Dixie Cup Co., patented December 16, 1913; 32 1/2". This is a rare early version of the conventional Dixie Cup dispenser more commonly seen. I didn't know this version existed until I saw it on ebay in the spring of 2005. It's not in any book that I know of and I'd heard nary a whisper of its existence before I saw it, so you can imagine my surprise when I opened an auction for a "Dixie cup dispenser" and this gem popped up on my screen.
This is pure art deco, with highly-embossed deco-styled glass that you unfortunately can't see very well in the pictures above. The body is made of cast aluminum or pot metal, and is so dense that I thought it might be cast iron until I tried the magnet test. The mechanism is just like that on the later Dixie cup models.
The seller sold this on consignment for someone else. The story she got from the owner is that he used to work demolition in New York City, and one day he was part of a crew knocking down a "famous hotel" in that city---he couldn't remember which one. Before they started, he was walking around inside to make sure things were set and the place was empty, and came across this machine and decided to take it home (God bless him for that!). He'd had it for about 40 years before he sold it, which would have put his "acquisition date" around the mid-1960's. Anyone know a famous NYC hotel demolished around then?
The machine is 100% original. The serial number is 983---where are the previous 982?
©Small Vintage Vending 2005