Start Your Day the “Deco” Way.

Setting the breakfast table with Fiestaware and Riviera makes for a colorful start to the day.

Setting the breakfast table with Fiestaware and Riviera makes for a colorful start to the day.

I enjoy collecting 1930’s kitchen items and I love to use them. Before going out on a day of antique hunting, I will start by making a 1930’s style breakfast.


Big brother, little brother -  1930's six cup and two cup, vacuum coffee pots.

Big brother, little brother – 1930’s Silex six cup and two cup, vacuum coffee pots.


A good cup of coffee is always welcome at the start of the day. And the best tasting coffee is made with a vacuum coffee pot, like my 1936 Silex. This style of coffee pot went out of favor in the 1950’s and the electric percolator became the standard coffee pot in homes. Vacuum pots are not easy to clean, but they make a very good tasting coffee, because the grounds do not sit in the coffee, there is no bitterness to the flavor. The earlier style Silex coffee makers, like mine, had a narrow neck. Around 1940 the wide neck versions started to appear. I like the look of the earlier style (much more like an hour-glass), but the wide neck variety are much easier to clean.


This video shows the coffee pot in use –

If I’m only making coffee for myself, I will use my Silex two cup pot, instead of the larger six cup model. The two cup coffee pots are not that easy to find, I found this one at The Whistle Stop Antique Mall in Ontario, New York, this past January.


Silex two cup vacuum coffee pot.

Silex two cup vacuum coffee pot.

The second staple of a “Deco” breakfast is toast. I have a great 1930 Universal “drop down” toaster. Here are some pictures of  the  toaster.



This is a short video of the toaster in action –


The best way to make hard-boiled eggs, in my opinion, is with a Hankscraft Egg Cooker. Introduced toward the end of 1928 they were produced up through 1960’s. The great thing about a  Hankscraft Egg Cooker is that it takes all the guess work out of making hard-boiled eggs. Just add 8 teaspoons of water in the cooker and plug it in, the water completes the current and the cooker turns on. The water starts to boil and when it has evaporated the cooker turns off. It’s not just hard-boiled eggs that can be made, with 4 teaspoons of water the Hankscraft cooker will make a perfect soft-boiled egg, to be enjoyed in a matching egg cup –


And with 5 teaspoons of water one can poach an egg using the supplied dish (which needs to be be greased with butter) –



The Hankscraft cooker that I have is a model 730 that dates from 1933. This was the top of the line model, it is all porcelain, with platinum trim.

1933 Model 730 Egg Cooker

1933 Model 730 Egg Cooker

Below is a video of me using the egg cooker –




After having my breakfast of coffee, toast and maybe a hard-boiled egg, I’m ready to hit the road to find more Deco treasures. I will also stop for an early lunch as there is no way a breakfast that insubstantial will carry me for a long time, and I get very cranky when hungry.



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6 thoughts on “Start Your Day the “Deco” Way.

    1. Post author

      Hi Jim,

      Regular ground coffee is used in vacuum pots. It’s hard to see, but if you look at the picture of the two pots, the larger one has a removable glass rod in the upper part and the small one has a white ceramic disc, these are the filters. After the vacuum is broken and the coffee drains down to the bottom the ground are trapped in the top part by the filters. Cleaning the grounds out of the top part is not too easy or fun.


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