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History of the Espresso Machine

1905: Desiderio Pavoni buys Bezzera's patents; Pier Teresio Arduino founds Victoria Arduino, the company that would do more to spread early espresso culture than any other with its advertisements and philosophy behind the drink. 1912: La Cimbali founded.

1922:Universal enters the espresso machine business, and soon becomes the leading machine maker, with a wide range of products through the 1920s and 1930s and beyond. (They have since disappeared from the market)

1927: La Marzocco founded; First espresso machine comes to America as NYC's Regio's Bar installs a La Pavoni two group machine (still on display today).

1929: Rancilio founded by Roberto Rancilio.

1932: La San Marco starts a 10+ year trend towards total Deco design in machines with the introduction of the La San Marco 900. Every company would move to this design style.

1936: Simonelli founded.

1946: Faema founded by Ernesto Valente.

1947: Gaggia introduces the revolutionary piston lever Crema Caffe machine, and modern day espresso in the commercial establishment is born. Many will follow.

1948: Gaggia introduces the Classica, a 2 group version of the Crema Caffe; La Pavoni, other companies introduce new brewers based loosely on Gaggia's revolutionary system. True espresso as we know it today becomes common.

1950: Elektra experiments with hydraulic pressure machines.

1950: (circa) Officine Maffioletto makes one of the first machines capable of brewing real pressure espresso, but in the home. It was a piston model with a 1 liter capacity.

1950: Piston operated machines, both spring action and direct pressure, many direct copies of Gaggia's ground breaking Crema machines, flood the market and make modern day espresso common.

1956 (circa): Gaggia Gilda machine, not marketed for, but suitable for home use, is brought to market - a dual lever piston single group machine.

1958: La Marzocco Crema Espress single group lever machine introduced - not marketed for domestic use, but could be used as such due to the size.

1961: Faema introduces a very revolutionary machine, the E61 - the first heat exchanger, rotary pump driven espresso machine. No more levers; Elektra Micro Casa a Leva and La Pavoni Europiccola Lever machine for the home are introduced. Micro Casa had "steam on demand" ability.

1966: Alfred Peet opens first Peets Coffee in Berkeley, CA, later serves as inspiration for the founding of Starbucks by visiting Seattlites.

1971: Starbucks first opens in Seattle as a Roastery.

1974: La Pavoni Professional Lever machine for the home introduced. Pavoni introduces "instant steam" and brew machine.

1982: SCAA founded. Originally called the Specialty Coffee Advisory Board, or SCAB; they would soon change their name to something more aesthetically pleasing to the ear.

1983: Howard Schultz of Starbucks travels to Italy, becomes immersed in espresso culture.

1985: Starbucks installs first espresso machine in their Seattle shop.

1989: Acorto brings to market the world's first truly complete and marketable commercial super automatic machine, including ground-breaking features such as the self-contained refrigeration system for milk, and different frothing choices on demand.

1990: Rancilio introduces the Rocky grinder, a grinder that blurs the line between commercial and home grinding appliances.

1991 (circa): Saeco brings out the world's first super automatics designed specifically for home and small office use.

1992: Illy collector cups first introduced, bringing artistry to the cup itself, as well as what's inside the cup.

1994: Solis brings the SL-90 consumer espresso machine to market, one of the first successful automatic espresso machines for the home.

1997: Rancilio introduces the Silvia espresso machine, which raises the bar in the home espresso machine market, and starts a trend towards better, more professional machines for the consumer; Pasquini markets the Livia 90 (made by Bezzera), one of a new wave of prosumer, heat exchanger-equipped machines for consumers instead of commercial businesses.