Coffee Breaks First Appeared At A Company Located In?
Answer: Buffalo, New York
Across the world people drink over 2.25 billion cups of coffee a day, and many of those cups are slugged back at work. In fact, the first thing most people think of when they think of coffee is either waking up in the morning to get ready for work or taking a break at work. Given the sheer number of cups of coffee consumed, and the strong association between using coffee to perk up at work, it would be easy to think the coffee break has been with us for as long as we’ve had organized labor.
Although the idea of warming and energizing oneself with coffee pre-dates even the industrial revolution itself, the idea of having a structured break specifically for workers to take a short break and enjoy some coffee at the same time is a very recent invention. The first known instance of the modern coffee break dates back to 1902 when the Barcolo Manufacturing Company (still in existence and now known as Barcalounger) instituted a mandatory break during the work day complete with hot coffee to re-energize their workers.
The practice was slow to take hold, however, as the modern trappings of the break room and coffee distribution we enjoy today (automatic coffee pots, coffee vending machines, and such) didn’t appear until the 1940s. By the 1950s, however, the idea of the coffee break was firmly enmeshed in factories and offices across Europe and North America; in 1952, the practice got an official name courtesy of the Pan-American Coffee Bureau, who advertised for coffee with the slogan “Give yourself a coffee break… and get what coffee gives you!” You know, that sweet sweet caffeine buzz to get through a long afternoon on the job.
Image courtesy of the Pan-American Coffee Bureau.