Cooling Down the Automatic Way

Vintage Illustration Vendo vending machnes 1950s

How to beat the summer heat- automatically. Vintage ad Vendo Vending machines 1958

During this oppressive heat wave, summer’s must have accessory is the ubiquitous water bottle. Whether Aquafina or Poland Springs no one leaves home without toting these portable hydrators. Always at the ready, these  plastic water bottles can be found  littering desks and cluttering  conference tables in offices up and down the coast.

But long before these portable thirst quenchers became available, a parched, overheated worker had to rely on the office water cooler or the cool refreshments from a vending machine.

Vintage Illustration woman in refrigerator

Vintage Illustration for Spry 1953

Before the popularity of air conditioning, the summer heat slowed down office workers everywhere,  including Mitzie McCrea a mid-century miss who toiled in the steamy jungle that was Manhattan. Sometimes Mitzie just wished she could live inside her Frigidaire, especially when the summer temperatures reached the high 90s like they did that August in 1958.

Vintage Illustration man working in an oven

Vintage illustration Fedders Air Conditioning Ad 1952

This saucy secretary who could take dictation faster than you could  place a long distance call and could change a typewriter ribbon more deftly than anyone on Seventh Avenue,  slowed to a crawl in the hot weather. Like most firms in Manhattans steamy mid-town,  sales were sluggish, and overheated office workers just slogged through the day. The hot air circulating  through the office by the giant standing fans offered no relief.

As temperatures rose, employee morale dropped.

Wisely, Mitzi’s manager Mr. Dithers took matters into his own hands, making cooling refreshments available to his suffering staff throughout the day. Just a simple phone call to Kansas City and quick as a wink the Vendo Company – the premier manufacturer of cold beverage vending machines – was soon installing a series of their top-notch machines for  on the spot refreshment.

Smiling, Dithers  figured out how to beat the summer heat automatically! And boost sales.

Vintage ad Vendo Vending machines Beverages 1950s

Vendo formed in 1937 in Kansas City, Missouri was the standout manufacturer of cold beverages machines during the 1950’s. An important milestone was the introduction of the soft drink machine of Coca Cola in 1937. In coordination with Vendo Co. Coca Cola could vend their drinks in coin operated coolers. In 1940 the US mint office produced double the amount of coins of the previous years to keep up with the demand of change for vending machines. Vintage Vendo Company ad 1958

Mitzie and her co workers were thrilled and her eyes lit up at the row of tempting refreshments

Rich wholesome ice cream! Cold sparkling Coca Cola! And nothing said “chill” more than a tall refreshing cup of milk. Hmmm boy,  that’s good cooling! All served automatically at the touch of a button!  Old Man Dithers was going modern all the way.

Now all Mitzie needed was to save up those nickels and dimes to beat the summer heat.

 © Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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