Vintage Drink Machine Repair and Restoration

How do find out what year my old drink machine was made?

Here’s a question we get asked often.   And rightly so, I know when I got my first machine I wanted to determine the year it was made.   

So how do I find out what date my vintage drink Coke or Pepsi machine was made?

A. There are a few general guidelines:   For example, if it has a round top, ie rounded corners on the top, it is likely a 1940s or 1950s machine.  Square tops came in mostly in the 1960s.   

B. Next, you can often narrow it down by researching the edition details of a machine.  We assisted Funtronics will the machine information section of their website, where you can research many popular machines

For example, the Vendo 39 machine had several editions: 

  • The 1949 version had an all-red paint scheme, a raised rib running down from the coin door, and the words “ice-cold” in white letters across the bottom.   Some of the older 1949 versions were factory repainted and marked as the newer XF Vendo 39, noticeable by the repainting work done, and an different cooling system.
  • In 1953 they added “Here’s a Coke for You” to the side
  • In 1954 They added to the “Here’s a Coke for You” slogan with the words “in bottles”.
  • In 1955, they removed the “Ice Cold” embossed letters and added the Vendo logo to the right bottom of the door.   A heavier chromed coin entry plate was added, instead of the tin entry plate. 
  • In 1956, the white top version with metal trim was introduced.

C.  You can ‘sometimes’ decipher the serial numbers.   Look at the ID plate for the serial number.  Some of the information about serial numbers is conflicting, but sometimes it works.  There are 3 websites that can assist you in trying to determine the year by the serial number: