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Garlic press, Zylyss, ca. 1950
Karl Zysset
Garlic press, Zylyss,
Karl Zysset,

Garlic press, Zylyss,
ca. 1950

Karl Zysset
*1003
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Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Ausstellungsstrasse 60
8031 Zurich
Museum map
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 94
8031 Zurich
  • Zylyss Karl Zysset
  • Zylyss Karl Zysset
  • Zylyss Karl Zysset
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Listen to the text
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Karl Zysset (1907–1988) was not only the inventor of the garlic press, he also developed many other useful kitchen utensils and founded the company Zyliss AG to manufacture and distribute them. The company’s simple, well-designed mechanical utensils were found in Swiss kitchens until the 1980s. In 1982, the company was sold to investors and production was relocated to Asia.

Karl Zysset (1907–1988) came up with his first inventions while a bicycle mechanic and proprietor of the Velohaus Zysset in Lyss: a foldout, side-mounted kickstand and a luggage rack. Nothing is known today about Zysset’s garlic consumption, but around 1950 he developed a simple device for pressing garlic cloves into a fine puree, similar to a juice press. This first garlic press featured slightly curved aluminum handles that lay comfortably in the hand just like a bicycle brake. It consists of three parts: a lever with a piston and a cylinder with a perforated bottom. The garlic clove is placed in the cylinder and pressed through the small holes in the bottom by the force of the lever. The simple practicality and convincing ergonomics of the utensil impressed the jury of the Swiss Werkbund, which awarded it the “Die gute Form” seal in 1952. Zysset gave up the bicycle shop and founded Zylyss (a combination of his family name and the company’s location, later changed to “Zyliss”), subsequently devoting himself to the development, manufacture, and sale of kitchen utensils. In addition to citrus juicers with rotating and lever mechanisms, along with bread and sausage slicing machines, Zysset was also responsible for two additional world-renowned technical innovations: the salad spinner and the onion chopper (1953). The latter, with the slogan “Zick-Zick-Zyliss,” made the company name synonymous with Swiss kitchen utensils in the 1960s. (Renate Menzi)

Knoblauchpresse, Zylyss, um 1950
Entwurf: Karl Zysset
Herstellung: Zysset & Co., Lyss, CH
Vertrieb: Reist & Co., Bern, CH
Material/Technik: Aluminium
3.5 × 5 × 19 cm
Donation: Knecht Arredamenti, Locarno, CH
Eigentum: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK
Literatureo

Museum für Gestaltung Zürich (Hg.), 100 Jahre Schweizer Design, Zürich 2014, S. 154.

Roger Monnerat, «Karl Zysset und sein Blitzhacker», in: Work, die Zeitung der Gewerkschaft Unia, 20.11.2003.

Image creditso

Knoblauchpresse, Zylyss, um 1950, Entwurf: Karl Zysset, Donation: Knecht Arredamenti, Locarno, CH
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Fotografie, Produktgruppe Zysset & Co., um 1950, SWB-Fotosammlung von gutem Gebrauchsgerät
Dauerleihgabe: Schweizerischer Werkbund (SWB)
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Plakat, Hacken Zyliss, 1981, Schweiz, Gestaltung: Reinhard Morscher
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Plakat, Raffeln Zyliss, 1981, Schweiz, Gestaltung: Reinhard Morscher
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Plakat, Pressen Zyliss, 1981, Schweiz, Gestaltung: Reinhard Morscher
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Exhibition texto
Aluminum

Because its manufacture requires a large amount of electricity, aluminum is considered a “Swiss raw material.” In 1888, Europe’s first hydro-powered aluminum plant was put into operation in Neuhausen. The lightweight metal became cheaper and, after being adopted by the aircraft industry, made inroads into Swiss households. During World War II, aluminum replaced then-scarce steel and experienced a boom in field kitchens and elsewhere.