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ROB WILEMAN THE ERT INTERVIEW


18 A design for life


Swan’s Managing Director Rob Wileman has been with the company man and boy, starting from the ground up in his early twenties. He helped build the brand that has today become synonymous for British innovation and as he reflects on its history, he tells Jack Cheeseman “for me there’s a whole new meaning to the famous strapline ‘Swan Designed for Life’”.


n 1868 a company called Bulpitt & Sons Ltd in Birmingham started producing domestic aluminium frying pans, kettles, tea sets and jelly moulds. By the 1920s it moved into electrical appliances; the company pioneered the first electric element that could be immersed in water and this spurred things on and led to a whole range of products using the immersion element, including tea urns, kettles, steamers and coffee percolators.


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