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Vintage Joe - page 3
By Mark Neeley

These are 56 year old coffee pots that actually still work! Reading the guarantee in the brochure, Sunbeam placed a 1 year warranty on the percolators in material and workmanship. Yeah, I know it is not a “limited lifetime warranty”, but what does that mean anyway? It’s an oxymoron. If it has a lifetime warranty, it should not be limited, not excluding an act of God or intentional abuse.

The Sunbeam Model AP percolator didn’t need the newer style “limited lifetime” warranty, because Sunbeam engineered it correctly. They knew it was a lifetime product with proper care and usage. The percolator was constructed of chrome plated copper construction and had a stainless steel basket. Inside, there are no digital components to fail, but instead the internals are nearly fail proof mechanical units. What a novel idea, build a great product and gain a great reputation, an earned one because it was actually well deserved.

It’s the way it was done when this percolator was made. All of the products that Sunbeam manufactured in the 1940s and 1950s were built this way. I own nearly all of them and I have not been disappointed yet. 

In this day of planned obsolescence infused imported goods, it’s nice to be able to reach back to an era when American manufacturing was king of the mountain. Not because we were the biggest, but because we built some the best products available in the world. Products constructed of real materials that lasted a lifetime. The Sunbeam Model AP coffee percolator is one of the best examples of building it right. The inside page of the 1953 Sunbeam brochure says it best when they boldly claim “You Now Have the Finest Automatic Percolator made”. What’s the old saying, it’s not bragging if you can back it up? They could, and now 56 years later it proves they did.
It’s a great machine to use today and since the new trend is the “green” movement, rest easy because when you use one of these the last tree that was cut down to build it was nearly 60 years ago! So go out and find that vintage Sunbeam Percolator, buy some whole bean Eight O’Clock coffee, and play Old Blue Eyes singing “The Coffee Song”. Close your eyes and enjoy your vintage joe.