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International association of collectors
of coffee grinders

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History of the association

Why an association?

moulin trompe d'elephantThe coffee grinder is one of our most beautiful folk art objects, its variety is infinite, its models are innumerable. He accompanied and punctuated the life of our ancestors since the reign of Louis 14.

Depending on the country, coffee began to appear in Europe around the 1600s and during the 17th century; and it was the beginning of an extraordinary adventure for this object. Obviously, at that time, the coffee grinder as we know it today did not exist.

At first, we used spice mills very popular at the court of the king. These small grinders were made to order, often real masterpieces and were made in the rarest wood species, nothing was too good to satisfy the nobility.

But, quickly, it was necessary to imagine another utensil because the coffee beans fouled the mechanism of grinding. The metalworkers went to work and very quickly appeared many models, most iron and then, over time, the coffee grinder took the form that we know today.

Whatever the type of model: tabletop, wall-mounted, countertop, military, travel, ... all these objects are witnesses of their time, and since the middle of the 19th century, with industrialization, the essential tool to prepare a quality coffee

moulin muralEach family owned a coffee grinder because coffee (coffee beans) had become relatively affordable for the middle class. As for the working population, it mixed chicory to reduce the cost. But the coffee grinder was always there in the kitchen, modest or not. In the 1930s, the wall-mounted coffee grinder was a great success, then destroyed by the electric mill (after the second world war).

In 1944, the arrival in France of American GIs began to sound the death knell of coffee grinders. Indeed, the US military package contained soluble coffee. The success of this ground coffee was 'instant'. No more daily chore ... Long live to the modern world!

Ground coffee took precedence over coffee beans and today the packets of ground coffee are very much in the majority in the shelves of our supermarkets.

In spite of this quasi and inescapable disappearance, (or thanks to it), passionates were interested in this object become 'useless'. But everyone collected them in his corner, the documentation was lacking, there was very little communication and no exchange.

This beautiful object of popular art did not deserve such anonymity

moulin de table It was high time to break the isolation of mylokaphephiles. This is what we did when we created the AICMC in December 1988.

And we managed to quickly gather some collectors convinced of the necessity of our approach. The newsletter made the link between us, the general meetings allowed the passionate to know each other and the exchange was an instant success.

The documentation circulated through our newsletter. The catalogs of manufacturers of coffee grinders have been scanned and have been widely distributed to our members.

Some friends have even started looking for craftsmen capable of making "identical" parts: lids and buckets of wall-mounted coffee mills, drawers and lids for countertop coffee grinders, badges, small mechanical parts ... Many coffee grinders have been restored and they have returned to their original state.

The different Presidents of the AICMC:

- 1988 - 1995 : François Herpin

- 1995 - 2001 : Jean Paul Imbert

- 2001 - 2004 : André Bohé

- 2004 - 2011 : Jean-Louis Fontaine

- Since 2011 : Thierry Prieux

The creation of the AICMC told by the founding president:


President Herpin"I'm at the office, in my laboratory in Orsay, someone knocks on my door, it's a coworker who shows me the "Figaro Magazine". In full page of this weekly, sits the photo of the chef of the restaurant Lassere: Marc Daniel. The star is given to him, because besides his notoriety in terms of gastronomy, he collects the coffee grinders. I consult the article more closely and suddenly a click occurs in my head. In fact, our association had just been conceived; it had to be born.

I'm looking for the phone number of the famous restaurant, I call, a restaurant employee will pick him up. I introduce myself, we give ourselves an appointment, we become friends. Marc is enthusiastic about my project but we still have to convince two other friends to join us; because four people are needed to create an association.

I contact two collector friends: Marc Medina in Calais and Karl Ernst in Hamburg; Karl's choice was not innocent, because on the one hand this businessman was keen on coffee grinders and on the other hand, he gave us his guarantee for the name "international". Once the four partners agreed in principle, the case did not drag. I was instructed by my three friends to take the necessary steps to ensure that this association is born as soon as possible ... statutes ... prefecture ... official journal ... The case was conducted smoothly.

Our first member was a woman: Gisèle Mourey.

The first newsletter was published in December 1989.

Word of mouth works well, and from month to month, memberships are relatively numerous. The first general meetings are held at the head office.

As you can see, we try, as far as possible, to vary the location of our general meetings in order to satisfy the maximum number of members."

François Herpin

Legal notice

F. A. Q.

Website created by AICMC members - © AICMC 2012 - All rights reserved
Reproduction is prohibited without the written permission of AICMC
The association is absolutely not involved in commercial transactions between collectors.
The association is only interested in the heritage value of objects.
Note : we do not offer a valuation service
Use the Contact Us page to send us the request form with questions you may have