About the Vendo 56
The Vendo 56, also known as the V-56 or Vendo H56 was a round-top vending machine produced by Vendorlator for Vendo after both companies merged in 1956. It was only produced from 1957 to 1959 after which Vendo went for a more squared top look, thus the Vendo 56 Square-Top was born.
The V-56 was made after 1956, which meant it came with a two-paint color scheme of white and red. That makes it more appealing and highly sought-after, especially if it’s one of the later models with a glass door. There were two models made – one with a solid piece bottle door, and one with a glass bottle door with a white bottle mechanism.
- The Vendo 56 was an interesting model because it was the little sister to the Vendo 81, which was pretty similar in terms of design.
- It could only vend 56 bottles of sizes between 6.5oz and 12oz, so it was very practical for small to medium stores.
- The Vendo 56 was manufactured in VMC factories, but it carried the Vendo logo on the lower right front side of the machine.
- It was a multiselection cola machine, and it could vend up to 7 different drink offers, one per shelf.
- To operate it, you inserted a dime, which would allow you to mechanically lower the crank. After that, open the side door, and pull a drink through the bottle gate.
- The bottle door came in two versions. The first version was a solid door with aluminum inserts which was produced in the first versions. The second version replaced the solid door with a glass door, so you could see 6 out of the 7 drinks available at the moment.
- Similar to the Vendo 44, the Vendo 56 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 56 Specs:
- Vends: 56 bottles of 6.5oz up to 12oz.
Pre-cools: 14 bottles.
Size: 52″ high, 25″ wide, and 18 ¾ “ deep.
Cooling system: Tecumseh VT17
Serial Number Information:
- The serial numbers of the Vendo-56 always started with C, which was specific to the cooling system model.
They were followed by a sole number to represent the year.
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.
The date of manufacture can be established by cross-referencing the serial number ID plate of the cooling system and the ID number of the compressor. (source)
Popularity and Collectibility
The Vendo 56 round-top was not one of the best machines made by VMC. The later models made before the production run ended are most desirable due to the glass bottle door. However, the machines are outshined by other models made during those years, like the Vendo 81.