In 1933, Everett Worthington of Chicago was issued design patent No. 90,744 for a beverage-dispensing device that he assigned to the Coca-Cola Co. of Atlanta. That patent forever changed the soft-drink industry.
Until then, if you ordered a Coke at a soda fountain, your server pumped syrup into a glass and topped it off with cold seltzer. Although Coca-Cola distributed glassware that showed how much syrup to use, the process still tended to make the drink vary widely from place to place, both in flavor and temperature.
That all changed at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair Century of Progress Exposition when Coca-Cola introduced the first automatic fountain dispenser, which created a well-blended Coke with the pull of a handle.
The dispenser, packed with ice, revolutionized the soda industry by making the perfect “ice-cold Coca-Cola.” The machine was manufactured by the Dole Valve Co. of Chicago.
An advertisement at the time stated: “Approximately one of every three at Chicago’s Century of Progress Exposition pause and refresh themselves with ice-cold Coca-Cola. In 1933 more than twenty-two million people attended, and at the soda fountains and refreshment stands within the fair grounds more than six million, five hundred thousand drinks of Coca-Cola were served.”
This revolutionary dispenser, standing 31 inches tall, 19 inches wide and 18 inches deep, is considered the holy grail of the hobby by Coca-Cola collectors. The art deco design of the outside is a combination of cast aluminum and pressed steel with chrome accents. There are only a handful of these Dole dispensers known to exist today. This one sold for $35,000 at Donley Auctions.