c. 1930's, 15 3/4". This is one version of a 'Canteen.' The first time I saw one of these was about 1999, when someone was carrying one around the Chicagoland show trying to sell it. I've since seen 5 or 6 others, so while they're not common they're also not rare. It's not listed in Silent Salesmen Too, but you can find information about the company and its vending machine models and business at Canteen's website here.

This was an ebay purchase. At the time it was only the second one I'd seen and was the first I'd seen with original paint, so I was a motivated bidder. In the pictures posted with the auction the machine wasn't attached to the wall-mount, and when it arrived I was surprised to see that when attached to the wall, the front of the machine is not parallel to the wall facing out, but instead is perpendicular to the wall facing sideways! That really limited my placement of the machine.

Shortly after I bought it I talked to a Louisiana collector who'd researched this model and knew a lot more than I did. He'd seen several and had two (including the first one I'd seen in Chicago), and told me that this small vendor was designed to be attached to the side of a larger floor-standing Canteen. I've since seen an advertisement for this and have seen pictures on Canteen's website that show this arrangement, so I know he's right. Given that intent, the design of the mounting bracket makes perfect sense, but it didn't make my diplay options any easier.

It has a strange lock, which is located on the top of the machine, toward the front. I bought this without a key and never had one made, so I've never seen the machine's innards. Based on the pull handles this appears to be a 5-column vendor that sells packs of individual sticks of gum. I don't know that it works, but I can tell that the mechanism is inside and I don't have any reason to suspect that it doesn't.

This has a great art deco look, right down to the bakelite knobs and the stylistic coin entry. This example is 100% original. It has gold dribble paint over maroon, and all of the paint is in nice shape. This is pure luck, but even the 'spackling' of the mirror enhances this machine. Of the 5 or 6 I've seen available, this is the only one I've seen with its mounting bracket.



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