Inventors are inspirational. Melitta Bentz was an inventor and entrepreneur. People had been drinking coffee for a long time, however her invention made the experience much more enjoyable and manageable. She invented the coffee filter in 1908.
Amalie Auguste Melitta Liebscher was born on January 31, 1873 in Dresden, Germany. She came from a family of entrepreneurs and hard-work and dedication was something she learned from her family. She grew up and married Emil Hugo Bentz. She became a homemaker and mother. Frustrated with coffee ground and having to clean the linen bag filters that were used at the time, she set out to invent something new. She experimented with several things before trying blotting paper from her son Willi’s school exercise book. This and a perforated brass pot led to grounds-free, less bitter coffee.
She was granted a patent in 1908 and months later registered the company “M. Bentz”. In 1909, 1,200 coffee filters were sold at the Leipzig fair. Her husband and sons worked for the company. In 1910, the company won medals at the International Health Exhibition and the Saxon Inkeepers’ Association. During the First World War she sold cartons and afterward the company was able to expand. Demand increased and the company grew. In 1929, they moved to Minden for satisfactory production facilities.
In 1930, her son Horst took over the company and it became “Bentz & Sohn”. Melitta’s stake went to her sons in 1932, however she stayed involved. She made sure employees were cared for and conditions improved. “Melitta Aid” became a social fund for company employees. World War II disrupted production, however by 1948 production had resumed.
Melitta Bentz died in Holzhausen district of Porta Westfalica in 1950. Her grandchildren later took control of the Melitta Group KG. It went on to have thousands of employees and 50 companies making coffees, coffee filters, and small appliances. Her invention solved problem and made coffee a more enjoyable experience for all involved. Be inspired! Have a bright day!