21 November 2010

Swan brand aluminium tea pot

This little tea pot is one of my most favourite items.  It is second hand, we bought it several years ago from a charity shop.  It is "Swan Brand" and is made in England circa 1950's.  It makes a lovely pot of tea. 
Figure 1: Swan brand, made in England, 2 cups , The Carlton, Aluminium tea pot.

Figure 2:  The printed writing is still visible in places underneath the tea pot.

I carried out a search on the Internet to see whether or not the Swan Brand still existed and if I could find out anything about the factory where these tea pots were made.  I found the following article on this website:
"Bulpitt & Sons Ltd was a brass founders established in the latter part of the 19th century. The "Swan Brand" name was registered by Bulpitt & Sons Ltd in the early part of the 20th century and was primarily used for their domestic range of polished aluminium products like frying pans, kettles, tea sets and jelly moulds.
In the 1920s, Bulpitts moved into electrical appliances including kettles, irons, heaters and steamers. They pioneered the first electric element that could be immersed in water. This was a very important breakthrough because it meant that a whole 6 pints of water could be boiled in just over 9 minutes. This led to a whole range of products based around their "immersion element", including tea urns, kettles, steamers and coffee percolators. Later, they developed and patented a unique safety cut-out for kettles, where the connector would be automatically disconnected if the element overheated.

The Swan brand continued it's success throughout the next few decades and became synonymous with solid, British manufacturing quality and innovation. There was a Swan branded product in virtually every home.
Birmingham Sound Reproducers (BSR)
BSR were manufacturers of turntables, amplifiers and other electronics equipment - famous for their autochanger mechanism used on over a million record players! In the 1970s BSR employed around 14,000 people at their factories in the Black Country. It was also in the 1970s that BSR acquired a number of companies/brand names:

•Goblin (B.V.C) Ltd

•Judge International Housewares Ltd

•Bulpitt & Sons Ltd

The three brands, Goblin, Judge and Swan became subsidiaries of BSR (Housewares) Ltd. Judge was a manufacturer of non-electrical housewares (pots & pans etc.). Goblin were manufacturers of electrical appliances including vacuum cleaners and their famous Goblin Teasmade - later to become the famous Swan Teasmade. The old factory at Camden Street, Birmingham was still making the water boilers for the Teasmade right up until 2006!


These were very difficult times for British and European manufacturers with intense pressure from cheaper, Far East imports. "Bread and Butter" items like kettles and toasters became little more than kitchen fashion accessories that were changed frequently - often well before the warranty expired. The need for quality products that would last a lifetime was diminishing. This affected the electronics industry to an even greater degree and BSR eventually disappeared too.

In 1988 the Swan Brand was acquired by French manufacturers, Moulinex. Bulpitt & Sons (Swan Brand) Ltd was finally dissolved on 21st May 1989 - approximately 100 years after they were first established. However, Moulinex were also under the same pressure from cheaper imports. The company went bankrupt in 2001 with the Moulinex brand name being acquired by Tefal of France."

Present Day

The Swan Brand is now being developed and marketed, under license, by original Swan employees who possess the passion to see the Swan Brand become great again."
Swan Products Ltd, PO Box 3117, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, ST4 9GD
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