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Antique Coffee Grinders what to look for?

Updated on October 30, 2010

These are some of the questions that you are probably thinking to yourself. What type of coffee grinder do I want to collect?  Do I want to collect a side mill or do I want to collect vintage electric ones from the 1950’s? Where do you do to begin collection? What do you look for when you are antiques shopping at your favorite store? Do not worry, I have some tips to help you get started in your quest in shopping for Antique Coffee Grinders.

1. Since coffee has an ancient history and tradition, there are many cultures around the world that have made coffee in their home. Everywhere from the United States to southern parts of Vietnam adore the ancient and aromatic brew. One might think that collecting coffee grinders is too narrow of a subject matter to start collecting? On the contrary, it is how you look at the subject of coffee grinders that is the factor here. Knowing this, you could just imagine how many styles of grinders that there are. So when you start your collection you might want to narrow your scope of collecting to a time period, style or location. That way your collection has a common style thread to it and it makes visual sense.

2. Here are some names that you need to remember when you are looking for in coffee grinders are: Adams, Arcade, Baldwin Brothers, Daisy, Elgin, national, Elma, Enterprise, Lane Brothers, Parker, Regal, and Sun Manufacturing Company there are many others to name but I don’t have the space in this article. Be aware that these companies do provide marks for their products so be sure to buy an antiques guide specializing in coffee grinders. Once you have selected your time period or style it is time to do some homework on some manufactures that produced coffee grinders in the time period that you are focusing on.

3. I prefer to collect manual side mills for my home, if you enjoy the slower way of making coffee then these styles could work for your collection as well. Side mills usually have a brass tag locate near the tin hopper. If the hopper is made out of iron the name will usually be cast in the metal itself. Some of the less expensive versions have no identification. Decals were often used on the front of lap mills and table styles, though sometimes you will find decals on the inside of the drawer. Depending on the condition the labels and decals might be faded and or flaked off. So be aware of your model styles and how they relate to time periods to be able to identify the correct make.

4. Like with all antiques, having the best quality of antique coffee grinder for you money it’s condition is everything. Make sure that you buy from a reputable dealer and or auctioneer when you shop.  Do you homework before you buy and be aware that what might look great on the outside of the coffee grinder might not make your coffee grinder an antique but just a fancy reproduction. So of course like always buy beware.


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      6 years ago

      looking for the old decals that go on a table top coffee grinder. Any suggestions where to look?


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