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May 20, 2012

Whites Only Soda Machines

     I couldn't help but notice a still photo in a CBS 8 report about an art exhibit at the Greyhound Station Freedom Rides Museum in Montgomery.
     I knew there were major companies that cooperated with the governments of Alabama and the other Southern States when it came to segregation...the bus lines for example, who were enablers by agreeing to use segregated terminals. 
     But the photo of a Coca-Cola machine with the "White Customers Only" design was a surprise. They even included it twice, apparently to make sure the message wasn't missed.

There are antique coca-cola machine collectors, and on one site I found this note:

Another popular Cavalier machine was the C-102, which vended from two sides. Widely used throughout the 1950s, these machines had the unintended consequence of being tools of segregation—some machines were labeled “Whites Only” on one side and “Colored Only” on the other.


David said...

Igrew up in Alabama in the 50s and 60s and managed to travel all oer the South. I can't remember a whites only Coke machine much less a two-sited machine for black and whites. I do remember serparat water fountains, rest rooms and lunch counters.

My father, born in 1917, said when he was a boy Coke were referred to as "dopes" for their cocaine content. There are some who will tell you this wasn't true. I have seen the remnents of the proccessing plant in Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

In 1957, while flying from NY to Mobile, Ala., I saw a two-sided Coke machine in the Birmingham airport terminal. I was 13 years old at the time and it shocked me deeply. I'm now 69, and the memory still haunts me.


Tim Lennox said...

Thanks for sharing, Richard!