The Jacobs 56 Pepsi-Cola Vending Machine
The Jacobs 56 Pepsi-Cola Vending Machine is one of the most sought-after Pepsi machines ever made. Serious collectors consider it the “Holy Grail” of all soda machines. Having been manufactured for only two years, between 1952 and 1953, makes this a very rare machine. We are proud to have restored several of these machines, and you can see one of them in our Retro Museum at Retroplanet.com.
Collectors know this vendor as the “Pepsi Light-Up”. This is because the Pepsi “cap”, or logo on the front lights up, by way of two bulbs located behind it. Above the cap, to either side, are a red and blue (or sometimes green) lens. The red lens indicates when the machine is empty, and the blue reads “nickels only”. This machine vends 56 bottles of Pepsi and can vend bottle sizes from 10 to 12 ounces. It also has the capacity to pre-cool 37 bottles. This model, unlike the Jacobs Coca-Cola machines, uses slant-shelves to vend the sodas.
The shape of the machine is typical of Jacobs soda machines. They have a rounded top, resembling a mailbox. This makes for a very unique and appealing appearance. So in addition to its rarity, these machines are also very desirable for their style. It can be difficult to find an original Jacobs 56 that has the Pepsi “cap” intact and in good condition which can complicate the restoration of one of these models.
Every soda machine we restored at Vintage Vending followed the same process. First the machine was completely disassembled and all painted parts were sandblasted. All other parts were re-chromed, powder-coated, repainted or cleaned. The coin mechanism was re-plated and rebuilt. Automotive bodywork was performed on all of the sandblasted parts. The machine was painted with PPG automotive paint. Then the machine was reassembled with a new refrigeration compressor and all electrical was replaced.
Dimensions: 61” high x 27” wide x 21 ½” deep
Weight: 280 lbs.
F. L. Jacobs
Traverse City, Michigan
This item is not for sale. We show restored items in this blog to encourage discussion, prompt questions and further the hobby.
To view more pictures of the completed restoration visit the RetroPlanet.com Museum.