1. Emerson A. Bolen
  2. Kitchen Matches
  3. The Yankee
  4. The Northwestern Novelty Company
  1. Diversification
  2. Ice Cream
  3. Waldo Bolen
  4. New Horizons in Bulk Vending
  1. Landmark Machines
  2. Disaster
  3. Pat and Richard Bolen
  4. Nortwestern Today

Chapter 9: Landmark Machines

It would be impossible to list here all the various models and types of merchandising machines Northwestern produced. Some were real landmarks in the development of the company. In 1933, Northwestern brought out its Model 33 (the company has a penchant for naming its machines after the year in which they are introduced) and the Model 33 Junior, a small peanut vender which Northwestern sold by the thousands to automatic Canteen.

The Deluxe (1936) offered the first real protection against slugs; the Triselector (1936) had three separate compartments; the Model 49 (1949) gave customers a fast, full-for-empty service routine; the Golden 59 marked Northwestern's 50th anniversary; the Model 60, an improved version of the 59, is still considered the workhorse of the industry and spawned the Model Super 60 (late 60's) and the lovable Fathead in 1996.

When the space age took hold of the country in the early 60's Northwestern launched its Moon Rocket, shaped like a space vehicle and complete with countdown lights and a miniature rocket launching.

In 1973 Northwestern's first talking vender, Mouthy Marvin, chatted his way into the market. The Model 80 (designed in 1979) used Northwestern engineering and lots of operator input to produce a large capacity machine that was the talk of the 1979 NBVA convention and is still one of automatic merchandising's biggest sellers.

The Triple Play (1990), surely the most elegant multi-merchandise machine in the industry, was designed with the thought of opening up new and more upscale markets, and the Pro Bowl (1995) was Northwestern's entry into the giant gumball machine market.

On a few occasions, the company has even ventured out of the bulk and stamp vending field. Once it built a two selection Hershey candy bar vending machine, and then a big capacity, multi selection bar candy vender (The Sweet 16). During WWII and again in the Korean War, the company went into the business of making shell cases. Northwestern was given the Army-Navy E award on three separate occasions.

Innovation after innovation, Northwestern never ceases to improve quality and create new machines, stands and accessories for a constantly growing market.