1930 Ron Grumble Early Morning Waiter

In 1930 Ronald George Grumble, an instrument maker and inventor from Eltham, Kent, made a highly desirable automatic teasmade, the ‘Early Morning Waiter’, using both gas and electricity. His machine comprises a wooden plinth on which the entire apparatus was mounted, with a separate combined clock and time switch. A cylindrical brass vessel was filled with water. The vessel sat on top of a gas burner fitted with a pilot jet which was lit the night before. At a preset time the electric alarm clock triggered a solenoid in a glass box which opened a gas valve to heat the water. Gas was supplied to the ring, where it was immediately lit by the pilot light. When the water boiled, steam pressure forced it through a spout to a Crown Derby teapot sitting on a counterbalanced arm. When the pot was full its weight sank the arm, cutting off the gas and operating a switch to ring an electric bell hidden under the baseboard. This luxury device never went into production.

Ron Grumble Early Morning Waiter 1930
Ron Grumble’s Gas Heated Early Morning Waiter c.1930, presented to the National Science Museum by his sister-in-law, Mrs Daisy Grumble, nee Manthey, in 1969, on display in the ‘Secret Life of the Home’ Exhibition.