Max Gort-Barten was a German-born entrepreneur who found himself in England – and signed up to the British army – just as the Second World War brokeout. When the war was over he bought a small factory in Camberwell, London along with original 1938 two-ton,Bliss Power Presses as army surplus (some of which arestill in use in the factory today) to utilise his engineering skills and creativity to manufacture products.
One of Max’s early ideas was the Dual-Light electric fire (so named as it could deflect heat to two parts of a room) - and that's the origin of the company name. Other early inventions included a stainless steel fire screen, an onion top and tail machine, and a patented cocktail shaker and mixer for custards and puddings. But it was a patented, flip-sided toaster launched in 1946 that caught people’s attention and became a success.
The 1952 Dualit Toaster remains similar to today’s model, and an early advertisement for the Waffle Iron.
In 1952 Max designed and engineered a six-slice toasterwith a built-in timer (the first of its kind) for the commercial market, which bears a striking resemblance to today’s Classic Toaster. Residents of Picton Street, where the Camberwell factory was located and the entire Gort-Barten familywere involved in its production From then on; Dualit began designing other successful commercial products, such as a waffle iron.
Over the years Dualit grew, gradually improving and extending its range of commercial toasters. In the 1970s Dualit started to design other kitchen appliances andentered into mainstream consumer markets. The 80s saw Dualit design its first coffee makers and since then has constantly innovated and developed its coffee appliance range to offer the very latest technology to make professionalstyle beverages. Today, Dualit’s factory in West Sussex incorporates its own coffee plant and is the only UK brandto develop and produce its own capsules. The finest gourmet coffee is roasted, ground and then encapsulated for usein capsule machines. Dualit’s ability to seal the coffee into capsules immediately after roasting and grinding, ensuresthe coffee stays fresh and preserves the rich aromas and flavours that make brewing and drinking high quality coffee so enjoyable.
Asymmetrical fins inside the blending jar
Dualit continue to design all its own products, with a highly skilled team of engineers at its factory. Drawing on over70 years’ experience of making award winning kitchen appliances, the team use state-of the-art technology, including 3D printers onsite, to precision engineer every single component to perfection. Each product evolves througha series of prototypes, with the engineers dedicated to ensuring that every component fulfils its purpose.For example, the VortecS Blender jar has asymmetrical fins inside that work with the blade to force ingredients into the chopping zone. The Classic Kettle features a revolutionary replaceable element, designed by Dualit, to give the kettle a much longer life span.
In addition to functional excellence, Dualit are committed to making sure every product adds style to a kitchen. Even the plug has been carefully designed in Dualit’s own unique, moulded style.
The main components of a Classic Toaster
ready for assembly
Dualit’s range of kitchen and home appliances remain firmly rooted in the values Max set out for the company in 1945. Now run by Max’s son, Leslie and grandson Alex, the Classic Toaster continues to be hand built in the Dualit factory by skilled craftsmen, some of whom have been with the company for more than thirty years.A commitment to innovation, pushing the boundaries and listening to its customers as well as relying on gut instinct to create products that combine reliability, performance and enduring design remains Dualit’s mission. Invention is key to its success and inspires the Dualit family, which is reflected in over 100 patents (granted, pending or expired), design registrations and trademarks the company currently holds.The innovative, entrepreneurial spirit that was so much a part of Max is echoed in Leslie and his son Alex, who sit firmly in the product development driving seat.