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Jacobs Soda Machine Company

November 5th, 2008 · 31 Comments

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The F. L. Jacobs Company, A Soda Machine Company

F. L. Jacobs originally specialized in manufacturing home appliances like the Jacobs Launderall washing machine out of Detroit, Michigan. They began manufacturing soda vending machines for Coca-Cola in the 1940’s from a plant in Indianapolis, Indiana. Their machines have a unique shape referred to by collectors as the “mailbox” shape. They are believed to be one of the few manufacturers that the Coca-Cola Company authorized to continue making Coca-Cola soda vending machines in limited quantities through the course of WWII. Like all machines made in that time, they had large capacities for serving the workers in the wartime factories. One of these was the enormous J-144. It weighed 580 lbs. without any soda in it and measured 65”H x 34”W x 35”D.

In contrast, the smallest, most sought-after and fortunately, most common of Jacobs soda machines is the Jacobs 26. The 26 was produced in the late 1940’s and measures 54”H x 19”W x 26”D. Like all Jacobs machines, it has the classic mailbox shape. This design is to accommodate the interior drum from which the soda is vended. The drum rotates to dispense the bottles. Like all the Jacobs Coca-Cola models, it vends from the narrow side of the machine and the bottles are loaded from the wider side.

Other postwar machines include the Jacobs 50 and 56 manufactured in the early 1950’s. The Jacobs 50 was a 50-bottle model that used decals to advertise Pepsi-Cola. On the other hand, the model 56 is a slicker looking machine, with an illuminated Pepsi-Cola soda “cap” on the door. Collectors have given this model the name “Pepsi Light-Up”. The Jacobs 56 was made for only two years, from 1952 to 1953. Due to its short production time and the scarcity of models with the “cap” intact, this is one of the most sought-after soda machines and is a rare model to find today.

In addition to the models already mentioned, Jacobs made the model 35, produced in the late 1940’s to the early 1950’s. It is identical to the 26, except that the drum was redesigned to hold nine additional bottles and there was room in the machine to cool 41. Jacobs also produced what turned out to be their final model, the 108, proclaiming it the “fastest loading medium cooler made”. The F. L. Jacobs Company moved to Traverse City, Michigan around 1950. Unfortunately, there weren’t to be any more Jacobs soda machines coming down the production line. It seems that in 1951 the F. L. Jacobs Company was encouraged by the U.S. Department of Justice to repay $15 million “in excess profits from producing necessities and munitions of war during World War II”. They voluntarily paid back the money, and it obviously put a strain on the company. They closed their doors in 1953.

F. L. Jacobs Company

1100 W. 21st Street

Indianapolis, Indiana

Tags: Antique Advertising · Coca-Cola · Manufacturer Histories · Soda Vending Machines

31 responses so far ↓

  • 1 james boland // Feb 9, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    i have an old washing machine , a launderall .can you give me some more info on this type of machine. thanks

  • 2 kevin wentz // Feb 15, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    a friend has an old jacbos soda machine model 26 and would like to know how much it is worth . it does run and in working order it does stay cool . ty for your time and help on this kevin wentz

  • 3 Sandy // Sep 2, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Can you tell me what a launderall washer 1946 is worth i have one that has never been used

  • 4 vintagevending // Sep 4, 2009 at 3:53 pm


    We don’t have that information, but sometimes items like this pop up on eBay or Craig’s List. Google is still the best resource.

  • 5 rene // Sep 27, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    I have a fl jacobs jsc 26, altought the tag says jsc 1GU, don’t know what its worth or what I can do to restore it without taking from its value. It work, I actually have it plugged in now, and getting Ice cold cokes :) My uncle left it to me when he passed, don’t intend on selling it, but I know if the price was right he would have sold it lol. please let me know what you can. TY

  • 6 vintagevending // Sep 28, 2009 at 9:51 am


    Try eBay or Craig’s List, sometimes these pop up. Just remember value depends on condition. You might also try fun-tronicsllc.com, they sell parts for your machine, they might be able to help with the value.

  • 7 ned // Oct 8, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    tnx for the info. gotta jacobs 50 in the garage, paint is faded, logos almost gone. been looking for the bottle size to use.

  • 8 clyde ayer // Oct 8, 2010 at 6:43 am

    I have model E110A 6 case verticle open coke machine. I can’t find any info on it. Can you help me?

  • 9 clyde ayer // Oct 8, 2010 at 6:45 am

    It has no coinage slot on the box.

