About the Vendo 39 or V-39
This iconic machine is easily recognized by the drum inside and its unique bottle door. The drum operates by the crank handle and originally held 39 bottles, 6 oz each. Today the original drum will vend 8 oz bottles. Over 80,000 versions of this unit were produced in 1949 into the mid to late ‘50s. Bonus feature was the ability to store and chill twenty additional bottles below the drum.
You could often find a ink stamp of the date of manufacture on this model if you have an orginal. Sometimes it was stampled behind the insulation of the main door, or on the inside of the coin door. See image above
- Vendo produced several versions, the first being made in 1949. This first version had distinct features, such as the all-red coat of paint, a rib running down from the coin door, and the words “ice-cold” in big, white letters. It also came with a mechanism that allowed vendors to know when it was up for a refill and with spare space to precool bottles
- Originally had a round evaporator
- The Vendo 39 started with nickels. Many were converted to dimes in 1952-53.
- In 1953 they added the words “Here’s a Coke for You” to the side, while also upgrading the cooling system from a Kelvinator V12S to a VT4 Tecumseh.
- 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” words and added the Vendo to the right bottom of the door. this version also had a flat lower door panel without the embossed ICE COLD and the rib running down the front. A chromed coin entry plate and a new system that allowed users to load the machines easily were added as well. And they changed the cooling system to a VK4 Kelvinator with a square evaporator for more efficient operation. The side air vents were enlarged, and the model numbers were changed to add an X at the beginning.
- Finally, in 1956, the white top version with a metal trim was introduced.
- Some of the older 1949 versions were repainted and marked as the newer XF Vendo 39, noticeable by the repainting work done, and the obviously different cooling system.
- Today, you can purchase a replacement after-market drum, which allows for drinks of sizes up to 12oz
- Around 80,000 machines were made, making them easy to find today.
Vendo 39 Specs:
- Vends: 39 bottles, including 6.5 and 8 oz bottles.
- Pre-cools: 20.
- Operation: Manual.
- Size: 58″ high, 27″ wide, 16″ deep.
- Weight: around 290 lbs.
Years 1949 and 1950 used a Kelvinator V12S Cooling System. 1/8 h.p. sealed system.
Years 1955 until 1957 VK4 Kelvinator with a square evaporator.
Serial Number Information:
- The 3rd digit in the serial number designates the year the machine was made.
- Example FA0 (1950) FA1 (1951) FA9 (1949)
Popularity and Collectibility
This machine being a 1950 round top of medium size is desirable. It has been awarded at major golf events to the winner. Because there were a lot of them made, they are both popular and common.