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Bluebird Universal Products

(Click on image to enlarge it)

Bluebird Products Co., Kansas City, MO, c. 1915, 12". This is a small aluminum gumball vendor. The examples pictured above have mechanisms that give one pull for a penny, but this model was also available with a taller midsection that housed a 1-2-3 mechanism. These are almost always found unpainted with a bare aluminum finish, which is one reason I like the one painted red---it's unusual for this model, and has more personality because of the "vendor touch" that the paint represents.

Universal Products are not uncommon, and anyone who wants one can find a nice one without waiting long. Many have befallen the fate of the buffing wheel, but those with their original patina are beautiful machines that have the rich gray finish that old aluminum gets.

The examples shown above have small differences between them, such as different numbers or dates stamped in different spots, slightly different contours to the midsection, lid, receiving cup, and push-knob on the vending wheel, and different coin slots, among other things.

All of the machines shown above are 100% original except for the paint on the red one. I no longer own all of them.

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