In the 1700's it became commonplace to infuse coffee. The grounds were placed in a pouch of silk or cotton and tied closed. (Sounds like a teabag to me, except this one has ground coffee in it.) The pouch was placed in the pot and hot water was poured over it. The coffee was steeped to the right color and taste, according to the person making it. I doubt it was strong coffee, but it did keep the grounds out of the cup. This pouch method was also used as means of making coffee by allowing a funnel to hold the cloth and the beans. It is referred to as a French drip. Water was poured over it. Today many coffee shops use that method. Want a cup of coffee that isn't already brewed? They will do a "pour over".
Then we got a little more robust about it. Toss those grounds into the pan, add water and boil it until it until it smelled right. That's a mighty strong cup of coffee!
The coffee pendulum swung again. Coffeepots came with two chambers. Put a sock or sock-like thing in the top chamber, add the ground coffee to the sock and delicately brew by pouring hot water over the grounds. The coffee is no longer boiled. Socks weren't the only thing they used. And if an old sock was used, it's going to impart its own flavor to the coffee.
Percolators became the next big invention. It was manual and eventually became electric. An electric percolator meant a perfect cup of coffee every time, and it was heavily advertised as such. What housewife doesn't want to make a perfect cup of coffee for her husband. (If she wanted a perfect cup that sorta happened by accident. If he had good cup of coffee that meant she had a good cup. Wasn't that great logic?) These pots are still in use today and some people think that our "modern" machines don't make the full-bodied coffee like that old percolator. Go rummage around Mom's or Grandmom's kitchen and it's probably still in the cabinet in the back corner. There was a forerunner of the percolators. It was called a vacuum coffeemaker. The grounds were in the top chamber and the bottom contained the water. Place the pot on the stove, heat it, and the water turns to steam. The steam enters the top chamber and drips down through the beans into the pot below. But percolators work almost the same, except they don't use steam, they use hot water. They have that metal tube and the hot water is forced up the tube where it ran over a basket filled with coffee grounds. The fun part of these coffeemakers was when they put that glass bump in the lid of the pot. The noise it made as the hot water hit that glass bump was a bubbling sound that could be heard in the other room. Maxwell House coffee used that sound in their commercials starting in the 1950's. Click here for the commercial.
A drip coffeepot that most of us use today has its footing in the early 1900's. That paper filter was made from a piece blotting paper. But during the last half of the 1800's, it was the percolator that the cowboys on cattle drives used, pioneers used, farmers used, as well as the city dwellers. It reigned supreme for over 100 years. Many of today's nature lovers keep a simple percolator to make a pot of coffee over the campfire.
There's half dozen other ways to make coffee and equipment to do it. But I've tried to stick with what was the most common and apt to be found in a household. Coffee is one of oldest beverages known.
***Just a little side note: My eyesight is improving. Except I can't see things like periods or commas, nor can I distinguish between certain letters. So please forgive my errors. I'm thrilled that my sight is still improving. In almost four months, I've gone from blind to seeing stuff. But the little stuff, such as the things on the laptop screen, is nearly impossible and that's what I'm using.