It is difficult to pinpoint the exact time when the first kettlebells appeared in the UK, but it is likely that the first to be produced was around 1879.
A man named James Browning, a servant to Henry VII, who was living in a farmhouse near London, began producing them for his guests, many of whom were servants.
They became the “first kettlebell”, and the first instrument to have a price tag of around £20.
A few years later, Thomas Edison began experimenting with the invention of a “wet and dry” kettlebell, which used the principle of the kettlebell itself, rather than a wire or metal handle.
By the mid-1800s, the kettle bell had become a standard instrument for the working class, and a number of other countries had also adopted it as an effective tool for the unemployed.
The first recorded appearance of the modern kettlebell was in the 1820s, when a man named John Smith (later to be known as John Wilkes Booth) built a kettlebell from his own scrap of wood and borrowed it from a shopkeeper.
The name was changed to “wilts”, after the shape of a kettle bell.
The early 20th century saw the invention and development of the spade, and the introduction of the iron kettle.
By 1915, the first iron kettlebell had been built, with the price tag being £20 (later £40).
By the late 1930s, it was a common sight for people to sit on their front steps with their kettlebell in hand, as it was the most common way to entertain them.
In the 1960s, a new generation of kettlebell players began to emerge, and in the early 1980s, kettlebell production was revived in the US.
The kettlebell’s popularity has since declined, though its popularity as a toy has remained high.
In Australia, the “Kitchen” kettle is still used in a number more households than the standard “Wets” kettle.