Pictured above with our assorted Coke merchandise at Blast From The Past is an original Vendo 39 soda machine. Back in the fifties machines like this were rather ubiquitous throughout the country and were often found outside gas stations where the patrons could complete the transaction with no further assistance from the staff. Most grocery stores opted for the chest style coolers which required the customer to pay a cashier. This particular model was in our private collection. I’ve always been fascinated by coin-op devices like candy and soda machines. While I don’t have a huge collection. I have managed to acquire two soda machines, one large Stoner candy machine and a couple gumball and small candy vending machines.
Obviously, vending machines are still in plentiful supply albeit with less style than those of the past. I often thought the small measure of fun I received from putting my nickels or dimes into my assorted vending machines was unique to my quirky personality. I have been proven very wrong as is evidenced by the onslaught of smiles and giggles which have descended upon our store ever since we loaded the old Vendo with 8 oz. bottles of Coca Cola. People of all ages have had quite a bit of fun dropping a coin in the slot and pressing the lever with its accompanying thunk as the drum rotates placing one perfectly chilled bottle within their reach.
A quick pop of the top, the telltale “fizz” and that first sip or gulp, depending upon the individual, and of course the smile. Always the smile. Imagine if we could bottle that kind of happiness. Wait…I guess someone already did!