There are a few things in my kitchen that give it a touch of nostalgia. Some of my decor includes a table-top jukebox (replica), a malt machine (replica), a 1950's children's cookbook (mine as a child), and a few pieces of Coca Cola memorabilia.
My husband's uncle told us he had an old Coke vending machine stored in his barn. At one time, he ran a small town General Store in Washington state, and used the Coke machine to keep the eggs refrigerated. After the store closed, some pieces of inventory ended up forgotten in his barn.
When he found out I had a small collection of Coca Cola memorabilia, he took me to his storage and offered to give me his old Coke machine. Naturally, I was thrilled to have it, and was glad I had a big enough kitchen to accommodate this monstrous machine.
The Coca Cola vending machine was manufactured by Vendo. This particular Coke machine was called a Vendo 83. The number refers to the number of bottles the machine was capable of holding. Production dates for this model were from 1946 to 1955. According to statistics, this was the most produced model for Coca Cola vending machines before 1960. The silver waffle plate that runs across the front door indicates it's one of the earlier models. Many of these machines were found outside highway gas stations. In fact, one of the slogans in the late 40's was, "Along the highway to anywhere." When you deposited a dime and slid the door up, a drum rotated a Coke bottle to the opening for dispensing.
Having this conversation piece in my kitchen brings out mixed reactions for those who see it. Older people love the history and nostalgic memories it evokes. Younger people (like my daughter), wonder why I have a big hunk of junk in my kitchen! Love it or hate it, there are always a comments on it!
Unfortunately, my husband's uncle took the bottle dispensing mechanism out when he used it to refrigerate eggs! He also cut the electrical cord off of it when he moved it from the store (don't ask!), and it's missing a chrome piece from the bottom-front. I toyed with the idea of restoration, but if I did, I'd only restore the mechanical part of things. I wouldn't change the outside. I like the rustic, used look.
If only this Coca Cola machine could talk...