Westinghouse Soda Machines

Westinghouse, following in the footsteps of the Glascock Bros., developed in 1934 a new line of Coca-Cola coolers, both innovative in design and construction. Working with Everett Worthington, an industrial designer and Coca-Cola engineer, this new line proclaimed to be "far ahead of anything which has heretofore been developed"

Not only were the new coolers an improvement in design, they were distinctly different from anything made prior to this. The coolers were all steel construction, welded and braced throughout. Westinghouse increase insulation and capacity. These two items were vital due to the cost and effort required in icing the machines. The sides, with the bright red background and large embossed lettering, were attractive and eye catching The prices of the machines were only slightly higher than their 1933 Glascock predecessors of similar size. The increase in size and insulation proved to be well worth the small extra cost.

The 1934 Coca-Cola Bottler listed five different machines in the Westinghouse line- Junior Ice, Standard Ice, Master Ice, Standard Electric and Master Electric. All of these machines were somewhat similar in appearance, with the increased capacity from Junior to Master the main difference. Not only was capacity increased but so was the height of the cooler. Now they could hold the tallest beverage bottle currently being use at that time. The electric version of these coolers, using a Westinghouse compressor, kept the Coke cooled and automatically controlled under 40 degrees. The unit worked well and used the same amount of electricity as a "lightbulb." Many can be found working as well today as they were back in the 40's and 50's. This line of coolers continued for a number of years with only slight modifications. The Giant was added in the late 30's to provide an even larger supply of Coca-Cola.

The 40's produced another line of highly successful machines from Westinghouse. Instead of names such as Junior and Standard, the bright red coolers were now labeled WD-5, WD-10, WD-20, WE-6 and WE-10. Again, as before, the main difference was size enabling the cooler to be put in all kinds of stores, clubs, garages, etc.

The 1950's brought upright coin-operated machines into the spotlight for Westinghouse. Again, the company offered a full diversity in size with the Model WC-42T being the smallest and the Model BV-240 the largest. Still available in the mid 1950's, the "chest-type" coolers were beginning to phase out since the accepted trend was the coin-operated upright machine.

Westinghouse introduced some interesting machines in the 50's such as the model DU-144 which was an upright self-serve cooler. Similar to Vendo's "6-case vertical," it vended 144 bottles and pre-cooled 24. There was no coin mechanism in this machine so it was used indoors in offices, barber shops, drugstores, etc. Also interesting in 1958 was the introduction of Westinghouse's first square corner machine, the WC-44SK. At 18" wide by 21" deep by 59½" high, it was not much bigger than its 44 bottle counterpart built by Vendo and Vendorlator. But, unlike them, this   machine would vend standard to king size bottles with a crank of the handle.

Certainly an innovative and long-lasting company, Westinghouse played an important role in the distribution of Coca-Cola for many years.

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Copyright © March 12,1997

Last updated on November 19, 2000