Obit of the Day: Mister Mr. Coffee
Before Sam Glazer and Vincent Marrotta, if you wanted a cup of coffee at home you had two reliable options: percolating (which would smell great but could taste bitter) or instant (which is just not the same as brewed). The two high school classmates who would be business partners for 60 years, hired two engineers to design a coffee maker that would allow water to flow over the ground coffee and into a carafe. In 1972 the world was introduced to Mr. Coffee, the first-ever automatic drip coffee maker for home use.
A year later Glazer and Marrotta convinced New York Yankee great and baseball Hall of Famer, Joe DiMaggio, to become their pitchman. He agreed and by 1974, Mr. Coffee owned half the coffee maker market. Their sales increased in 1977 as Mr. Coffee commercials were shown across the U.S. during the first commercial break of the new hit miniseries, Roots. At the peak 42,000 Mr. Coffee’s were made everyday. Glazer and Marrotta sold their company to Sunbeam in 1987 for $87 million.
Sam Glazer died at the age of 89.
(Image of Joe DiMaggio and Mr. Coffee is courtesy of paradigmthrift.blogspot.com)