Mr. and Mrs. Gaggia. Milano 1938 Giovanni Achille Gaggia was born in Milan, Italy in 1895.
On 5 September 1938, Milan coffee bartender Achille Gaggia (born 1895) files patent No. 365726 for a steam-free coffee machine, heralding the modern age of espresso. Unlike its predecessors, Gaggia's design uses a revolutionary piston mechanism which forces water through the coffee grounds at high pressure – it takes 15 seconds to produce a single espresso shot. It's believed the idea for the piston mechanism came to Gaggia after he observed the engine of an American army jeep which used a hydraulic system.
CREMA DI CAFFE NATURALE
Achille Gaggia’s 1938 patent becomes a reality and Gaggia starts producing its first coffee machine for use in bars: the Classic. Its unique piston mechanism produces crema – a natural layer of coffee oils resembling foam – on the surface of the coffee. It makes Gaggia’s espressos unlike anything else, giving the diminutive drink a more intense aroma and flavour. Gaggia installs his machines in bars around Milan accompanied by huge signs in the window saying caffé crema di caffe naturale (coffee cream from natural coffee). And the espresso craze begins...
The Gaggia company is founded in Milan, Italy. Within a few years, Gaggia is exporting commercial coffee machines to United Kingdom, America and Africa.
Gaggia’s first espresso maker for home-use is called the GILDA. The story goes that Achille Gaggia named it after seeing 1946 film noir classic Gilda, starring glamorous Hollywood actress Rita Hayworth.
ASTORIA CLUB MILANO
A Gaggia machine at Club Astoria, a legendary 50s nightclub for fashionable young Italians in downtown Milan.
FIERA DI MILANO
With its iconic stand designs, Gaggia makes a huge impression at the Fiera Milano (Milan Trade Fair). Around 50 different nations exhibit here and Gaggia quickly garners international appeal.
A stylish custom-made Gaggia mobile canteen – resembling one of the brand's long cylindrical coffee machines – operated by Oluf Brønnum & Co, a family-run catering business from Denmark in 1956.
Sirocci Bar, also in London, where the best Italian espresso is served by Gaggia.
Famous Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida opens London's first espresso bar – Moka – at 29 Frith Street. Located in the heart of bohemian Soho, it fast becomes the meeting place of famous writers and poets, including Naked Lunch author and Beat legend William Burroughs. At its height, the bar serves over a 1,000 cups of coffee a day.
This 1959 film, part of the Look at Life series by Rank, explores London's burgeoning coffee culture of the 1950s. Included is a rather nondescript newsagent's façade in Soho, behind which was a coffee bar known as 'The French'. Small and smoke-filled, it was the regular haunt of artists Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud, writer and raconteur Quentin Crisp, and a whole medley of characters, such as 'Iron-foot Jack'.
New Year's Day at the El Cubano Coffee Bar at 171 Brompton Road, the main thoroughfare of London's fashionable Knightsbridge district.
SOHO DISTRICT LONDON
A customer at the Moka Bar in London's Soho district saves time by using the café's electric razor while he drinks his morning coffee.
Trying out coffee machines in the Gaggia House which supplies many of London's new coffee bars.
Twin sisters Elizabeth and Margaret Wilson, freelance models from Kensington, demonstrate an espresso machine on the Gaggia stand at the Hotel and Catering Exhibition, Olympia, London.
A still image from Fellini’s semi-autobiographical Roma featuring a Gaggia coffee machine.
A huge auction of memorabilia from Michael Jackson's Neverland estate is cancelled a week before it's due to take place. This vintage ORIONE 1G-U – serial number 1153 – made especially for the 'King of Pop' and featuring a plaque saying Neverland is one of the items.