Vendex 520 Fish Bowl

Vendex Co., Boston, MA, c. 1935, 12 1/2". I've always thought this is a whimsical machine. Whether whimsy sold gum or not---I don't know.

The base is made of cast iron, is solid, and is traditional Vendex. The collar holding the globe to the base is plastic and is sometimes worn to the point that its reliability is compromised, and in my opinion is the one big design flaw with this model. Don't ever carry this model by the globe without supporting the base.

The globe is glass and usually has 2 decals, both of which face the front. I find that strange, and if there's a reason for it then I don't know it. The shape of the base, the shape of the globe, and the decal have always struck me as incongruous, but many of these have turned up exactly like this.

This model is identical to the Vendex 520 except for the globe, which on the 520 is a jar-type globe like that on the Vendex Gumball. Because of that, the plastic collar, and the number of 520 Fish Bowls that have appeared over the years, a friend has hypothesized that the fish bowl globe and plastic collar were large-scale vendor modifications and that Vendex never produced the 520 with this globe. He might be right, but at this point that's just speculation. I haven't seen Vendex advertising to indicate that this is one of their models, but I also haven't seen enough to conclude that it probably isn't. I'm neutral, but I pass it along for your consideration.

The example pictured above is 100% original. It has a neat Vendex tag attached to the side of the midsection just behind the coin slot, and is the only example I can remember seeing with this.



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