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Saturday, 27 July 2013

La Splendida

This is the story of how a coffee machine purchased a few month ago turned out to be one of the first coffee machine designed by Giovanni Fontana - who was Production Chief for Faema in the 60s working along Mr. Carlo Ernesto Valente, founder of Faema.

But let's start at the beginning.

An intriguing machine.
After i bought it, there wouldn't be a day where i wouldn't go downstairs to see if it's still there.
So much respect (and happiness of owning it) that i didn't touch it for the first few months.
I knew i would have time to repair it in September, so i was not in a hurry.

It intrigued me on many levels... but foremost because there was no manufacturers sign.

Basically, i had no idea what i had bought.

A few days ago, i risked my eyes in the drip tray... and saw a mark:

I googled.


Well, no. That's a lie. Let's say nothing substantial.

But then, i landed on Francesco Ceccarelli's website (here).
(I wrote to him... something i wanted to do anyway because i felt honoured to see my name under his on this publication)

And it looked like there was something for me to chew on.

I used the link to browse ISOMAC and my brain got overflown with all sorts of neurotransmitters.

The reason: my drip tray EXACTLY looked like the one on the Giada model:

I used the contact form to write an email.

In the meantime, i do "the usual stuff" and check my databases.

What Francesco assumed was totally right:
(Please keep the date in mind)

I even succeeded to find a patent of Giovanni Fontana relating to a coffee machine:

I was not even finished that i received an answer from the ISOMAC business.
I was so pleasantly surprised!

And not written by anyone.


Roberto Fontana - the son of Giovanni - & current manager of ISOMAC took of his time to answer my questions. Here is what he told me:


That was more than i had expected...
Of course, i always feel a pinch in my heart when i hear that there isn't no documentation left or no photos of that time.

Saying that.

Saying that it isn't that bad after all... because i have a picture of the ISOMAC SPLENDIDA!!!!.

Here it is:
(Thank you Franco!!!)

And here a diagram of the machine:
(Thank you Kim!!!)

And the leaflet here!!!!

Mine was sold by the son of Giordano Robbiati - Alfredo in his business S.T.E.M.A.C. (1983-1989)  under the name "Atomic automatic model".

You can see some pictures here, here and here.

Watch the ITALSOMAC SPLENDIDA with its original marks:

(Hope you can appreciate the fun i am having here, do you?)

"La sorrentina" coffee machine

Check my Flickr account: www.flickr.com/stellabanana

Friday, 12 July 2013

Thursday, 11 July 2013

I have updated my Flickr account with all the machines/leaflets of my collection:

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Riddle for the visitors of my Blog - Category "Advanced"

Find an "Atomic" coffee machine on this picture.
(Drop a message if you find it).
PS: Don't let the organic design mislead you.

Monday, 1 July 2013

"Martian" electric express - Brevetti Robbiati (Giordano Robbiati) - 1956

On the 8th of July 2012, (nearly a year ago) i got contacted by the owner of a "Martian" electric express.
I remember i had fever.
I really had fever.
No. You don't get me.

The day after, 9th of July, i got admitted in a viennese hospital where i spent a week on antibiotic treatment and observation.
These aren't fond memories.

Mr. Van Herwaarden was telling about a small size "Martian" coffee machine he recently acquired.

I then asked for extra pictures and waited patiently.

Mr. Van Herwaarden then told me he wanted "to do the machine justice", "make it right" and that he is "a bit of a perfectionist".

There is nothing i can object to this...  a year ago already, i thought it was fine.

But now i get to see the pictures... well, i might get fever again ;.)

(for more info on the "Martian" Electric express, press here and then Newer post at the bottom left or press here & here for 1957 Uk articles, here for an american article, here & here for leaflets)

It is an honour for me to host these pictures Mr. Van Herwaarden.
You kept your promises, and exceeded my expectations.
I think the pictures talk for themselves so here they are:

 My favourite: