20 Everyday Objects
Transparent glass coffee maker. Its form is similar to an hourglass, with a glass cone shape for the bottom joined to another glass cone shape on the top, creating a narrow center  surrounded by a two-piece wooden handle held in place by a leather thong secured with a wooden bead.

Chemex Coffeemaker

Designed by
Peter Schlumbohm (1896–1962)
Glass, wood, leather
Produced by
Chemex Corp., New York, New York
24 x 15 x 15 cm

The Liliane and David M. Stewart Program for Modern Design, gift of Dr. Michael Sze, 2007.14

Drawn to America’s more favourable patent laws, Schlumbohm left his native Germany for New York in 1936. As a chemist, he concocted most of his ideas in the lab, and he particularly admired simple, unadorned laboratory glass.

The Chemex coffeemaker, for example, Schlumbohm’s most famous invention, was inspired by the cone-shaped Erlenmeyer flask. The design is still in production today.