Imperial College London

Household Names - Nick Russell


Emeritus Reader and former CLCC Director Nick Russell launches his new book on 28 February.

Household Names charts the origin and early history of the domestic appliance firm Russell Hobbs in the second half of the 20th century. 

The writer says of the book “It is difficult to tell such a story because records of private firms have often been lost or destroyed. I can tell this one because the designer founder, Bill Russell, was my father and I can recall events and access some family records.

"The other founder was Peter Hobbs, who handled sales and marketing. The K2 automatic kettle, first sold in 1960, was a design icon that stayed in production for more than 20 years and remains the bedrock of the firm's reputation.”

Published by The Book Guild at the end of February 2021, this tale of historical innovation could be particularly relevant should post-Brexit Britain decide to focus on manufacturing again.

Household Names is published in paperback, priced at £9.49, and will be available online and in bookshops

Buy Household Names by Nicholas Russell

Nick Russell is Emeritus Reader in Science Communication at the Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication (CLCC). He was Centre Director from 2005-2009.


Cleo Bowen

Cleo Bowen
Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication