8. 1891 Carpenter Electric Tea Kettle
Sale price on eBay: $19,228
Look at that date and keep in mind that commercial light bulbs had only been introduced little more than a decade earlier. With that in mind, this particular kettle managed to beat the early and slightly inefficient -- but widely distributed -- version sold by British firm Crompton & Co. by nearly two years.
In the tea-drinking world, this kettle is the spark that powered generations of hotpots. It powered demand for electric kettles and eventually led to the instant hot water dispensers at the kitchen sinks of some of the more technologically advanced homes on the modern landscape.In short, it's just as notable an artifact in the domestic world as the complete skeletal structure of an early hominid would be in archeological circles. Consider this the missing link between the Victorian stovetop and the modern studio-apartment's efficiency counter space.