An Odyssey into the 80 year old history of Breville, Part 1

Let us walk down memory lane as we traverse the odyssey of the rich and eventful history of Breville. The name Breville dates back to the year 1932 when its two founders Bill O’Brien and Harry Norville decided to create the brand name Breville by mixing together their last names. The Breville brand started off by floating radios and mine detectors for the armed forces and even helped them by instructing about their use and usefulness in saving precious lives of the foot soldiers.

After the end of World War II, Breville directed their interest towards manufacture of small appliances and television sets in the year 1956 under the Precedent brand name. They sold off the television business by the year 1968 to Electronic Industries Limited.

The O’Brien family continued the company’s development jaunt under the expert guidance of the young blood in the family namely John O’Brien (Bill O’Brien’s son) who set up the Breville Research and Development Centre in the late 60’s and thereafter thru his daughter Barbara’s marketing prowess in the Marketing Department right thru the 90’s. In the year 1974 their R&D efforts saw the invention of the sandwich toaster called the ‘Toastie Maker’ and earned them the reputation of a household name throughout the continent of Australia. Breakfast had a new meaning thanks to this wonderful invention of theirs. Breville sold off more than 400,000 units during the first year of its inception. Such was the instant appeal of their product. The response to the sandwich toaster in Great Britain and New Zealand met with the same zest and demand. The product was a runaway hit making the brand name Breville synonymous with the sandwich toaster.

The year 1977 saw the impact of genius minds at work from the house of Breville with the introduction of Australia’s first food processor, the Breville ‘Kitchen Wizz’. The processor was a time saver and a darling favorite of every woman in Australia.

During the 1980’s Breville judged the changing scenario of hectic lifestyles and eating habits and expanded their kitchen appliances range by offering convenience appliances for food preparation such as blenders, yoghurt makers, waffle irons and dairy bars. Their motivation was to exude simplicity and speed in food preparation.

The Breville Australia branch in Europe was sold off to Pulse Home Products in the year 1982 and is no longer under the flagship of the Breville Group.

Keeping in view the health awareness regime of the 90’s and the bent of cooking styles towards low fat cooking, Breville launched the maiden Health Grill and the path-breaking Electric Wok using a high-wall element for even distribution of heat as well as the active arm citrus press and the adjustable height sandwich press.

See An Odyssey into the 80 year old history of Breville, Part 2 for the continuation into the 21th century.

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