About Goblin

On May 2, 1932 George Absolom submitted an application for a patent on his invention, an electric automatic tea maker. The Patent (number 400672) was passed on November 2, 1933. This invention was manufactured and marketed as the Teesmade.

The word 'teesmade' was certainly initiated by George Absolom and predates the use of the word 'teasmade' by about four years. George Absolom applied for a Registered Design using the name Teesmade, but this was not accepted by the Patent Office on the grounds that the unit was not made on the River Tees and that this might confuse the public. Geographic trademarks were invariably refused at this time, and indeed the Patent Office passed legislation to forbid them in 1938. This legislation has since been relaxed. Although the name could not be formally protected, from 1932 onwards George Absolom continued to trade as Teesmade Co. Goblin were in no position to object, as the name had the indisputable advantage of prior use.

A similar electric teamaker was patented by William Hermann Brenner Thornton in association with Goblin in 1933, shortly after Absolom's patent.

Goblin's next model, also invented by William Hermann Brenner Thornton, was patented in 1934 and was manufactured from 1936. This was the first tea maker sold under the name Teasmade. A patent sketch of 1934 shows the essential features. A kettle with a tube leading into a teapot was heated by an electric element switched by an alarm clock. The kettle sat upon a spring-loaded pad with a switch, so that when steam pressure pushed the boiling water into the pot, the pad was allowed to rise and cut the power to the element.