1950s Coca-Cola Picnic Coolers & Stadium Vendors

Retro Staff Comments

During the ’50s and ’60s, hundreds of different branded picnic coolers were produced. These metal coolers came in different sizes, and some featured bottle openers on the unit.

Image of 1950s Coca-Cola Acton Standard Cooler

The Acton Standard Cooler was the most common type made during the 1950s.

One of the most popular brands emblazoned on these vintage coolers was Coca-Cola. Collectors of this line of coolers seek out specific variations in the text included with the Coca-Cola logo.

We’re thrilled to share these items, which are part of our own collection and are not for sale.

The most common of these was the Acton Standard Cooler. Manufactured during the 1950s, it had a built-in bottle opener and tank drain. It sported a lid handle as well as a carrying handle. A stainless steel liner and a sandwich tray were available for an additional $10.

The Acton Standard Cooler held 36 bottles stacked. It weighed 20 pounds empty, and measured 17″L x 12″W x 19″H.

Image of Coca-Cola Progress A50 Cooler

Progress A50 Cooler

Produced from the ’50s to ’70s, the Progress A50 cooler was made exclusively for Coca-Cola. It featured a galvanized sandwich tray and interior and an embossed logo design. The handles on either side locked the lid in place. This unit held 32 bottles and weighed 29 pounds. It stood 16.25″ high and measured 19.25″L x 13.25″W.

Years ago, while we were in the restoration business, we restored an “unknown” cooler. We sandblasted the old paint and repainted it with Coca-Cola colors. This un-embossed cooler was originally a Coca-Cola cooler, but we don’t know who the manufacturer was. It’s an interesting piece since,  in addition to the main compartment for the Coca-Cola bottles and ice, there is also a detachable compartment below to keep sandwiches and other foods cool and dry. The lid has storage for a can/bottle opener as well as an ice pick. The bottle portion of the cooler was large enough to hold only about eight to ten bottles of Coca-Cola. It was probably made in the 1950s.

Image of Restored Coca-Cola Cooler

We restored this cooler we believe was produced in the 1950s.

If you have any insight as to the make and model of this cooler, please chime in!

Coca-Cola Stadium Vendors

Image of 1950s Coca-Cola Stadium Vendor

Based on the single-dot design of the logo, we believe this metal carrier with a canvas strap is from the 1950s or later.

Worn by vendors at sporting events, these bottle carriers were a great way for companies to promote their brand to the masses. Typically the carriers would hold bottles of soda pop on ice, and they were often held in front of a vendor via a neck strap. Some smaller models were carried by hand via a single handle.

Many of the vendors today are crate-style and made of some type of plastic; logos are often printed or adhered (as stickers). In the retro years, though, great attention to detail was given, and these metal vendors often featured embossed logo designs and unique styling.

Image of Coca-Cola Stadium Vendor Cooler

We restored this 1950s vendor cooler, which features designated spaces for straws and paper cups.

Image of Coca-Cola 1950s Square Stadium Carrier

This restored square carrier was carried through the stadium by hand.

Do you have an antique Coca-Cola cooler or stadium vendor? There were so many different kinds, and we’d love to see your pictures!

Last updated: Sep 25, 2014
Filed under: Retro Advertising, Retro Museum, Soda Pop Tagged with: advertising, Coca-Cola, Picnic Coolers