April 2006 Featured Collection

 Soda Machines and Coolers




     have been around since the early 1920's.  When soft drink companies realized that they needed a way to sell cold bottles of soda, the  race was on to see who could come up with the best idea and design.  The very first cooler was simply a wooden barrel that had been cut in half and filled with soda and ice.  Many times a sign was nailed to the front of the barrel.  Eventually legs were added to the barrel, along with lids, and some even came with elaborate selecting mechanisms, which gave way to the soda machine.  Although functional, these soda coolers and soda machines were very crude.

     In the Mid 30's, style became a more important thing to both the soda manufacturers and the stores that carried these coolers and machines.  The creativity and ingenuity of the soda machine manufacturers in the 30's led the way into the truly great machines of the 40's and 50's, when the style of the soda machine hit its peak.

     Similar to the jukebox collection of last month, soda machines served as a gathering place for people.  In his book, Classic Soda Machines, Jeff Walters writes, "the old Coke machine is as synonymous with the 50's era as jukeboxes and 'finned' cars.  Many times they served as a gathering place for people."  By the 50's many companies such as Vendo, Vendorlator, and Westinghouse had many different sizes and styles of coolers and machines.

     Our collection is divided into two categories; soda machines, and soda coolers.  Any unit that vends soda through the use of a coin mechanism is listed under the soda machine category.  Any small or large, box that keeps soda cold through means of either ice or refrigeration, is labeled a cooler.

     Antique Warehouse currently has 22 soda machines and coolers in their inventory.  Many were produced during the 40's and 50's, all by American manufacturers.  Below you will find a few images of the soda machines and coolers Antique Warehouse is displaying.  By clicking on the images below you will be taken to the collection page where you can view all of our soda machines and coolers.

Walters, Jeff.  Classic Soda Machines, 1992.

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Click here to view our soda coolers


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