Big Coffee Pots
Coffee is God to legions of the wide-awake, temporarily increasing brain power and sand-papering nerves. Decades before long haulers supersized Cokes and kept driving, a simple cup of mud did the trick. So big roadside coffee pots were one way to catch the heavily-lidded eye.
Now fancy modern coffees keep America alert -- and you have to be alert to spot any of the dwindling population of original big coffee pots.
The Big Coffee Pot
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
In the restored Moravian Village of Old Salem, you'll find the Mickey Pot, oldest of the giant vessels. Erected in about 1860, it was created to advertise the tinsmith business of two brothers.
Swedish Coffee Pot and Cup Water Towers
The little west Iowa village of Stanton was the hometown of the actress who played "Mrs. Olson" on countless Folgers coffee TV commercials. The Swedes honor her and their hot beverage heritage with two giant tributes -- a water tower coffee pot, and a humongous coffee cup water tower.
Swedish Coffee Pot of Kingsburg
While we're on Swedish pots, let's not forget Kingsburg, a Swedish theme town with a couple blocks of downtown decorated in a Nordic motif, complete with Viking and Dala horse restaurant. The water tower is made to look like a giant coffee pot, a la Stanton.
Building Shaped Like Coffee Pot
Between Lexington and Buena Vista, a building that almost looks like a coffee pot sits on a the right side of a curving grade. The two-story corrugated metal structure qualifies as coffee-related by virtue of its roundness and the attached spout and handle. The lesson is you can attach a spout and handle to almost any structure and it becomes a coffee pot.
World's Largest Coffee Pot
Island Falls, Maine
The claimed "World's Largest Coffee Pot" is brought out for the Log Drivers Cookout in early March. It's in Aroostook, the northernmost part of Maine -- too far away for us to actually visit and verify....
Coffee-Pot-Shaped Night Club
Bob's World Famous Java Jive, a Puget Sound landmark, was built in 1927. It is 25 ft. high and 30 ft. in diameter, and has gone through a number of interior makeovers. When owned by Bob and Lylabell Radonich, it was a Polynesian-themed place with a Jungle Room and two monkeys live monkey inhabitants -- Java and Jive. Java Jive continues the trashy decor today.
Coffee Pot-shaped Building
The Coffee Pot in Bedford looks mighty trim these days, but it came within an inch of the scrap pile. It had been a unique landmark along the Lincoln Highway (Highway 30) since 1927, a welcoming place to grab gas and a cup of coffee. It went through a string of owners and functions, and by the 1990s it was worn, damaged and ready for the bulldozers. Fortunately, a highway landmark preservation group raised funds to get the Big Coffee Pot moved across the street to the County Fairgrounds, and completely refurbished in 2004.
Old Salem's historic Mickey Pot was said to have comic pouring capacity of its own, so it seems roadside advertising has come full circle....