Vendo 39 In Full Working Order Restored To Museum Standards And Is Historically Correct
According to the serial number F00421482 this is one of the first machines the Vendo company offered as a 10 cent coin operated in the mid 1940s.
Vendo Company History
World famous leader the Vendo Company is known worldwide in the manufacture of vending machines for more than 50 years. Vendo was founded as a small company in 1937 in Kansas City, Missouri as a manufacturer of bottled soft drink vending machines. Prior to this, early vendors had not been coin operated machines, but rather self-serve coolers packed with ice. This system relied on the customers’ honesty.
The early coin-operated vending machines were rolled out in the early 1880’s. They were first used to dispense postcards and books. These early models did not work well, often jamming. They also did not have the necessary safeguards and could not distinguish between a coin and a slug.
In the late 1930’s, two brothers named Elmer and John Pierson saw a need for improvement to the earlier designs and took out a patent for a vending lid that could be added to existing coolers. This lid called “The Red Top”, was simple, reliable and inexpensive.
The locked lid on top of the cooler and could be opened after a coin was inserted. The lid rotated to the next available bottle, eliminating the need to dig through the ice. At first the lids were added to Frigidaire and Westinghouse coolers that were already in use. Vendo then began buying coolers from Westinghouse and outfitting them with The Red Top and selling the resulting vending machines under the Vendo name. Early examples of this were the Vendo Junior and the Vendo Master (both from the late 30’s to early 40’s). In the 40’s, a compressor was added to soft drink bottle coolers, eliminating the need for ice altogether.