Coffee Pot in a Box
One of the interesting things about having a hobby such as collecting old coffee pots is that people tend to think of you whenever they spot something that they think might belong in your collection. It’s sort of a warm fuzzy in many ways. A few years ago, my mother spotted this coffee maker at a garage sale and gave it to me as a birthday gift.
It has never been used, the cord, as you can see, never uncoiled from the manufacturer’s packaging. The box has a handwritten shipping label on the side addressed to “Smith Home Services; Elkhorn, Wis.” The return address preprinted on the label is From “Standard Electric Supply Co.; 1045 N. Fifth Street; Milwaukee, Wis 53203.” There is also a 7 digit phone number (272-8100) and underneath it a statement: “Wholesale Only.” A Google Search indicates that the company still exists at a different Milwaukee location, but with the same phone number. The web page indicates that they are out of the appliance, housewares and lamps business and into control panels and automation systems and such things that I do not find nearly as charming as vintage coffee pots, however I do think that it is charming that they have an updated version of the same logo as the one on the shipping label of my box with the additional boast of 90 years of tradition and service (1919-2009).
I know for a fact that the addressee: “Smith Home Services” no longer exists in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, although I do remember when it did. I recall looking in its display windows as I walked by and admiring the light fixtures for sale. I suppose that it was the kind of place where I might have taken one of my vintage coffee pots for a replacement fuse, back in the day.
The serial number on the bottom of the pot indicates it was manufactured in 1967. It is made by West Bend and the container further boasts that: it makes 5-9 cups; brews coffee to flavor-peak; is made of Sparkling Aluminum; keeps coffee serving hot; and features a “no-drip” pouring spout. I can see that it is sparkling aluminum but the rest of the highlights will go untested by this writer as there is no intent to ever brew coffee in it.
I do not think that this coffee maker has nearly the beauty of design, curves, and lines as do most of its predecessors in my collection. Its beauty, for me, is in its reminder of my mother’s thoughts of me.
I keep this coffee pot on a little display table in my living room along with a picture of my brother Tim. A keen observer will note that Tim is holding a bottle of beer in this picture rather than a cup of coffee, but again what matters to me, is the sense I have whenever I walk by, of having shared a cup of coffee for a moment with Timmy.