Howarth’s Mill in Salford.”

1893 James Greenhalgh Gas Teasmade GB-189315604A
1893 James Greenhalgh Gas Teasmade GB-189315604A