The TeaLarm teasmade was made in 1948 and feaures a Smiths Sectric clock. The case was quite tall,27.5 cm, and was made from a hard plastic reminiscent of bakelite. It had rather Art Deco styling. Brown and cream versions were available. The plinth behind the clock uses a rocking switch very much like the Hawkins Tecal. The light bulb is shaded with a mottled clear plastic cover.
Dun and Bradstreet confirms that Concentric Manufacturing Co of Birmingham was incorporated in 1946. However this was a reconstruction of an earlier company, as the London Gazette records:
CONCENTRIC MANUFACTURING CO Limited. At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the above named Company, duly convened, and held at the registered office in Priory Road, Aston, Birmingham, on the 25th day of January 1946, the
following Special Resolution was duly passed:— “That the Company be wound up voluntarily, and that Mr Sidney Howard Hossell, of 21 Bennett’s Hill, Birmingham 2, Chartered Accountant, be and he is hereby appointed Liquidator for the purposes of such winding-up. (090) E. S. COCKRELL, Chairman.
and the following year:
In the Matter of CONCENTRIC MANUFACTURING CO Limited, and in the Matter of the Companies Act, 1929. (Members’ Voluntary Winding-up.) NOTICE is hereby given, in pursuance of section 236 of the Companies Act, 1929, that a General Meeting of the Members of the above named Company will be held at 21 Bennett’s Hill, Birmingham, on Monday the 20th day of October, 1947, at 12 noon precisely, for the purpose of having an account laid before them and to receive the Liquidator’s report showing how the winding-up of the Company has been conducted and the property of the Company disposed of, and of hearing any explanation that may be given by the Liquidator, and also of determining by Extraordinary Resolution the manner in which the books, accounts and documents of the Company, and of the Liquidator thereof, shall be disposed of. Dated this 12th day of September, 1947. SIDNEY H. HOSSELL, Liquidator. NOTE – This notice relates to the old Company of this name which is being wound up for the purposes
of reconstruction. (166)
The Tealarms carry the legend “Patent Pending” but I have not yet traced an application. On their other patent applications the inventor is generally listed as Harold Burke, so he may have had a hand in the invention of the Tealarm. A man named Harold Burke previously applied for a patent with Bendix Ltd of Birmingham, who made car braking systems, so there may be an association between the two companies.
By 1961 they were manufacturers of gas valves, thermostats and brass fittings for the gas and allied trades, units and component parts for the auto-mobile industry, with 1,000 employees.
An Australian reader, Shane, has a brown TeaLarm. He writes: “The cords are not original, having been replaced when the Australian standard plug was put on it. I haven’t tested it out because the kettle is missing and I don’t have a kettle with a corresponding socket to this plug.”
An advert in the Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette on 25th November 1948 reads:
TEALARM! THE CLOCK WHICH MAKES YOU(R) MORNING TEA. ALL ELECTRIC. IT BOILS THE WATER IN THE KETTLE, LIGHTS UP, AND WAKENS YOU. YOUR TEA IS SERVED! The Northern Goldsmiths Co offer you this luxury, together with a range of clocks to suit every need. Call at 18 Fawcett Street.