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Reference Sources

Petzke Slavin espresso Espresso Culture and Cuisine by Karl Petzke and Sara Slavin (Chronicle Books, 1994) gets pride of place in this list, because this was the first time I encountered the Atomic. Page 26 has a soft, warm photo of an Atomic, and the facing text descibes it as "an endearing machine with convoluted curves and a vaguely anatomical form that give it the appearance of a small Henry Moore sculpture."
Atomic coffeemaker patent schematic The UK (633,988) and US (2,549,132) patent specifications provide detailed descriptions and sketch plans of the Atomic. The UK application is recorded as being made on 21 December 1947, although there is some doubt as to whether the patent was actually issued. The US document shows a patent date of 17 April 1951. The documents are significantly different: the UK application is for "improvements in coffee percolators" and is based on eight specific design features. The US application is for a "coffee maker" and is much more sweeping in its claims, although the design innovations have now been reduced to three.
Bramah coffee makers Coffee Makers: 300 Years of Art and Design by Edward and Joan Bramah (Quiller Press 1989) is a glorious celebration of coffee machines and a rich source of both historical and technical information. It is not however particularly detailed or rich with respect to the Atomic, which rates one small picture (of what appears to be an early Sassoon model) and a one-sentence caption.
Designs of Times Designs of the Times: Using Key Movements and Styles for Contemporary Design, by Lakshmi Bhaskaran (RotoVision, 2005) has an illustration of what appears to be a very early Atomic, dated 1950, and states the Atomic was designed in Milan. The jug in the illustration is almost square in profile and the handle is not attached at the bottom. Lakshmi assigns the Atomic to the school of "organic design" derived from the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Fumagalli coffeemakers Coffeemakers: Macchine da Caffe, by Ambrogio Fumagalli (Chronicle Books, 1995) has a picture of a rather weary-looking flat-top on p.109. In fact, there must be some doubt whether the jug in the picture is authentic. Stated to be from Milan, 10 x 9 inches, 4-cup capacity.
Ian Bersten Coffee Floats Coffee Floats, Tea Sinks: Through History andTechnology to a Complete Understanding by Ian Bersten (Helian Books, 1993) . Has a picture of an Atomic on p.139; asserts that the Atomic espresso was patented in 1956 and widely exported for three decades. And if Ian Bersten says it is an "espresso" machine, who are we to contradict him?
Mikael Janvier Vintage leaflets of the Atomic home espresso coffee makers by Mikael Janvier (, 2010). Full reproductions of many of the leaflets, manuals, articles and news cuttings related to the early days of the Atomic. A superb rersource!