Partners Harry S. Childers and Howard M. Tripp founded the Vendorlator Manufacturing Company, or VMC in 1937 in Fresno, California. Vendorlator was formed to make soda vending machines, which they produced for Pepsi-Cola, including 7Up, Dr. Pepper, Royal Crown, in addition to the Coca-Cola Company. Throughout the 1940’s and 50’s Vendorlator produced what have become classic, and very collectible soda machines. Two of the most collectible models are the VMC 27 and the VMC 33.
The VMC 27 was made for Coca-Cola from 1948 to 1951. This tabletop vending machine had a unique mailbox-type shape that attracted customers, so these were very popular among storeowners. There was an optional stand made by Kay Products for this machine that had additional storage space below. The VMC 27 was capable of vending 27 cold soft drinks, and pre-cooled 10. This machine was a friendlier size for use in Mom and Pop establishments where space was at a premium. These places wouldn’t have had any use for the gargantuan Vendorlator Master and Jumbo models that were made during the war for use in factories. (The Master could vend 84 bottles and pre-cool 80 and the Jumbo could vend 124 bottles and cool 104!) Unfortunately for the 27, the Coca-Cola Company wanted something that could vend more drinks than these were able. In the early 1950’s Vendorlator made the upright Dual 27 for Coca-Cola that was an improvement with the capacity to vend 27 and pre-cool 27 more. As the competition between the soft drink manufacturers grew, Coke felt the 27 still wasn’t big enough. The answer was the VMC 33 that could vend 33 bottles and cool 27. These replaced the model 27 product line and were manufactured from the early to mid-1950’s. And the vendors got larger still, with very popular models like the VMC 81 that was made for dispensing Royal Crown, Pepsi-Cola, 7Up and Dr. Pepper. These classic machines were produced from the mid- to late-1950’s and are very collectible today.
In 1956, Vendorlator merged with its former rival, the Vendo Company of Kansas City, Missouri. Prior to the merger, Vendo worked almost exclusively with the Coca-Cola Company, so the combination of the two companies made them the primary supplier of vendors to the soft drink market. Within two years, the companies were completely consolidated and operating out of the Fresno location. In 1988 Vendo became a subsidiary of the Sanden Corporation of Japan. Vendo moved its headquarters to Dallas, Texas in 2005 and the name changed to SandenVendo America Inc. They still operate today as a manufacturer of vending machines, in addition to commercial freezers, and automotive air-conditioning systems.
The Vendorlator Manufacturing Company
4000 Railroad Avenue