Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Double walled mini volcano kettle
Display Avatars Sort By:
adam blanton
(adamallstar) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Here's the Info'... on 10/28/2010 11:48:26 MDT Print View


BP HAS to be in on it! There's just no other way!

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Re: Here's the Info'... on 10/28/2010 11:55:50 MDT Print View

Looks like a design rip off to me, they are just too similar on a odd ball product for it not to be.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Kettle on 10/28/2010 12:14:34 MDT Print View

Nice to hear this is being resolved.

At 13oz the mKettle isn't a viable alternative to Devin's 6oz kettle. Even if the mKettle was free, I'd rather pay $60 to have 6oz one.

Edited by dandydan on 10/28/2010 12:15:04 MDT.

Rakesh Malik

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Kettle on 10/28/2010 12:22:01 MDT Print View

No kidding... I'm always amazed at what some companies think of as "lightweight" when the advertise stuff. Like a Linhof Tehnikardan... sounds like a great field camera; lots of movements, sturdy, packs up into a compact bundle... and it's nice and light at only 7.5 pounds!


Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Kettle on 10/28/2010 15:54:27 MDT Print View

"At 13oz the mKettle isn't a viable alternative to Devin's 6oz kettle."

At 13oz, it isn't much lighter than a 1Pt Kelly Kettle with the wire and wood handle removed.

Well done BPL for moving quickly on this.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Kettle's on 10/28/2010 16:20:30 MDT Print View

What I like about a kettle design is that it lets you use wood without all the soot hassles of cooking with a pot over a wood fire.

I wonder if a shorter, more compact version of Devin's kettle is possible? I'm sure his current design would be more efficient, but with the usually limitless supply of wood in the forest, I would probably be happy to collect a little more wood and wait a little longer for a boil in exchange for a more compact product. Something about 2/3rds as high would be nice, but it would still need to hold 2 cups.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Kettle's on 10/29/2010 00:17:15 MDT Print View

Something about 2/3rds as high would be nice, but it would still need to hold 2 cups.

I guess one of the advantages of the original tapered Kelly Kettle is that with the heavy handle removed, you can slot the fire cup over the chimney top to make the combo more compact to carry.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Kelly and their patent on 10/29/2010 08:40:21 MDT Print View

Here's a patented 'Sirram kettle' complete with integral water carrying jug from the postwar years.

Look familiar?


"SIRRAM is MARRIS backwards, heres a bit of info I gleaned from the internet about this kettle, very rare to come across a second hand one for sale apparently.

Marris's Ltd diversified from producing brass fern pots and bedstead knobs to picnic ware in 1906 (sales £3,000pa) using the brand name Sirram. I don't have any product details as to when aluminium was used instead of brass for the methylated spirit stoves. The burner itself was always brass. Leatherette covered Picnic outfits were developed soon after WW1 as a fashionable accessory to the motor cars of that era and remained in production until the early 1970's.

Father was shown a brazed copper Volcano kettle in the early 1930's by, I think, a New Zealander. He quickly saw the merit of the design and after a lot of experimentation made it in aluminium and patented it. The body and the liner were spun from discs of sheet aluminium. There were only two craftsmen in the Birmingham factory who could do this and only one of those who could put the two parts together without them leaking! The other problem at that time was obtaining aluminium without any inclusions, which would only manifest themselves when the stove was used in the form of pin holes. Ireland was a big market for them.

They were advertised as boiling three pints in three minutes using one copy of the Times, which was a great deal smaller in those days. Halfords were the largest customer for all the stoves.
Production of all the Sirram stoves finished about 1970 when the French Bluet stove arrived with its little blue gas cylinders."

Edited by tallbloke on 10/29/2010 08:41:50 MDT.

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Re: Re: Kettle on 10/30/2010 14:03:40 MDT Print View

If this gets made into a movie, I assert the copyright to:

Bushcooker 2: Rise of the Kettle

(For anyone that doesn't remember:

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: Re: Re: Kettle on 10/30/2010 18:17:09 MDT Print View


Where did you end up choosing for law school, Chris? Say Lewis & Clark...

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Re: Re: Re: Re: Kettle on 10/30/2010 18:30:37 MDT Print View

It's pretty rough out here. (Keeping focused on studying, that is)


On a sadder note, it's looking like I won't be able to get myself a Montgomery Kettle for about 23 years. Hope the foot's okay. We can only imagine what happened on the SHR.

Edited by ChrisMorgan on 10/30/2010 18:41:19 MDT.

