Arcade 4 Receiving Jars ReproducedBy

Arcade #4 Receiving Jars Reproduced

An original Arcade #4 wall mounted coffee grinder sells for about $400-$450. The small glass container that catches the ground coffee (see arrow Fig. 1) accounts for over half that amount selling for $200-$250 if found separately.

The glass receiver jar is the hardest original part to find and demand has always been great by owners trying to assemble a complete grinder. Demand has apparently been strong enough to inspire someone to make reproduction jars.

Where the new receiver jars come from or how much they cost new is unknown. The new sample shown here was found in an antique mall in Illinois.

There are several major differences between new and old receiver jars. The most obvious is the absence of the lettering "FREEPORT ILL" in the new jar. Freeport, Illinois was the home of Arcade Manufacturing who produced the completed grinders.

The other major clue is more subtle although very apparent once pointed out. Original jars came with two forms of measurement–one version in ounces, the other in tablespoons. Whoever ordered the reproduction jar, got the two measurements confused. Although the new jar clearly states TABLESPOONS, it is marked in horizontal lines that measure 8 ounces, not tablespoons (Fig. 5). The original jar marked TABLESPOONS is marked with horizontal lines that measure 14 tablespoons (Fig. 5).

New and old jars are the same size and hold identical amounts of material. The new jar is simply mismarked. The original Arcade jar which measures ounces does not have any lettering to indicate which unit of measurement is used (Fig. 6).

Other slight differences include the size of the word TABLESPOONS and the space between TABLE and SPOONS in the original jar (Fig. 4).

Original Arcade #4 grinders were sold from about 1900 until the Depression of the 1930s. Arcade was the first manufacturer to include hoppers made of glass so the amount of coffee beans were visible. In addition to the coffee grinders, Arcade made other household and kitchen items like stove lid lifters, juicers, etc. The company was probably most famous for its line of realistic cast iron toys including the well known Chicago Yellow Cabs and later souvenir vehicles sold at the 1933 Chicago Worlds Fair.


Fig. 1 Complete Arcade model #4 wall mounted coffee grinder. Clear glass hopper above holds beans; glass receiving jar below catches ground coffee. Housing is made of cast iron.


Fig. 2 Bottom of new receiver jar is missing the words Freeport ILL.


Fig. 3 Bottom of original receiver jar includes Freeport ILL embossed below the number 4.


Fig. 4 The word TABLESPOONS on new receiving jar on left is significantly larger than the size of the same word on the original jar on right. Also note the definite space between the TABLE and SPOONS on the original.


Fig. 5 The new jar, left, with TABLESPOONS has eight horizontal lines marked with numbers 2-4-6-8. These measurements are actually for ounces, not tablespoons. The original jar with TABLESPOONS has seven horizontal lines marked 2-4-6-8-10-12-14. Both jars are the same size; the new jar is marked incorrectly.


Fig. 6 There is an original jar marked for ounces (right) but it has no lettering on the side. It is marked only with the numbers 2-4-6-8 and with nine horizontal measuring lines. The new jar marked 2-4-6-8 has only eight horizontal measuring lines and includes the word TABLESPOONS.