Coffee Collectibles

1900-1920's General Store Bulk Tin Coffee Bins

1900-1920’s General Store Bulk Tin Coffee Bins

Antique advertising for coffee collectibles and tea relics are highly prized. Some of the most popular types of coffee collectibles are antique coffee grinders and mills, percolators and pots, and large general store coffee storage bins with scoops. Other important memorabilia are coffee cans, mugs and cups, signs and tins. Significant brands were Fat Boy, Chase & Sanborn and Luzianne and regional brands such as C.F. Blanke’s Coffee & Spice. In general, the coffee products advertised the company’s name and logo designs.

1910-1920's C.F. Blanke Coffee Storage Bin, Coffee Tin and Stoneware Coffee Pots

1910-1920’s C.F. Blanke Coffee Storage Bin, Coffee Tin and Stoneware Coffee Pots

Storage Bins – Large coffee storage bins displayed in general stores were over two feet wide and two feet tall and held up to 75 pounds of coffee.

Coffee Tins –  Coffee tins were used to package the coffee and considered a way to keep the coffee clean in comparison to food offered in bins or barrels when people would use their hands sometimes to scoop it out.

Coffee, Tea & Spice Tin Collectibles 1880 - 1920's

Coffee, Tea & Spice Tin Collectibles 1880-1920’s

Coffee Pots – The coffee pots, percolators, storage bins and tins were designed to display a company’s brand on the side of their containers. In the early 1900’s, coffee pots were made of tin, aluminum or enamel and were created to boil water or brew coffee.

Percolators – The first percolators were made out of aluminum or metal and placed on the top of a stove then forced water to come up through a tube to run over coffee grounds.

 Coffee Grinders

1875-1900 Elgin National Countertop Coffee Grinder

1875-1900 Elgin National Countertop Coffee Grinder

Many collectors are interested in coffee grinders from the 1800’s that were used in the general stores to help break down coffee beans into a more usable form. The coffee grinders were box-types, large floor standing models, wall-mounted or counter-mounted.

Typically, the grinders had a brass bowl with a single or double wheel and a crank to grind the beans into a drawer beneath it. Most were box-shaped but rare ones were round. The company had their logo or unique designs on the sides or top to differentiate their brand.

Elgin National – One well-known brand, Elgin National, featured a brass eagle finial on the top and an eagle with shield decals on the sides. Elgin National is a high demand brand for coffee collectibles.


Johnson-Layne Coffee Co, Gunpowder Brand General Store Bin, St. Louis, MO

Johnson-Layne Coffee Co, Gunpowder Brand General Store Bin, St. Louis, MO

Circa 1910, The Johnson Layne Coffee Company in Saint Louis, MO was in business for only a few short years, but their flagship brand was the Log Cabin Brand of Coffee. This particular general merchandise storage bin was designed for customers to scoop out their coffee in bulk when buying the product. I am guessing the Gunpowder brand was a high potency coffee given the name, as I have seen this on a few other manufacturers tins also.

C. F. Blanke Coffee & Spice Co. Stoneware Pot, St. Louis, MO

C F Blanke Coffee Pot 1904

Circa 1904 Stoneware Coffee pot from the C.F. Blanke Coffee and Spice Company, originally based in Saint Louis, MO, but eventually in many markets in the Middle of the United States. While some Blanke coffee pots are commonly found advertising the Faust Brand of coffee, this particular one is very rare, and was probably used during the 1904 Worlds Fair in St. Louis as the Blanke company sponsored an asian garden, and this is the only item I have ever seen with the asian theme to it. I suspect this might have been used during the fair in the pavilion. i am aware of two of these pitchers to date.