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Kettle on 10/30/2010 18:42:57 MDT Print View

Cool! I don't know if you're doing anything with their environmental clinic, but I had Prof. Buchele for a class called Legal Process when he was at Pitt.

Edit: Oops, I missed the sadder note. 20 years for me. :) And yeah, the SHR was gnarly. In the best possible way. Except for the foot, but it's fine.

Edited by dsmontgomery on 10/30/2010 22:16:28 MDT.

Peter Atkinson
(sewing_machine) - MLife

Locale: Yorkshire, England
Kettle on 10/31/2010 09:04:03 MDT Print View

... it made me chuckle to see this on the mKettle site, in the links and reviews section:

"It's AWESOME, I used it this weekend."
Ryan Jordan, Bozeman, MT

So maybe there is no conspiracy and everyone is working happily together....

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
mKettle Marketing on 11/09/2010 17:20:39 MST Print View

Hi All,

mKettle sent me a sample to test. I had nothing to do with the development and this was my first interaction with them.

Test I did. I wrote in a private email to the manufacturer's rep that "it was awesome" (which it is -- it works great) and expressed my interest in ordering a bunch for our store. Once he sent pricing, and a delivery date to me, I expressed my intention to issue a PO to the company to purchase some.

Before we sent the Purchase Order, I received an email from Devin and others who saw my Tweet and knew about Devin's kettle, and I started investigating the forums. (No, I don't read all the forums here. It's impossible for me to do so and still be able to go home at night!)

So we held off on the PO until mKettle had a chance to respond with their side of the story and the extent to which Devin's work influenced theirs, and to participate in our forum. I don't know if they have, or not yet. I haven't reviewed the forums to see.

At any rate, I haven't received a response from the mKettle manufacturer about the extent to which Devin's design influenced theirs, so I decided to hold off on ordering it because it would just be a little weird to bring this "exact-looking" product in and then have to explain all about it, "parallel development" why I supported a company that might of ripped off a design without attribution, etc.

Are there any legal issues here? Devin put the design out there in the public domain, but he retains the ownership to what he posted. He simply granted anyone else the license to use it too, but in the latter case, only for the limited purposes of discussion and commentary. Therefore, IF mKettle used Devin's design to create their own kettle, then the law may have been broken. And IF BPL were to participate in the sale of the mKettle, then we too may have been a liable party. Is any of this enforceable? Who knows. And who cares. I'd rather simply take the conservative approach and honor Devin, who has made his own sacrifices over the years to support my company.

FYI the photo and quote on the mKettle website was used without my permission.

Anyway, y'all will have to wait a *little* while to get "lighter kettles" because BPL won't be bringing in the mKettle in the near future.

I have seen the mKettle and used it and can assure you that it's a well-made quality product, and works fine, and can vouch that it's about 13 oz.

Edited by ryan on 11/09/2010 18:08:03 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: mKettle Marketing on 11/09/2010 21:47:00 MST Print View

Anyway, y'all will have to wait a *little* while to get "lighter kettles" because BPL won't be bringing in the mKettle in the near future.

Good to hear - and a classy move. Devin has a good amount of support here on the forums, so we won't mind waiting a little longer. I actually want one of his original hand made ones, with blemishes and all.

And for the record, I don't think anyone thought you were involved in any part of the mKettle design.

Also, from a pure sales point of view. A 13 oz kettle has nearly no appeal to me, but a 6 oz one...well, I'll drop cash on that in a second.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: mKettle Marketing on 11/10/2010 06:52:06 MST Print View

I agree, Steve.

Devin's kettle seems to me to beat all other methods considering weight, volume, and fiddle factor when one wants to only boil water. I am waiting anxiously for the production phase to begin!

adam blanton
(adamallstar) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: mKettle Marketing on 11/10/2010 14:33:26 MST Print View

Right on, classy move indeed!

Terry Morton
(Trojandog) - F
Volcano Kettle trademark rubbish on 02/07/2011 08:54:21 MST Print View

I am currently researching the history of a British company called George Marris & Sons.

I came across Backpackinglight as part of my research and have read this discussion with interest.

The Kelly Kettle Co get 10/10 for cheek in protecting 'their' trademark of 'Volcano Kettle'.

