PHSL : 3
|Ernest Paul Feakes
(left) and Robert Richard Richards (right) with a |
contemporaryadvertisement for their Bostall Park Estate development.
Image credit: Cordelia Olds and https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/374572894014296602/
Ernest Feakes was always interested in making and inventing things and held at least nine patents registered between 1904-1938 for a variety of items including furniture and fastener improvements. He set up the Veret company sometime around 1937 for the manufacture of his cylindrical bed warmer, establishing the business from his family home in Woolwich Road, Abbey Wood, London. An improvement to the device was patented ten years later, but we have been unable to locate the original application.
Veret Ltd patent for an improved cord connection.
The bed warmers were sold at chemists and electrical hardware stores, advertised as ‘shock-proof, fool-proof and guaranteed. No water to leak, suitable for all voltages and consumption is only one unit a week when left on day and night. Price 14/-'.
Two contemporary adverts for
the Veret electric bedwarmer.
Feakes’ granddaughter recalled her father passing through Charing Cross on his journey to and from work each day in the late 1930s. E.P., as she affectionately referred to Ernest, would ask him to ‘nip into Boots as he went past and buy a couple of the bed warmers, telling everyone how good he had heard they were’. Upon return home, he would be reimbursed and the bedwarmers returned to stock! She also described her experience of using one when she was a child in the early 1950s, standing on her bed to remove the ceiling lightbulb in order to replace it with the fitting attached to the bed warmer. She remembered the appliance made a gentle humming noise when it was switched on and considered it old fashioned as by then, rubber hot water bottles had proven more popular and cost effective.
Sold boxed and with a cover, the Veret electrical bed warmers were available to buy in pastel blue and green colours, as well as the typical brown and black bakelite. Providing 150 hours warmth for just one penny sounds amazing given the price of electricity now and I wonder just how warm they were. Sadly, we cannot test our examples to find out but if you would like to view them, the Rothermel, or any other objects, please contact us.