History of Club lever espresso machines

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realdoctor

Postby realdoctor » Mar 22, 2019, 10:00 am

Does anyone know the date for the first Olympia Club? It has many design features in common with the early Italian club machines including the La Romana and Sama (Lusso) models.

Achille DeCarli introduced the La Romana club in 1961. I am curious whether it was the first of this tribe. There also seem to have been design changes over time in the La Romana, and the Olympia Club appears to be very close to some models of La Romana. I can't help but wonder if there is some early shared history, like the Cremina-Pavoni connection.

Jim

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grog

Postby grog » Mar 22, 2019, 1:18 pm

Olympia posted a 1969 Club to their IG page a few weeks back. That's the earliest one I've seen, although there may even be some 1968s with the straight (rather than angled) steam and hot water knobs. I seem to recall having seen one but not 100% certain.
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drgary
Team HB

Postby drgary » Mar 22, 2019, 1:49 pm

I wonder what the Fregnan family (Elektra) could tell you?
Gary
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redbone

Postby redbone » Mar 22, 2019, 2:31 pm

Early machines also have a connection to DAMPA of Italy. Early variants of Ponte Vecchio machines were produced by DAMPA.
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jwCrema

Postby jwCrema » Mar 22, 2019, 8:56 pm

My Club is a 1969. I am pretty sure the first year was 1968. I will give Migg a ring and see what he says.

The pictures I posted of it when I bought it show the steam and hot water wand style Greg is referring to.

jwCrema

Postby jwCrema » Mar 26, 2019, 3:31 pm

Migg says the Olympia Express Club came out in 1966. He's worked on two of them.

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grog

Postby grog » Mar 26, 2019, 6:40 pm

Fascinating - didn't the first Cremina (the iteration with the 'box' around the boiler, not the Europiccola clone) come out in 1967? Surprising that the Club pre-dated it. But, we could speculate that the Oly Club's design was based somewhat on the other small Club machines (such as the earlier referenced La Romana in 1961) and in turn that boxy case design informed the Cremina re-boot in 1967, when they shifted away from the Europiccola-esque look.
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jwCrema

Postby jwCrema » Mar 26, 2019, 8:39 pm

I was extremely surprised too. I would have wondered if Google Translate had made a mistake but it's bomb proof on numbers.

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drgary
Team HB

Postby drgary » Mar 26, 2019, 11:56 pm

Olympia Express was making commercial levers before that, so it would make sense as a home-sized machine.
Gary
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