The first true Volcano Kettle was made by George Marris & Sons Ltd of Birmingham, England in the 1920's. The catalogue for the British Industries Fair, London, 1937 shows G Marris as exhibiting 'Volcano Kettle' on Stand No A426. These are known as the Sirram Volcano Kettle. I own two of these and they are clearly marked: 'The Sirram Volcano Quick Boil Kettle, Regd Td Mk, Registered Design No 731794'. The records held by the British Library and British Public Record Office show that this Design Number was issued in 1928, I repeat 1928.

The Marris Co acknowledged that the original concept came from a New Zealander (probably John Ashley Hart who started the Thermette Co in New Zealand in 1929).

The Volcano Kettles were intially made from soldered brass and copper but in the 1930's Marris switched to aluminium. The Aluminium ones are embossed 'The Sirram Volcano Kettle'. Sirram is Marris backwards.

The claim by Kelly Kettles on their website that the original Volcano Kettle was made in a little farm on the shores of Lough Conn, County Mayo in ther 1890's smacks a little of 'Irish Blarney'! Yes they were in wide use by fishermen in Ireland from the 1930's but these were the Sirram Volcano Kettle which was sent to Ireland in large numbers. The current Kelly Kettle that is so vigorously protected by Kellys is 99% identical to the 1930's aluminium Sirram.

The US Trade Mark for 'Volcano Kettle' was not applied for by Kellys until 14th April 2007. Even if Kellys were able to argue that they possess a Trademark, they would probably lose any legal battle due to the fact that the term 'Volcano Kettle' has been in wide public use since 1928 as a general term for this type of kettle. This is known in legal parlance as 'genericide' - the process by which trademark rights are diminished or lost as a result of common use. The fact that this term has been in documented common use since 1928 blows the Kelly arguement out of the water.

I get very irritated by the hypocracy of some companies when they take a product and name that has been in use for years, make their own version, and then vigorously protect 'their' design and trademark.

Rant over, off to make a cuppa on my 100% geniune Sirram Volcano Kettle.

Edited by Trojandog on 02/07/2011 08:57:28 MST.

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: Volcano Kettle trademark rubbish on 02/07/2011 12:53:59 MST Print View

Hi Terry,

I hope you check back here because you may be one of the few people who is as into the history of this kind of kettle as I am. As is probably clear from the above thread, I designed the smaller, lighter version of this kind of kettle, but the points at issue here have little effect on my interests in that regard. As someone simply very interested in the lineage of my little device, I want the story told to be accurate.

Anyway, I share your incredulity on two points:

1. That Kelly was the first to make this kind of kettle. What is clear is that Hart had a patent for his design on the Thermette. I don't know much about New Zealand IP law, but in the US, to be patentable, something must be novel, and not just among other patented items in that country. The research into prior art looks to the whole world, patented and not. If the NZ patent office is anything like the US's Hart wouldn't have been able to get the patent if the device had been available in Ireland for decades.

2. That Kelly has any claim to the mark "Volcano Kettle" for the reasons you cite. It has long been generic, applied to the whole class of device. Whoever was working in the USPTO that day was either lazy or inept.

And if I may add a third item: Kelly has persuaded at least a few of the contributors over at Wikipedia that their name "Kelly Kettle" (not even Volcano Kettle) should be applied to this whole class of kettle. This is particularly odd because they are at once strongly claiming their own trademark, but at the same time making it generically apply to all kettles of this kind. The article as it is has lost any encyclopedic value and has been reduced to a battle over brand names. A battle which Kelly has apparently won.

I think a far better name for this kind of device, for encyclopedic purposes, is "chimney kettle." Rather than relying on brand names or even the metaphorical "volcano" or "storm," it is perfectly descriptive. Definition of "kettle": a metallic vessel usually used for boiling liquids. The chimney is the design element common to all of these kettles and is indeed their distinguishing characteristic.

That is why, Wikipedia be damned, I refer to the device that I have branded as the Backcountry Boiler as a chimney kettle.

Now my rant: over. :)

Rakesh Malik

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: Volcano Kettle trademark rubbish on 02/07/2011 15:10:40 MST Print View

As for point 2, your last sentence is probably more the rule than the exception. The USPTO has a reputation for being pretty bad about granting frivolous patents and being neglectful about verifying originality. This is a case where prior art should invalidate any of Kelly's claims other than the trademark for Kelly Kettle as applied to their own kettles.

But then again, the USPTO granted Amazon a patent for a one-click button... and British Telecom has a patent on a hyperlink...

But whatever... I'm looking forward to getting one of your kettles. I didn't get in on the pre-order because I got laid off, so I'll have to wait for one of the next couple of production runs.