The Walrus Manufacturing Company of Decatur, Illinois was one of the many manufacturers that tried to cash-in on the ongoing soft drink craze in the early 1900s. This advertisement is from the “National Bottlers Gazette”. Walrus, like other manufacturers, was marketing their product directly to bottlers in the hope that they could become their cooler supplier. These two models are the Walrus Blizzard Beverage Cooler (top) and the Walrus Beverage Cooler. They were produced in the late 1920s to early 1930s.
Both of these models were self-serve, and used the honor system, where the customer would pull out a bottle of soda and then pay the storeowner. They have openers and cups attached for discarded bottle crowns. There is also a cup to hold straws. Both coolers were manufactured of painted metal and were available with either turquoise blue or tan paint finishes.
The Blizzard was the smaller of the two models. It cooled 36 bottles and the display held 44 additional bottles to be rotated into the ice. It took 35 lbs. of ice to cool the bottles in the Blizzard. The dimensions were 39”W x 27”D x 36 ½”H and it weighed 130 lbs. The larger cooler held 64 bottles and displayed 112. It held 75 lbs. of ice and the dimensions were 45”W x 28”D x 68”H.
These two machines are very rare, and we’d love to hear if you’ve ever seen one. Blog-in if you have any additional information to share.