Peter Schlumbohm 1896 – 1962
German inventor, best known for creating the Chemex Coffeemaker. In a eulogy for Schlumbohm shortly after his death in 1962, the notable design author Ralph Caplan described the typical Schlumbohm invention as “a synthesis of logic and madness”. Caplan, like hundreds of thousands of Americans, was particularly fond of the Chemex Coffeemaker, describing it as “one of the few modern designs for which one can feel affection as well as admiration.” The Chemex was also one of the few products from any designer or inventor of the time to achieve a truly iconic role in popular culture, becoming part of the permanent collections of art and design museums, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
A Time Magazine article from November 1946 quotes the ebullient inventor as saying, “with the Chemex, even a moron can make good coffee.”
Peter Schlumbohm for me was a visionary, he saw aesthetics and functionality merging harmoniously creating items which were desirable to all. More importantly his choice of materials are timeless, raw, natural and clean. Design that was created over 60 years ago, still stands out, and would look at home on any table or bar of modern establishments such as NOMA, Alinea and The Avairy . Nothing about his designs said cheap, and yet they were relatively inexpensive and attainable. There are not many designs, items or products today which can hold my attention and respect as much as what Schlumbohm created.
Look Back To See The Future