The Pepper Bird on everyone's lips – and dining tables

At the end of the 1950s, food needed pepper. And it had to be freshly ground. But the grinders provided little fun until the autodidact, fashion designer Tonn-P, invented The Pepper Bird. Grinding pepper had become fun at Danish dinner tables.

At the end of the 50s, preserved pepper was frowned upon at the breakfast tables. Cardboard canisters containing powder that could be sprinkled were out. The taste could not be maintained.

Household experts also took part in the battle: Only pepper from one’s own grinder would do.

Grinding pepper gets trendy

The Pepper Bird had become trendy, and most people had become aware that pepper could be different from the powder you sprinkled from a cardboard canister.

In fact, there was no doubt whatsoever that the roughly ground pepper corns you could yourself grind over your chosen piece of luxury sandwich with shrimp, just tasted the best.

Unfortunately, Danish families were left with one problem at their dining tables. Pepper grinders were not very pretty, and how could you grain the corns?

The Pepper Bird would. 

Favourite at the dinner table

The autodidact craftsman Sven Erik Tonn-Petersen entered the scene. With his playful, artistic design, combined with functionality.

And in a very short period of time, the Pepper Bird became a favourite item on the dining table – a small piece of unique art that most people know and talk about.

The Pepper Bird brought joy to both young and old at the dining table.

It was awarded prizes in competitions and mentioned in advertisements as bait to bring people from the provincial towns all the way to stores in Copenhagen.

The Pepper Bird brought life to the dining table, it was fun and decorative and especially cheerful for children. It was so popular and well-known that it could be used in a crossword puzzle.

The Pepper Bird was on everyone's lips in record time.

Design icon flies the nest

After a few years on the market, the popularity of the Pepper Bird waned.

Other products came along, and the focus shifted from playful to strictly functional.

A design icon had flown the nest and only returned in 2015 when Spring Copenhagen relaunched the Pepper Bird in collaboration with Tonn-P's family.