This is the Simplex Beehive kettle, in chrome (it also comes in a copper, but who wants to polish copper?). It's extremely well made, holds plenty of water, and seems unlikely to leak, fall apart, melt, explode, or burn me. Simplex kettles get almost uniformly rave reviews from their owners.
And since looks matter, it's far less stern and no-nonsense than their other model:
Anyway, I really want this kettle as a replacement for my current deathtrap/Bodum. As long as the lid stays when I'm pouring, and the whistle doesn't get too hot, I could be in business, brewing pots of butterscotch tea for breakfast and filling my fuzzy hot-water bottle for our drafty bedroom.
Hooray. Time to get online and whip out the credit card. But, no. Wait....
Bad news: this kettle of my dreams is apparently unattainable. The Simplex company, in England, which had been in the kettle business since 1903, abruptly closed its doors this summer, with no explanation. No one knows if they will ever start production again. And wise consumers have already snapped up their stock of chrome kettles.
Isn't that always the way? It certainly is for the Proper Bostonian. She'll find some perfect thing, but purchasing becomes a seemingly hopeless quest. Often it's her own fault: she was either too cheap or ambivalent when it was the right time to pounce. But this time, it's just bad luck. She wants a Simplex; Simplex is gone with the wind.
But the PB is stubborn, resourceful, and a natural-born retail maven. If anyone can dredge up a Beehive, she can. And she'll keep you posted. Fingers crossed.