Vintage Pepsi Machines

One of the two great adversaries in the cola wars, Pepsi Cola is one of the best known and most popular soft drinks in the world. While the drink came into being in the days of soda fountains, it soon found its way into bottles and vending machines. Vintage Pepsi vending machines are more than just sources of refreshment, they are pieces of Americana.

What is the Story of Pepsi Cola?

Pepsi was the invention of Caleb Bradham of New Bern, North Carolina in 1898. Over the next century, it grew from a small local drink to one of the biggest names in the beverage industry. Anyone who looked at Pepsi Cola in the 1920's may well have expected the company to go nowhere rather than becoming a huge success story. Here is a short timeline of some key points in Pepsi's history:

  • 1898: Caleb Bradham introduces Pepsi Cola as a healthful cola drink.
  • 1902: Bradham incorporates the Pepsi Cola Company.
  • 1923: Caleb Bradham's Pepsi Cola Company goes bankrupt.
  • 1931: Charles Guth founds the modern Pepsi Cola Company.
  • 1964: Diet Pepsi is introduced.

What About Vending Machines?

The very first vending machines go back over two thousand years to Hero of Alexandria, though vintage Pepsi machines are much more recent than that. Here's a brief timeline of some of the stages in the development of Vintage Pepsi Cola machines:

  • 1920's: The first soda vending machines dispensed soda into a cup.
  • 1937: The first machines dispensing bottled soda were introduced, with Pepsi becoming the second company to utilize them.
  • 1940's-50's: The golden era for vintage Pepsi machines.
  • 1964: The first machines to accept bills as well as coins are introduced.

Collecting Vintage Pepsi Cola Machines

Vintage Pepsi machines are a great fit for any collector's home. Not only can you display them alongside your other antiques, but they are also practical, as you can use your vintage pop machine to collect change as well as dispense drinks. All you have to do is keep it filled and you can enjoy your Pepsi cooler all year round. It's a great addition to your home decor. More than a novelty, it's your own share in the American dream.

What to Look for in Vintage Pepsi Machines

One of the first things to look for in collectible vintage Pepsi memorabilia is the condition. You want the Pepsi logo to pop and the all the other little signs to show how good an example you have. Check both the paint and any decals your Pepsi machine may have. Many vintage machines should have a bottle opener as the bottles were not twist-offs. The cooler in your soda machine should work, although older machines may need to have the refrigerant replaced.

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