Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,337 pages of information and 233,846 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Bill Russell

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Bill Russell (1920-2006)

WWII Served in REME

1947 Left the services as a Major

Joined the home appliance manufacturer Morphy-Richards and helped to design the pop-up toaster, the electric iron and the hairdryer.

1952 With Peter Hobbs they invented the world's first automatic coffee percolator, the CP1, with Russell's ingenuity and started the Russell Hobbs company in Croydon.

Russell was in charge of product development, and Hobbs was the sales director. Manufacturing tools were made out of Meccano. Russell's de facto ultimate safety test for any new product was to pour half a pint of boiling gravy on it. The company was in profit from day one.

1962 Russell Hobbs was acquired by Tube Investments

Bill Russell became technical director of Creda.

Then he managed Turnright Controls

William Russell died in February 2006.

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