Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Unique Tea Kettles

My maternal grandmother did not have a unique or unusual tea kettle like this Giraffe Tea Kettle, but she used an old aluminum tea kettle several times every day.

She was called Granny B by almost everyone. When I was a toddler, I couldn't say Florence or her last name, so I shortened it to Granny B and it stuck. Granny B's kitchen was one of my favorite places while I was growing up. It was a simple kitchen, with few amenities.

One of my earliest memories of her kitchen is of watching her build a fire in the wood burning range to bake a cake. She did have running water in the kitchen, but since her home did not have a water heater, the water temperature from her kitchen faucet was dependent primarily on how cold or hot the Texas weather was at the time.

Granny B loved to read, and read everything she could about keeping her home clean and family safe from illness. She read an article about disease such as colds and flu spreading through use of unsterilized dishes and flatware.

Zebra Tea Kettle
From that time on, her old aluminum tea kettle stayed on her stove, heating water to boiling to kill the germs that could harm her family. Before she ever put dishes in her dishpan to wash, she set them in the sink and poured boiling water over them.

Some people in the family thought she was a bit silly, but colds and flu were dramatically decreased in her home.

These days, we are sometimes told to be sure we wash contaminated dishes in a dishwasher to ensure we don't spread disease to other family members. Granny B wasn't silly; she was just taking care of her family.

The fun and unusual tea kettles pictured here would have been novelties to Granny B.

I want one of each for my collection!

Her gallon size tea kettle would heat much more water than any of these cute kettles would. In fact, I think that if she had been given one of these, it would have gone up on a shelf as a curious item to display.

My husband says in that point, I am just like her. Though I think these are cute, when I heat water for something, I usually want more than a quart or two of water boiling.

Chicken Tea Kettle
During winter months, when the air was dry from the portable kerosene heater Papa brought in the house, Granny B would set the kettle on the fire to put moisture back into the air. The steam from the old kettle soothed sinuses dried out from the heat.

When we were sick (if there was a bug or virus at school, we brought it home), she would heat water in the kettle, and pour some in a pan with a tablespoon or so of Vick's Vapor Rub melted in it to help us breathe.

I don't know what happened to her kettle. Sometimes I think of it and wish I had had the sense to ask about it when she passed away. I will always enjoy hearing a whistling tea kettle, though; it brings back wonderful memories.

Granny's Morning To-Do List:

  • Put water on to boil
  • Make breakfast
  • Call family to eat
  • Clean off table
  • Sterilize dishes with boiling water
  • Wash dishes in warm sudsy water
  • Dry and put away dishes

The beautiful mirror finish on this 7 quart stainless steel water kettle is constructed with a seamless spout and body to ensure there are no leaks around the spout. The handle is reinforced with bakelite.

The aluminum kettle my grandmother used is no longer made, but she would have loved this one.

The 7 quart kettle is large enough to hold water for making tea, instant coffee, or sterilize dishes as she did.

More Novelty Tea Kettles

Do you have a novelty tea kettle?


  1. I want the chicken tea kettle. These are almost too cute to use.