|You're looking into the deep past of a bygone industrial age of the 1920s. This is a Universal Grinder. They came in several sizes, and promised to make your life amazing and easy in so many ways.|
The 1994 LA Earthquake came roaring out of the ground, the freight train from hell on January 17, 1994, at 04:31. Half the city lost gas and power. When I made it home from my girlfriend's just after dawn, my apartment was still standing. Gas, but no power. I was supposed to go to work, but that didn't happen. Jangled and suddenly very sleepy, I fell into a deep nap.
Several hours later, I'm kind-of awake. Aftershocks are still rumbling through the city. I'd made a triple-espresso. Sitting at my kitchen table, half-awake, and watching my coffee cup dancing slowly around the table. I began to think—OK, I've got a camp-stove, Bialetti pots, water, coffee...what would happen if I didn't have any beans ground? Holy shit!
Being a swap-meet and flea-market devotee, I looked for hand-grinders. And in true swap-meet fashion, began seeing them. Then it was looking for complete blade sets. Eventually I found them— cutter blades what would grind from coarse to exceedingly fine. Score! Now I can grind espresso.
The grinders were dormant for a long time. Then a friend gave me a 2lb bag of roasted beans. So I clamped it to my Stanley folding work-bench, positioned the baking sheet under the outfeed, and set to work. Took about 10 minutes to grind about a pound. And it reminded me how much time I spend at a keyboard.