Peter Schlumbohm, Inventor of the Chemex Coffeemaker

Peter Schlumbohm, Inventor of the Chemex Coffeemaker

Collectors Weekly has posted a fascinating profile of Peter Schlumbohm, the prolific mid-century inventor who created the iconic Chemex pour-over coffeemaker. Coffee aficionados may be surprised to learn that the Chemex coffeemaker was invented more than 70 years ago.

At the cornerstone of our modern, artisanal coffee obsession is the Chemex Coffeemaker, which graces the counters of hip homes and cafes around the globe. But in fact, the Chemex company has been making the exact same brewer for more than 70 years, proving the staying power of great design.

The man behind its functional-chic was the eccentric Dr. Peter Schlumbohm, who patented more than 300 different devices; at least 20 of these “Beautilities,” as Schlumbohm called them, eventually made it into NY’s Museum of Modern Art—everything from an electric fan to a cocktail shaker.

Schlumbohm stripped his appliances down to their essentials and made them work better, rather than overloading them with a jumble of new features. Maybe that’s why the Chemex still feels so fresh; in a world of overly complex and smirking technology, the Chemex remains a quiet anomaly. As LIFE magazine wrote, “It makes excellent coffee, and consists essentially of chemical laboratory equipment.”

photo via Collectors Weekly

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips