Back in the 1970, in Germany the coffee filter machine was in use every afternoon in homes. In England it was afternoon tea and fewer people drank filtered coffee. The first machines that took off were the coffee percolator. The original pots where heated on a stove but then electrical versions were developed in the 50s and the Russell Hobbs CP1 was the first with a glass doomed roof in the lid so that the heated liquid could be seen bubbling up. The metal tube sat on a hot element at the base of the pot. It supported a cradle of filtered coffee. The granules are not as fine as used for filtered coffee. The heated water would shoot up the column and splash over the lid on the cradle and filter down the coffee. The model CP2, shown here, appeared in the 1960s and became the iconic kitchen appliance in the 70s.
Russell Hobbs produced a wide range of finishes for stainless steel and Wedgwood ceramic coffee percolators and matching milk warmers.
Perhaps the most elegant is this dark blue (called evening blue on the box), sometimes described as slate and even sage green (sic!), Wedgwood ceramic pot. Shown here is a later version with a grey plastic cord. Early version (1976) had a black & white cloth covered cable. These usually frayed near the plug. Note the clip on the tube/column that served as a marker when fitting up the pot with water.
I graduated in 1976 and my friends knew I was to be married that summer and so clubbed together to buy me (us) the above percolator. Later my parents bought us the matching milk warmer (below). Having seen off several coffee filter machines it is still in use 38 years later. Inside heavily stained and the chrome scrubbed off, but still fully functional.
This style of matt finished ceramics included khaki, dull black, RAF blue, green and the evening blue shown here.
Model CP2, 590 watts, capacity 2 pints
The matching milk warmer is smaller and the element inside is flat. Heating up the milk like this usually creates a skin, which is the first part to be poured out. It could be used to keep the coffee warm or even tea or simply a refill of hot water for the next round.
Model MW1, 250 watts. capacity 1 1/4 pints
The base of both pots has a circular band of felt. This is likely to age harden as well as rot from use and cleaning. It is easy to get some heavy felt and double sided sticky tape to replace it. The coffee pot is likely to be stained in use and the element's chrome finish warn away showing shinny copper surface. If it is still working this isn't a problem. The internal aluminium parts are also likely to be stained; again not really a problem and could be polished up.
Sale Results at auction
evening blue (as above) 09/10/10 £20.66, 10/2/21 £10.50 (cp), 13/11/3 £6.50 (cp)
Khaki Ceramic Wedgwood 13/11/5 £10.50 (cp), 13/12/12 asking £15 (two cp+mw, colour looks blue not khaki), 13/12/29 £9.99 (cp+mw)
dull black 12/2/8 £8
RAF blue 13/12/12 £7.50
green 13/6/1 asked £9.99
Glen Mist Susie Cooper 13/10/24 £13 (cp+mw), 13/11/15 asking £34.99 (boxed), 14/1/7 asking £39
Oatmeal 12/4/29 £19.95 (Glaze is crazed, i.e. cracking), 13/12/13 £25 (cp+mw)
Poppy 11/11/29 £24.99 (cp), 11/12/18 £0.99 (cp), 11/12/27 £8.75 (cp+mw), 12/2/14 £45 (cp+mw), 13/4/24 £5 (mw), 13/4/21 £24.99 (cp), 13/4/25 £19 (cp), 13/4/27 £12.50 (cp), 13/5/7 £6.60 (cp+mw), 13/11/7 asking £22.99 (cp), 13/11/24 £16.50, 13/11/30 £9.99 (cp), 13/12/1 £16 (cp), 13/12/7 £30.79 (cp+mw), 13/12/14 asking £49.99 (boxed & unused),
blue corn flower 13/10/13 £17 (cp), 13/10/17 £22.99 (cp)
brown flower 13/5/27 asking £35 (cp+mw), 14/1/4 £7.99 (cp)
daisy 13/10/22 £22.50 (cp+mw)
Last updated 8th January 2014