Antique Coffee Roasters

We bought this home coffee roaster at an auction for way too much money. It’s very old but cheaply made from riveted tin steel . The drum is stamped “23” and the base is stamped “18”, leading me to believe these were stock numbers or size numbers of a standard factory- or workshop-produced item. It seems like something you might have ordered from a Sears Roebuck catalog in the 1880s. I am sure it was also sold as a nut roaster (peanuts, chestnuts, etc.).

Notice the old wire repair of the cast iron grill…
I am hoping these photos will inspire some of you in building your own home roaster. A hibachi and a tin can would be the majority of your materials list to produce a modern day equivalent of this device! We invite you to crank our old roaster a few times when you come visit us in Emeryville.
So simple … so effective.
We also have a gas roaster that was made in Brooklyn New York in the 20s or 30s:

If you look closely, you can see the porcelain gas shutoff valve on the left side of the picture.
Old Gas-fired Home Roast Circa 1930 To the left is a combination drum/stovetop pan roaster that we picked up a while back. This has the smallest capacity of all our roasters, probably only 1/3 lb.
Here is a wonderful copper home roaster circa late 19th c. that was offered at auction. This one is not in my collection, but I do have quite a few more that I just had to pack up when we moved from Ohio back to California, and I have not yet unpacked and photographed!
Here is a stovetop roast pan from the 30’s or later. It is made in Italy, probably used in some Italian enclave in the US for many years (its entirely charred) since we all know that a good Italian doesn’t forsake ANYTHING Italian, no matter how much time it takes away from the hustle & bustle, or how outdated and anachronistic it is. I imagine the only reason a kid from California (me) ever got hold of this thing was through the untimely death of some poor old Italian soul! I am taking good care of it though…

So do we use any of these roasters? Well, no … not when there are new (and rust-free!) roasters around….