Bastian-Blessing Superior Soda Fountains

Retro Staff 139 Comments

The Bastian-Blessing Company was started by Charles Bastian and Lewis Blessing. They were employees of the Liquid Carbonic Company that had been founded by Jacob Baur in 1888. Liquid Carbonic had been the first midwestern company that produced liquefied carbon dioxide for making soft drinks. Bastian and Blessing left the Liquid Carbonic in 1908 and started their own company, where they manufactured soda fountains.

The Bastian-Blessing corporate offices and factory were based in Chicago, Illinois. A second factory was located in Grand Haven, Michigan from 1910 until 1988. In addition, they had a showroom that was located in NYC. They started a new division called RegO in 1918 that manufactured gas-welding equipment. Today Bastian-Blessing operates under the RegO name. But in its heyday, Bastian-Blessing was not only one of the earliest manufacturers of soda fountains, but the finest.

Bastian Blessing Soda Fountains

Bastian Blessing 1940 brochure page featuring Rainbow Restaurant in Portland, OR.

These photos are from a vintage 1940 company brochure featuring the “Superior Fountain” product line. The soda fountains were made of solid steel construction. They had completely mechanical refrigeration, eliminating brine and water baths that were used on earlier models to keep the ice cream and drinks cold. The brochure claimed these units were “sanitary” and were designed to help you “reap greater profits than ever before”. Most of all, though, the soda fountains were very beautiful.

In the brochure, the company spotlighted select restaurants, like the Rainbow Restaurant in Portland Oregon (above). The clean, wood finish of the soda fountain fits in very well with the Art Deco design of the Restaurant’s exterior. And note the Dole Junior soda dispenser on the counter.

The next page shows the Superior Fountain at S. H. Kress & Co. in San Antonio, Texas. The stools are covered in red Spanish leather and on the walls are scenes depicting historic San Antonio. There’s also an architectural drawing showing the floor plan and layout of the soda fountain.

Bastian Blessing Soda Fountains

Spotlight on the Superior Fountain, installed at S. H. Kress & Co. in San Antonio, Texas.

Marble tops were available for the soda fountain counters. The sleek, modern style of these fixtures is an art form of a bygone era.

Bastian Blessing Soda Fountains

1940 brochure showing marble counter options: The Tuscany and The Lombardy.

Marble Soda Fountain Counters

More marble options include The Knoxville and The Glencoe.

Additional styles in wood or porcelain on steel were also available. They vary from Art Deco, to Neoclassical to Native American, and they are all striking.

Wood Soda Fountain Counters

Wood counter models – The Vogue, The Springfield and The Cherokee.

Porcelain On Steel Soda Fountain Counter

Porcelain on steel counters: The Redfield and The Symphony.

Bastian-Blessing Porcelain on Steel Counters

The Stratford, The Beverly and The Michigan.

There were also different backbar options for the soda fountains. With the mirrors and glass they make quite an overall statement.

Bastian-Blessing Soda Fountain Backbars

Backbar options: The Sylvan and The Richmond

Backbars For Soda Fountains

Backbars and Superstructures: The Montrose and The Bellevue

There are still many shops today that have an original Bastian-Blessing counter. It would be worth trying to find an example in your area. If you find one, we’d love to see pics and hear your story!

Last updated: Oct 14, 2008
Filed under: Vintage Vending Archives Tagged with: Soda Fountains, Soda Pop