Coffee bean grinder

Object title: Kitchen equipment

Object name: Manual coffee bean grinder

Description Size (in mm)

Main body: 120mm (w) x 110mm (h) x 120mm (d)

Height to top of handle 210mm

Parts (include any casing or support)

The coffee bean grinder is a wooden cube shape with a small draw at the bottom. The grinding mechanism is metal as is the handle. There is a half sphere shape at the top of the cube which opens up for the beans to be dropped into for grinding.

Collection (is the item part of a collection)

Not part of a collection. This item is in personal ownership.

Colour (of each piece, including any notes on fading or discolouration)

Wood is brown – metal is rusty brown – handle is dark grey/silver. The item is worn and marked from use.

Materials (what is the item and any component parts made of e.g. plastic body, fabric dress, synthetic hair)

Wood and metal with a colour transfer indicating the name of the manufacturer.

Maker (who or what company made the item, or made part of the item e.g. the body of a doll may be commercially made, while the dress is hand made by a local resident)

Fabbrica Nazionale F B Tre Spade (Marca Depositata – Patented) Italy

Inscriptions (any signature or stamp on the item)

Fabbrica Nazionale F B Tre Spade (Marca Depositata – Patented) Italy

Method of manufacture (or see Maker)

Assumed factory made with some hand finishing.

Contents (for records include titles)


Use (how is or was the item used e.g. as a home ornament, for display, in a workshop)

Coffee beans were deposited into the opening at the top of the grinder. The handle was turned by hand and the coffee beans were ground with the grounds falling into a small draw at the bottom. When the beans were totally ground the coffee was taken from the small draw.

History (from the time the item was made, who owned it, where it was made and who the current owner is)

The item came from Italy with Anna and Bruno Facci in 1960. It was used daily until the mid-seventies when an electric coffee grinder replaced the hand grinder. It is currently owned by Franca Facci (daughter) who, as a child, was tasked with the chore of grinding coffee for her mother. Franca always thought the FB were the initials of her Father Facci Bruno.


– made – unknown est 1957?

– donated – no

– recorded (for register) – 7 January 2017

Associated information (personal information provided by owner, maker, donor or organisation about the item, its use, history and significance)

Coffee for stove top espresso coffee makers was not readily available in Australia when many Italians came to Australia in the 1950’s and 60’s.   The hand grinders allowed people to grind their coffee beans as they needed them. The espresso coffee culture has since infiltrated the Australian community and is now very much a part of Australian living. However, at the time Franca hated being asked to grind the coffee, it was a tedious chore. However, some of her non-Italian friends were always intrigued by the task and keen to ‘have a go’. Franca now cherishes the grinder for its memories, its aroma and its aesthetics.

Item number

Cataloguer Franca Facci

Current location Home of Franca Facci – Mount Kembla