About the Vendo 44
The Vendo 44 is a historic piece with an interesting story. It was produced from 1957 until 1961. They have a characteristic red with a white top, silver trim. It features a chromed coin entry bezel on the coin door ( which is one characteristic that differeniates it from a VMC 44)
Because of its small size and classic 1950s looks, it is one the most sought-after Vendo drink machines. Wurlizer even made a moder replica of it, so be sure you know what you are buying.
They were unique in their narrow single-selection design, which allowed 44 bottles while pre-cooling only 9. It’s compact, easy to use, easy to move around due to its lighter weight, and easy to accommodate in any room.
The Vendo 44 is often confused with the VMC-44 because the are very similar and used some of the same parts. The VMC version did not have a full coin entry bezel, and it was created by Vendorlator Manufacturing Corporation. Once the companies merged back in 1956, the VMC-44 was marketed as a Vendo 44, though there are several differences in their appearance and serial numbers.
You can read about the issue with vending modern bottles in this machine here. For this reason many people will convert the bottle arms to an arm that will vend cans instead. We sell it on our Vendo 44 parts page.
- The Vendo 44 made from 1956-1959.
- The Vendo 44 had the logo and the metal door liner was changed to plastic. Also, it had the words “Have a coke” in white paint on the side.
- The Vendo 44 was specifically designed for 6.5 oz bottles.
- It worked with 5 or 10 cents, which once introduced, allowed the user to pull down on the handle below the coin entry plate. This in turn would let the mechanism pop a pre-cooled bottle in the chute below.
- Even though the original machine only allows for 6.5 oz bottles, there are shim kits and conversion kits to allow for up to 8oz glass bottles or a 12 oz cans.
- This model was incredibly popular – that’s why Coca-Cola didn’t alter it in the following years when they introduced new models with square-top designs. The Vendo 44 stood unchanged because it proved to be too convenient for small-store vendors.
- The Vendo 44 also had three different mechanisms to handle coins. One could only take either 5 cents if you ordered the 5-cent model, or 10 cents if you ordered the 10-cent model. The second mechanism allowed for both 5 and 10-cent coins, but it had to be adjusted to either – it couldn’t take both types at the same time. And the third mechanism allowed for quarters in addition to nickels and dimes, but it was limited to only one type of coin at the time as the second type of mechanism.
- It also had a coin return system that returned 15 cents in nickels if you introduced a quarter and a bottle opener.
Vendo 44 Specs:
- Vends: 44 6.5oz bottles. It can be upgraded to vend 8oz glass bottles and 12oz cans.
- Pre-cools: 9 bottles.
- Operation: Manual
- 57 ½ ” high, 15 ½” wide, 16” deep.
VT10 Tecumseh cooling system
Serial Number Information:
- The serial numbers of the Vendo-44 always started with P, which was specific to the model, and the VMC-44 before it.
- They were followed by a sole number to represent the year.
- After 1960, they started using the numbers “60” or “61” (when production ended) after the model specification.
- The third item was the month the machine was manufactured on. They were represented by letters from A to M, skipping over letters I. “A” means January, “B” means February, “C” means march, and so on.
- And finally came the serial number, which consisted of up to 5 digits.
Popularity and Collectibility
As stated before, the Vendo 44 is a unique piece, which makes it a highly collectible Vendo machine. Even though it was produced for six years (early models, a.k.a. the VMC-44 being introduced in 1956, until 1961 after the merge), the Vendo 44 is a rare find nowadays.