HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT ANTIQUES OR COLLECTIBLES?

Send me an E-mail
(Please, no questions
 about value.)

Instructions for sending photographs of your pieces with your question.

Art Deco debuted at the International Exhibition of Modern and Industrial Decorative Arts in:

London in 1900.
Berlin in 1916
Paris in 1925
                     To see the answer

ART DECO
1910 - 1939
by Charlotte & Tim Benton

Art deco—the style of the flapper, the luxury ocean liner, and the skyscraper—came to epitomize the glamour, luxury, and hedonism of the Jazz Age. After bursting onto the world stage, it quickly swept the globe, influencing everything from architecture to interior design, fashion jewelry, and radios. Above all, it became the style of the pleasure palaces of the age—hotels, nightclubs, and movie theaters.
                                   
More Books

Have Bob speak
 on antiques to your group or organization.

More Information

Can't find what
 you're looking for?

Go to my Sitemap

Share pages of this ezine with your friends using the buttons provided with each article.

Find out what's coming in the
2017 Holiday EDITION

of the
THE ANTIQUES ALMANAC

COMING IN
DECEMBER
 


Download our
Decorative Periods and Styles Chart
 


Have a comment about

The Antiques Almanac
?

Fill in our form.

Good to the Last Drop
 

QUESTION:  

I love a good cup of coffee, so it’s only natural that I would buy an antique coffee mill. This isn’t one of those small wooden ones, but a hefty one that I bought at a local flea market. It’s heavy and in fairly good condition, but does show signs of years of use. Can you tell me more about these larger coffee mills—who made them and when?

Thanks so much,
Len

 

_______________________________________________________

ANSWER:  

There’s nothing like a good cup of coffee, and how it’s ground makes all the difference. Unlike today, stores in the 19th and early 20th centuries sold only coffee as beans, freshly ground in the store. Originally, all general stores had some sort of coffee grinder sitting on the counter. The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, better known as A&P, always sold its coffee as beans which could be custom ground according to the customer’s preference.

The Enterprise Manufacturing Company, founded by John Gulick Baker in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1864 near Independence Hall, was one of the leading makers of both large and small coffee grinders. The company quickly grew to a huge operation producing everything from barn-door bolts to seven-foot-high, motorized coffee mills weighing almost 500 pounds. The firm also manufactured juicers, tobacco cutters, and Mrs. Potts sad irons, as well as cast iron banks. In 1876, the company received the Centennial Medal for their outstanding contributions to the American public.

General store owners used the Enterprise Model No. 12-1/2 coffee mill for grinding larger amounts of coffee. Manufactured between 1886 and 1898, it stood 42 inches high, had 25-inch diameter wheels and weighed about 140 pounds. It’s main components were of cast iron. Such mills became status symbols for those general store owners who could afford them.

While many of these larger coffee mills sported bright red or green paint, some had other decorations in the form of decals. True to Victorian style, many had gold painted details added to dress them up and give them a more deluxe appearance. Some of these mills also had elaborate flower motifs adorning the wheels to make them attractive for women shoppers.

In the 19th century, coffee grinders made to be used in the home ranged from box-type grinders designed to grind coffee from one-to-four servings to wall-mounted grinders, some of which could hold a pound or more of beans at a time.

Box grinders usually had brass bowls mounted on top of a hardwood or cast-iron box. The crank perforated the bottom of the bowl and would be turned to grind the beans into a drawer below. Not all box grinders were square, but finding a round one, especially in cast iron, can be a challenge for a collector.

In England, Kenrick & Sons was a major maker of box coffee grinders—the oval brass nameplate on the front of Kenrick box grinders makes them easy to identify. Imperial, Favorite, and None-Such were important U.S. brands. And in France, Peugeot Frères made metal and cast-iron box grinders with wooden handles.

The most collectible type of coffee grinder is the wall mounted variety made of cast iron. Some were brass, with clear glass hopper for beans on top, a big crank handle on the side, and a wooden drawer at the base to collect the ground coffee. The Arcade Manufacturing Company of Illinois made a wall-mounted grinder called The Crystal, named for its glass beans hopper and glass grounds cup.

But the Enterprise Manufacturing of Philadelphia made heavy-duty grinders for grocers, retailers, and wholesalers. While many of these wall or table-mounted machines had side crank handles, its largest grinders had handles that attached to flywheels. Some grinders had one wheel, others two.

The most ornate examples of Enterprise grinders from the late 19th and early 20th centuries had eagle finials atop urn-shaped hoppers and a pair of flywheels, all of which would be mounted on a waist-high, decorative cast-iron stand.

Mounting a coffee grinder firmly in place was important enough that even small box grinders had tabs on their bases so the grinder could be secured to a surface. People held Turkish style coffee grinders in their hands. Usually made of brass or enameled metal, these slender, cylindrical grinders often featured detailed engraved designs on their sides. Unlike box or grocery grinders, Turkish mills produced a fine grind, producing a dense, full-bodied coffee, today known as espresso, suited to what many considered an after-dinner beverage.

 

< Back to Readers Ask Archives                                           Next Article >

FOLLOW MY WEEKLY BLOG
Antiques Q&A


JOIN MY COLLECTION
Antiques and More on Google+

LIKE MY FACEBOOK PAGE
The Antiques Almanac on Facebook

No antiques or collectibles
are sold on this site.

How to Recognize and Refinish Antiques for Pleasure and Profit

Book: How to Recognizing and Refinishing Antiques for Pleasure and Profit
Have you ever bought an antique or collectible that was less than perfect and needed some TLC? Bob's new book offers tips and step-by- step instructions for simple maintenance and restoration of common antiques.

Read an Excerpt

Provided by: News-Antique.com