If the kettle arrives, I'll be amazed and delighted. In the meantime, I've located their other three models for electric stoves (they also make gas versions with special, coiled bases). From everything I've read, these are the best kettles on the market, made in England without many changes since Edwardian era. Here's what their (now-defunct) website has to say:
Well, so much for that. You can find vintage and even antique Simplexes on eBay. For once, I prefer new and shiny to "experienced."
A handful of retailers still have the other models. When those are gone, that's probably that. Sur la Table still has the Heritage model in copper, available online. The chrome Heritage kettle is available in a few of their stores:
My new kettle.
I ordered one from a store near Detroit; they had three. This design has been growing on me; I like the handle and the built-in whistle. (I hope it doesn't upset the cats.) It's reminding me more of Mrs. Bridges from Upstairs Downstairs and less of my moody Irish grandmother, whose own kettle probably looked like this:
Cheap, homely kettle of my youth.
Three copper Beehives are available from a shop called SpecialTeas:
It's a handsome design, but keeping copper that shiny is an endless chore — and I love to polish silver. Dull copper is a very depressing sight. Besides, I already have various silvery things around my kitchen. Copper would clash.
So my decision was made, and I'm looking forward to boiling some water without being singed or scalded. I don't plan to go kettle shopping ever again.
But before I go back to boring you about cats and other non-kettle topics, I have to show you the most gorgeous kettle I found — this Italian one, in sterling silver, for just $1,013.55. Serves four, so it must be tiny. I suppose it could do double duty as an evening bag.