A Story of a Coffee Grinder

>> Thursday, January 10, 2013

Some of you reading this may remember when nearly every grocery store had a commercial coffee grinder, usually located within the coffee aisle.  A lot of the coffee sold was whole bean and you were able to open the package, pour the coffee beans into the grinder, select the grind you wanted, and grind the beans right there in the store.  There are some few stores that may still have such units but not many.

coffee grindmaster
In the late 1960’s a family friend living in the Champaign, Illinois area located quite a number of these coffee grinders sitting in a warehouse, having been removed from grocery stores.  He made a deal with the owner and bought all they had for almost nothing, I believe about $5.00 each.  He cleaned them up and serviced them and resold them to friends to use to grind wheat for cereal and corn for corn meal for $10.00 each.  My parents bought one and when I saw it on one of our trips to Illinois from California where we were then living I asked them to purchase one for us, which they did.  In the summer of 1970 we packed the machine into our station wagon and hauled it back to California.  It has gone with us on every move we have made since.

We have used it to grind wheat for cereal, corn for corn meal and for baby chick feed.  However, I got into trouble some time ago when I was grinding roasted chick peas, also known as garbanzo beans.  I was roasting them and using them as a coffee substitute.    ( http://gdpifer1.blogspot.com/2008/12/brew.html )

Well, to make a long story short, the beans were quite hard and something broke.  I suspected that there was some kind of shear pin since the motor was continuing to run without a problem but the grinder wasn’t grinding.  I attempted a “hurry up” repair but couldn’t get to the area I needed without tearing things down a bit more.  Consequently the old grinder sat in the corner for the next several months.

Last month, one of the grandsons was helping me do some clean up and we moved the grinder into the workshop.  A day or two later we decided to take the time to tear the machine down enough to get to the grinder.  Once we got the end plate off we could see the shaft that the motor turned and it was moving freely.  And, we could see that there had been some type of “shear pin” in the end of the shaft.  All we could see was that it was a rusty, coppery color.  The grandson made the remark that when we got the old piece out we could probably replace it with a penny.  We had a good laugh.

However, when we did get it out what did we discover?  It actually was a penny!  And, not only did we find the two pieces of the penny, there was a small piece of another penny that had apparently sheared earlier and had never been removed.  I’m thinking the family friend replaced the first sheared penny when he was cleaning and repairing the units back in the late 1960’s as the penny we removed was a 1964 penny.


We have laughingly remarked that there wasn’t a shear pin but a shear penny!  The grandson donated a penny he had in his pocket and the old coffee grinder is working great.  We had to grind some wheat and had wheat cereal for breakfast the next day.


Coffee Machines June 3, 2013 at 3:49 AM  

Thanks for providing me lot of information about Coffee Grinder.
Coffee Grinder

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