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THE VENDO 81D V81D ANTIQUE SODA MACHINE FOR COCA COLA



Although formed in 1937 in Kansas City, Missouri, the Vendo Company's reputation amoung collectors stems from their product line of the 1950's. Certainly, their invention and sales of the "Vendo Top" in the late 30's ranks as a significant milestone in the evolution of the Coke cooler and should not be overlooked. When adapted to wet coolers made by other manufacturers such as Cavalier and Westinghouse, the Vendo Top allowed for coin-op action where the lid was rotated to a stationary bottle in ice. This was an advancement over earlier mechanisms requiring the movement of the bottles to a single opening in the lid. The most collectible of these for around $10, installed one of their tops to dispense 23 bottles, and sold the unit for $35 in 1939. A larger 39 bottle version was also available which used a stationary drum in the horizontal position virtually identical to the drum that was later used in the upright Model V-39. Compressors were added in the 40's taking the place of ice.


It was the company's introduction of a new line of upright coin-operated machines, following World War II, which earned them the recognition they command among collectors today. Beginning with the V-83 in 1946 and followed closely by the V-39 in 1949, these two machines accounted for over 200,000 units on location between the years 1946 to 1957. Of these two, the Model V-39 ranks as the single most widely recognized Coke machine among collectors today. The crank handle and small bottle door are the two distinguishing features which people most remember about the Coke machine during the "Golden Age" of the 1950's. And while there were other machines which embodied these same features, the V-39, through its sheer numbers and lenth of production (over 80,000 units in 9 years), ranks it as number one.


If the V-39 ranks as the most recognized machine today, its smaller cousin, the V-44, ranks as the single most highly collected of the upright coolers. To go along with its compact size, only 16" wide x 57 1/2" high, the V-44 has the look, with its crank handle, that makes it so desirable. While not rare, a little over 8000 units were made between the years 1956-1959, it is certainly less common than, for example, the V-39. It should be noted that the Vendorlator company made thousands of a virtually identical unit to the V-44, the only real difference, being the absence of the chrome coin entry bezel found on the Vendo version. Both machines use two vertical chutes to vend 44 6 ounce bottles with room in the bottom to pre-cool another 9 bottles. The machines came priced originally as either 5 cent, 6 cent or 10 cent. Another note worthy feature of the 44 was its original color scheme of white over red. Beginning in 1955, the Coca-Cola Company was encouraging distributors to bring all red coolers in from location and undergo "Operation Face-lift." In the words of Dupont, manufacturer of much of the paint used on vintage machines, the top 12" or so of each machine was to be painted with multiple coats of "pure 'iceburg' white that suggest the cooling natural goodness of Coke."


Another desirable model from the company is the V-81. Models produced are the Vendo 81d , V81b V81a and V81c - Often found as a white-top machine (it was introduced in 1955), the V-81 is physically the same size as the V-39 but radically different in its method of dispensing bottles. Departing from the usual drum mechanism, this machine holds 9 bottles on each of 9 shelves. The shelves are slanted towards a glass (actually Plexiglas) door on the left of the machine. The shelves are adjustable to accommodate 6, 10, or 12 ounce bottles giving this machine more versatility than most of the other models.


As an example of its dominance during the Golden Age of Coke machines, 1956 saw the Vendo Company offering no less than 6 highly collectible models in the V-23, V-39, V-44, V-80, V-81 and V-110. Original sales literature for the company was telling the industry in late 1955 to "mark 1956 as a great year and follow the new Vendo V-Line with confidence!" Truly prophetic words. Above Description Courtesy Steve Ebner ~ Fun Tronics.






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SALES AND RESTORATION OF ALL BRANDS AND MODELS OF VINTAGE SODA MACHINES -


"sell the best and service the rest"






"!!! CLICK THE COLORED TEXT BELOW TO VIEW EACH PHOTO - THESE PHOTOS ARE CLEAR AND CRISP !!!"




"!!! COCA COLA VENDO 81d MACHINE !!!"





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