June 17, 2024
Vendo Coca Cola Vending Machine - Copyright 2023 CreatedinKC.com

Vendo Coca Cola Vending Machine - Copyright 2023 CreatedinKC.com

The Vendo company pretty much invented the modern coin-operated soda vending machine in Kansas City, MO., where the vending machines were also manufactured.

Two brothers named Pierson started the Vendo company in Kansas City and invented a contraption that turned would attach to a cooler and take payment for a bottle of soda. Prior to their invention, most bottles of soda were sold on the honor system. Although some similar devices existed, Vendo’s was said to be the most reliable.

The Vendo company went on to innovate and create numerous vending machines and vending-related products, including the first coin mechanism that was able to detect fake coins (slugs). Vendo was headquartered in KC from 1936 – 1957 when it merged with another company (Vendorlater) in California.

Vendo sadly left Kansas City completely in the 1970’s, but is still in the vending business. Now called Sanden Vendo America, the company is still innovating, and still manufacturing vending machines. Just not in KC.

Here’s a vintage photo showing the Vendo Building that once stood at 1908-1914 McGee Street in KCMO:

Vendo Building
Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri.
Vendo Coke machine