Medium's ‘X-Powered-By' HTTP Header

We all love coffee, right? Some more than others, but there is an inherent stereotype that “nerds” survive off the stuff – I know I tend to rely on a cup of the brown stuff every morning. However to my suprise, it seems a little caffine has dripped into Medium's front-end source code.

By my very nature I’m obsessed with knowing how “stuff” works, I guess that’s why I dismantled an old, broken, washing machine at the age of 5 and decided to try hook it up to an old car battery, almost electrocuting myself – so my father tells me. But after an evening spent analysing Medium's source code I stumbled upon an unusual and quirky HTTP header that was being returned with every request:

X-Powered-By: chemex

After a bit of Googling it appears Chemex is a rather lovely looking manual coffeemaker that was invented in 1941 by Peter Schlumbohm.

Photo of a Chemex by coffee-channel.com

It appears there are quite a few websites that have 'hidden', unconventional and quirky HTTP headers. There is a pretty extensive list that's been provided by the folk at nextthing.org (and also Pingdom).

P.s If you havn't stumled upon Medium's humans.txt file yet I encourgae you to check it out, one of neatest I’ve come across in some time with some rather brilliant copywriting.

Update: April 2014

After moving some of my old posts from Medium to Ghost, I rechecked the facts within the article and discovered that Medium are now displaying another rather humerous HTTP header:

X-Powered-By: Food


Mike Stephens @bitbytebit