  • 10 brad // Mar 20, 2011 at 8:22 am

    i have a fj or f.l.jacobs mod.jcs 160 ser.180 45 f
    am i reading label correct ? label is worn. what can you tell me about this model. inside round rack is missing. mail box style with coke girl decals.

  • 11 GEORGE LEVETO Sr. // Jun 25, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Have a JSG26 needs to be restored, needs to go.. not into restoration, will be totally scrapped out, if interested rush contact to e-mail above 6/25/11.have no idea what if anything it is worth…phone 614 329 0823… Chip

  • 12 Ryan // Jul 9, 2011 at 9:29 am

    George do you still have that JSG26?
    Can you email me some pics of it (inside and out)?
    Does it have the drum still?


  • 13 Ryan // Jul 9, 2011 at 9:30 am

    email: rrshook@yahoo.com

  • 14 TERRY JONES // Jul 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm



  • 15 GEORGE LEVETO Sr. // Aug 1, 2011 at 3:29 am

    Sorry Ryan, its gone Wont make you feel better but it was all there. except the bottom was a mess if you would have called youcould have had it for free, I surf so much some times I don’t go to the same site for months I have so many pass words I have to keep them in a directory I’m connected with so many sites I sometimes enter my self twice.. thats Y I put my phone number there again sorry ..

  • 16 Hope Johnson // Aug 26, 2011 at 10:41 am

    I found a ring after my father passed from F.L Jacobs Co. It’s a 10 years of service ring with the logo in gold and blue and a J in the middle. Any ideas on what its made of or any background? My dad never worked there, Thanks Hope

  • 17 Swimm // Nov 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    I am looking for copies of the above brochures to buy for a Christmas gift, do you know where I can buy this at?

  • 18 Russell // Dec 5, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I am looking for a Jacobs 26 to restore. If you have one and would like to sale it please call 801-916-5113 or email is adamrhunt@msn.com


  • 19 Kim Reber // Mar 13, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Hi…I have a 1950 E110A coke cola machine and I was wondering what it is worth. I cannot seen to locate any price for it.,.,.could you help me or lead me in the right direction. Thank You

  • 20 Kim Reber // Mar 13, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I forgot to tell you, it is coinless, not restored, and has the key…everything is original,.,..in great condition.

    thank you….Kim Reber

  • 21 Kim Reber // Mar 13, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    My e-mail address is jbcb@onlyinternet.net
    Sorry for the confusion,….left out the b

    thanks Kim Reber

  • 22 Gary // Sep 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I have a Jacob’s 160 want to restore body in good shape but no (sadly) drum. Any one know where there any could be found? I am in Oregon and you can contact me at goresports4@aol.com

  • 23 michelle Dotson // Sep 29, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I have a working Jacob 26. with the original decals. No work has been done on it- all original parts
    serial number 21543F
    Does anyone know how much it mis worth?

  • 24 David // Sep 29, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I have a working, in great condition Jacobs 26′ this machine is almost new, looking to sell. Only serious offers. Please no spam! E mail at davrog1@yahoo.com.

  • 25 Mike // Nov 2, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    looking for wiring diagram for Jacobs 160. thermostat quit working

  • 26 mark brooks // Nov 12, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Jacobs 26 1940s 5cent drink machine for sale. Cools very well, everything there except the mechanism that turns the drum. Drum is there!! Call 804-437-8618 Mark

  • 27 Bill // Feb 20, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Jacobs 26 case/box for sale. Email send you photos. North Dallas area. Bill

  • 28 Justin Lee // May 31, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Can you please email me a few good topics to search for a 1946 automatic launderall washing machine. Its brand new. I have two. Still in the original crates. I’ve searched high and low to find a price. No luck.

  • 29 M Hernandez // Jul 17, 2013 at 1:18 am

    I have the “guts” for sale for a Jacobs 26 machine. Email me for pictures. Mhernan881@msn.com

  • 30 B Sanders // Jul 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I have an F.L. Jacobs Co. Model JSC-26 in excellent condition, inside and out. Works and cools and all original as far as I can tell. Serial Number 21574F. It’s for sale. I paid $5500 for it 20 years ago. Anybody interested? I’m in Mesa, AZ.

  • 31 George C // Oct 23, 2013 at 3:40 am

    I have a Jacobs 26 which was completely restored. $6,000.00 firm. If interested I will send pictures. theriv310@aol.com

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