Station: [10] Room 5: Special One-Off Grinders

This is the moment to keep your wits about you!

We’d like to show you some special one-off grinders – or perhaps just perfect counterfeits! In the display case to the right of the entrance, you’ll see a silver grinder labelled with the name Franck. It has everything a coffee grinder needs. A crank, a funnel, housing that includes a drawer, and an adjustable grinding mechanism. But the firm of Heinrich Franck and Sons wasn’t known for "genuine coffee made from coffee beans". It was famous for coffee substitutes. It made chicory coffee and was quite successful. The "Caro" brand of roasted grain beverage is a successor product.

So this "coffee mill" was also used to grind grain!

The firm was based in the city of Ludwigsburg, and when it celebrated its centenary, it presented Rolf Scheuermann with this specially signed grinder. Today, the firm of Franck no longer exists. It became part of Nestlé Deutschland AG in 1987. But we still have an original Franck advertising poster hanging in the stairwell. 

Now let's move on to the second little con. 

Blue and white pattern porcelain has a long tradition, which many of our visitors immediately associate with the world-famous earthenware produced in the Dutch city of Delft. Please head over to the display case by the window. Some of the coffee grinders you see there are decorated with windmills, flat meadows and the sea, all reminiscent of a Dutch landscape. But – all that glitters is not Delft. 

The pillar grinder on the left is painted cardboard, a look-alike even poor people could afford. Equally affordable was the lap mill from Germany with its sailing boats and windmills – that one’s made of enamelled sheet metal. Only the other blue and white table grinders are the real thing and – highly priced. They’re made of porcelain. As to whether they were made in Delft? That’s their little secret. 

On the other hand, there’s no deception involved in the Peugeot grinder at the bottom of the corner shelf. It is a commercial wheel mill. It’s operated in the same way as the Enterprise brand commercial grinders from Philadelphia that you saw in the foyer. The flywheel is set in motion by hand to grind the coffee.

All depictions: © Kaffeemühlenmuseum Wiernsheim