About the VMC 44
The Vendorlator or VMC 44 was one of the crown jewels of VMC, or Vendorlator Manufacturing Corporation. They created vending machines for Coca-Cola, as well as for other brands up until 1956, the year in which Vendo acquired the company under the Vendo name.
The VMC-44 was the precursor of the Vendo 44, one of the most famous and unique vending machines created, and they shared similar features. The design was created by VMC to provide a smaller, thinner solution to small shops all over the U.S. They enjoyed incredible success due to their narrow size and small size, especially because it still had the capacity for 44 bottles of up to 6 and ½ oz.
The Vendo 44 is often confused with the VMC-44 because they 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 VMC-44 was introduced in 1956, the same year when Vendo acquired VMC. They didn’t stop production and continued producing the VMC under the Vendo 44 name.
● There are some small differences between the two machines. The VMC-44, for example, didn’t have the classic chromed coin entry that is characteristic of the V-44. Also, the VMC-44 doesn’t display the word Vendo in the lower front door. The main door liner was made out of metal, which was changed to plastic for the V-44. The rear shaft of the VMC-44 mechanism is longer and made out of metal, which makes it different from the Vendo 44.
● Aside from that, they were pretty similar in design and had some interchangeable parts. However, the VMC-44 is not as popular as the V-44, which makes it less valuable in the market.
● Additionally, there were versions made for Canada, which have adapted coin systems that were slightly different to allow Canadian coins. These are even less valuable in the American market.
● 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 kits made to upgrade the size. With the kits, they can take up to 8oz glass bottles and 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 modified to vend 8oz glass bottles and 12oz cans.
● Pre-cools: 9 bottles.
● Operation: Manual
● 57 ½ ” high, 15 ½” wide, 16” deep.
● Weight:198 lbs.
VT10 Tecumseh cooling system
Serial Number Information:
- ● The serial numbers of the VMC-44 start with a P, which was specific to the model, and the Vendo 44 after it.
● VMC serial numbers do not include a code for the date, unlike the Vendo 44 run after the companies merged. That’s why they’re easier to recognize.
● 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.
Popularity and Collectibility
The VMC-44 is a very interesting piece, not so much due to their popularity, but more so due to their history. The VMC-44 wasn’t and is not as popular as the Vendo 44, which came to dampen the success of the first machines. But truth be told, one machine couldn’t exist without the other.