Kettles have been with us for thousands of years.
The kettle as we know it has evolved over time from the basic open pans that were used over open fires to heat water, to the elegant lidded and spouted versions that grace our kitchens today. The kettle is now the most popular kitchen appliance.
In ancient times around 3500 B.C. in Mesopotamia, kettles very similar to today’s modern design were made from iron and bronze. Bronze kettles are evidenced as being used to boil water for medicinal purposes. A translation from a cuniform tablet in states that “You shall bring it to a boil in a bronze kettle and (filter) it.” [Attia, Anna et al, Advances in Mesopotamian Medicine from Hammurabi to Hippocrates, 2009, Leiden.]
Interestingly the Romans used bronze pots with lids to boil water. (Image from University of Chicago.)
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