On 14th February 1905 George James Gray, of 151 Capstone Road, Bournemouth, applied for a patent for an “Automatic Electric Early Morning Waiter”. The specification described the application as “Improvements in Means for Heating Water to be used in conjunction with a Time Alarm. This would appear to be the first all-electric teesmade.
The invention consisted of an electric kettle which could be switched on by a time clock. The tea was made in a single cup, rather than a teapot or kettle. On boiling, the water was forced into the cup, which when heavy enough operated a balance connected to a switch. The electricity was removed from the kettle and transferred to an alarm. The patent was accepted on Feb 8th 1906. The patent, number GB190503047, reads:
In a method of heating water, which may be used in conjunction with a time-alarm, the circuit of a magnet A, Fig 1, is closed by a time-switch or otherwise, thereby closing contacts 2, c, Fig 2, of a two-way switch and completing the circuit of an electric kettle. When the water boils, it is forced into a cup A, Fig 3, on one arm of a balance so that when the cup is full the balance rocks, breaking the contact 2 and closing the contact 1, which cuts off current from the magnet A and transfers it to the magnet B. The switch contacts 2, c in the heating-current circuit are thus separated, and an alarm-bell circuit is closed by the contacts 1, b.