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- Joined: 11/29/2005
- Location: South FL
Re:Cold pop in a glass bottle
Tue, 05/24/11 11:02 PM
Old thread that brought back a memory or two when things were still innocent (smirk). Most of those old, coffin style horizontal coolers that had the parallel retaining bars used to be kept outside of the gas station or establishment and unlocked during the day. From experience, some of those machines would allow another bottle to be pulled after the coin was deposited if the pull was synchronized properly or you lost your nickle or dime. Then there was the upright machines that had the neck of the bottle sticking out and you had that long, skinny glass door that you opened to pull the soda out after paying. Some wise asses would partially empty a bottle by using a bottle opener and a cup. I guess you never hear of coin mechanisms jammed and unusable until the vendor restocked the machines with conduit knockouts anymore either. The 12 oz. can machines came out around her around '65. With their arrival was a nickle higher price of 15 cents that turned a lot of folks off and seeked out a bottle machine for a dime instead. The first machines had a punch mounted on the front that did the same as the soda side of a church key in one operation. HD's came down on those models b/c of the build up of soda syrup residue on the punches being a potential health hazard. They retrofitted some of those machines with a self sanitizing version about the same time the pull tab cans came out, cyclamates became history, and the pull tab chains and rings became fashionable. The early machines didn't dispense the can into a trough, you had a pull tab below the can that ejected it. I think those are still around. Oh yeah. Those of you that remember the big pocket on the side of the machines to catch the caps when you opened the bottle became an issue too. The mid 60's brought the games or winning markings under the cork septa in the caps (anyone still use cork?). Kids used to "fish" for caps using a magnet on a string hoping to win something from those troughs.
Back to the bottles. You had to pay a deposit on the bottles at checkout and recovered it on return. Many of the merchants were picky and didn't like dealing with the kids that brought in a sack or box of found bottles in these parts. In fact, outside of the main supermarkets that would take anything, most small neighborhood markets wouldn't deal with kids or take anything but pristine bottles that were bought from them and returned by adults. I don't know if it was legal, but some wouldn't even return cash for the bottles and only issued a cash voucher that was redeemed at the checkout. In some instances, they wouldn't even take the same brand bottle if the bottle was from a different regional bottler that may have had a different styled bottle. That became an issue down here with local bottlers and merchants that did their own transportation or purchased lots that were destined for export. Soda prices started to escalate rapidly around the late 60's and some of the big names started to bypass their regional bottlers distribution network. That was about the same time ~69-70, that many local bottlers hit back with those 16 oz., non-refundable screw top bottles that sold for 12 to 15 for a dollar initally. You never seen people pushing carts with so many bottles or cans of soda before that. Maybe a 6 pack or two or 10 store/budget brand cans, but not a couple of woden pallets of a variety of flavors. That must have sent ripples through the industry.