It’s International Coffee Day.

Coffee is so readily available these days that it can be easy to forget that for centuries, coffee wasn’t all that easy to make.

But here’s the story of a woman who helped change that.


Melitta Bentz was born in Dresden, Germany in 1873.

She was a coffee drinker, but as the New York Times reported, she didn’t like the mess that in those days came with brewing up a cup or two.

Bentz looked for an easy way to brew the coffee but contain the grounds, and she found it after using a piece of blotting paper from one of her three kids’ school notebooks.

By 1908 she’d received the patent for the paper coffee filter, and she launched a company to sell them out of her home.

Her husband showed workers and shops how to demonstrate the filters, while their kids made deliveries in a handcart.

Bentz’s name may ring a bell for coffee drinkers, since the Melitta Group is still in business today.

It employs thousands of people in facilities all over the world, selling filters that got their start in one kitchen in Dresden over a century ago.

The first Friday of October is World Smile Day, and if you’re in Polk County, Oregon today, you might be in the right place to celebrate.

Just off Route 18, on the side of a hill, is a giant smiley face made of trees!

As smiley faces sometimes say, have a nice day!

Overlooked No More: Melitta Bentz, Who Invented the Coffee Filter (New York Times)

Giant Smiley Face on Oregon Hillside Is Made Up of Trees (Oddity Central)

Our Patreon backers make us smile every day

Photo by John Lodder via Flickr/Creative Commons