Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Crystal Arcade Coffee Grinder

When I was a kid I can remember this coffee grinder in our kitchen. We actually had two, this Crystal Arcade Coffee Grinder which my parents would grind coffee beans in to make fresh brewed coffee and another one that had a flower in it. It was a top load and the coffee would have come out of the bottom but it was only used as a decorative piece in the kitchen.
There is a great story behind this Crystal Arcade Coffee Grinder. My grandma on my dad’s side married a man late in life back in the 1940’s. Ed was a trash hauler, and he was probably the best scavenger ever. I have a great old rocking chair that he pulled out of the dump. My dad redid it back in the 1970’s and now it needs to be redone again but it’s a beauty, it’s definitely antique and it’s beautiful. It has a spiral frame with the rocker sitting on an upside down shaped rocker. I can remember my dad sitting in the living room reupholstering it during the rainy season when he was stuck at home.
The pictured coffee grinder is another one of Ed’s dump finds. Back in the 1940’s people were progressing into modern times, the new electric percolators were in, this of course was old and out in the trash it went. At some point my folks inherited it, they used it daily and it is a special memory of my youth. My mom knew my feelings I had for this coffee grinder and one day she just packed it up and shipped it to me. I don’t even drink coffee but up it went in my kitchen and for years hubby ground coffee beans for his brew. Some day this trash find will once again be handed down, this time to my daughter who has a love for country decor. Imagine a dump find lasting generation after generation.
I never got to meet Ed, he died before I was born but I would have loved to. He and I would have been great buds, I can only imagine all the great finds he came across, and I would have loved to hear the stories.
This Crystal Arcade Coffee Grinder is missing the original cup but the rest of it is all-original. The Arcade Grinder has a wing nut that holds the handle to the cast iron base. There is a bracket below the grinder so you can hold a jar or some sort of glass cup, I use an old glass insulator. The tin lid has the embossed words "Arcade" written in cursive on top and the words “Crystal No 3” on the glass bean jar. The cast iron also has “Arcade Crystal” and the handle is wood.
You can pick up these wall mount Crystal Arcade Coffee Grinders in good condition on eBay in the $200-$300 range. If you find one in good condition at a flea market you are likely to pay $200-$400.
If you are buying to sell, condition can make it either valuable or a piece of junk. Look for cracks, fleabites, crazing, missing parts, original parts, original paint, is the mechanism working or nonworking. If any negative aspects apply to your coffee grinder, it will bring down the value so use good judgment in buying.
Coffee Grinders were once a very important part of every kitchen, for those of you decorating in country or vintage kitchen gadgets a coffee grinder should be part of that decor.

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