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Pot Calls Kettle “Hitler”

A JCPenney billboard is bringing out the worst in all of us

Adam Chandler
May 28, 2013

The internet is afire today as word spreads about a J.C. Penney billboard in Los Angeles (see above) featuring a teapot that supposedly bears a particular resemblance to one Adolf Hitler.

The Michael Graves Bells and Whistles teapot boasts a “wide base for fasting heating” and a “delightful whistle” among its features. But throw in a little side part (the teapot’s patented cool-touch handle) and small bell (resembling a saluting arm) and you’ve got…a teapot. A $40 teapot.

The reviews so far are mixed. “Jeffman” from Baltimore seems to find the quality lacking:

First the good, the kettle is gorgeous and shiny. Looks great on your stove or just sitting in your kitchen. However the quality is extremely poor. The handle is attached to the kettle with spot welds instead of rivets. For the price paid I would have expected a better build. But mostly importantly the kettle’s bell does NOT ring and its whistle volume is extremely low! There is a small wheel at the spout that is supposed to spin from the kettle’s steam when it boils. On my kettle the wheel barely turned at all much less spin with enough force to ring the bell.

Meanwhile, “andreafalls” from Prosper, Texas, praises the European design:

Wow this Tea Kettle is beautiful!!! I love looking at it on my stovetop every day. It is functional art. I have not only purchased this kettle for myself but as gifts too. I love the sleek european design. The handle is what I think they call spot welded. Much more appealing than a big rivet. BIgger is not better. 🙂 As for function my kids love when it boils and starts to whistle. I can not say enough good things about this. If you want functional art you need to buy this kettle!

I suppose history will be the judge.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.

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