HistoryAugust 19, 2017
The CHEMEX® coffeemaker was invented in 1941 by the eccentric chemist Dr. Peter Schlumbohm. Throughout his career he developed over 300 patents, ranging from cocktail shakers to automobiles. His focus was on making everyday objects more functional, attractive and enjoyable to use.
When designing the CHEMEX®, Schlumbohm desired to not only make brewing the perfect cup simple, but also to have the vessel be a thing of beauty. Being a chemist, he studied and understood clearly the chemistry behind the extraction of flavor and caffeine from coffee beans.
It was this knowledge that led him to invent the double bonded CHEMEX® paper filters for a perfect extraction every time. For the carafe, Schlumbohm was inspired by the Bauhaus school of design and non-porous labware that would impart no flavor of its own. Using these elements he fashioned the hourglass shape that has now become an iconic part of American history. Made simply from one piece of borosilicate glass and adorned with a wooden collar and rawhide tie, the CHEMEX® is pure in both form and function. It has been recognized and awarded by both the scientific community as well as the art and design communities. The CHEMEX® can be found in museums throughout the world and is included in the permanent collection at the Brooklyn Museum, Corning Museum of Glass and MOMA, NY.
The Museum of Modern Art displayed it as one of the best-designed products in 1943.
The CHEMEX® coffeemaker was also selected by the Illinois Institute of Technology as one of the 100 best designed products of modern times.
CHEMEX® Corporation has been a family owned company for over 30 years. We are honored to carry on the historical and iconic legacy of Dr. Schlumbohm and his Chemex coffeemaker.