Friday, August 21, 2015

Sepia Saturday 293: M'm M'm Good!

Would I like to own that Campbell's soup vending machine in the photo. But, that's not going to happen. The only one vaguely similar sold for $14,000 on eBay, well out of my price range.  

The machine below, about the same vintage as in our prompt, dispensed soup, hot in the can. The lady standing next to the machine is using that huge standing opener to remove the lid. As you can see, the seated women are pouring hot soup into the cup. I'm guessing the huge electric can opener pre-dated the much smaller electric home appliance of the same persuasion. Can you imagine dispensing hot soup in a can today? - you'd be liable if the soup was too hot, sued if the opener hurt anyone and on and on. 

The Campbell's vending machines became obsolete eventually with the advent of the microwave. They reworked most of their packaging to make the soup microwaveable and convenient to eat straight out of the package.


Campbell's is a great American brand and the company has resisted pushing and pulling the image around based on au courant marketing whims. I have to say though that I don't like their newest offering very much - the black and white hipster faces turn me off. The packages are always creased up and whatever the art looked like in the beginning, it doesn't resemble in the finished product. The facial expressions are just too shocked and surprised for soup! I hate to say it but they all look like they've just discovered the shock and awe of suppositories. Forgive my over-active imagination. 
Note to self: "Shock n'Awe" - potential name for suppository. 

I always liked the Campbell's kids but they're too cute for today's market. Don't you adore their rosy cheeks? And wide-eyed amazement?

However, if they're going to go modern and startling, I'd love to see them do a really dark ad campaign. Something to give you soupy nightmares.  

Mr. Gluttony and his niece enjoy a bowl of tomato soup together.
("Run little girl. Run as fast as you can.")

Drawing original by

As far as vending machines go, they seem to be waning in popularity around here. I don't like them but I do think a champagne dispenser has it's place - even though it seems like a gross contradiction in style to dispense a luxury brand from a machine. But think of how convenient it would be at Disney Hall when everyone wants champers at the same time and the crowd around the bar is ten deep...and there's only 15 minutes left for intermission! No tips required and I'm guessing the bottles must be easy to open. A glass?? Oh, who needs to bother with a glass - just guzzle that stuff right out of the bottle. 


 From Wikipedia:

"The first Campbell Kids were drawn by Grace Drayton. A prodigious illustrator, she was a staff artist for the Philadelphia Press and Evening Journal, and also a children's book illustrator. Her husband, Theodore Wiederseim, who worked for the Ketterlineus Lithographic Manufacturing Company in Philadelphia, recommended her services to Campbell since she had been drawing little kids with round faces and rosy cheeks for years. She adapted her drawings for Campbell and they became the basis for the Campbell Kids. There were not just two or three kids; the company used many different kids, up to 16."

Put your change in your piggy bank and head off to Sepia Saturday where more stories are dispensed for FREE. 


  1. Great! I've never seen or heard of a soup vending machine, let alone in cans, or one that dispenses champagne, but I agree, the latter could be handy in certain situations. I believe you can get all kinds of pre-prepared meals from self-serve machines in Japan. The only problem is understanding the questions that come up on the machine display when you try to make your selections.

  2. A souper post!
    The idea of a champagne vending machine would be perfect for the theater and concert hall. And one back stage too for those of us in the band!

  3. Dispense me a bottle of Brut and I'd be happy! What a great idea. :)

  4. I had no idea soup vending machines even existed! We get Campbell’s soup in the UK, but I don’t recognise any of the packaging you share here - unless I’m sleep walking past it! I’m going food shopping in a while so will be sure to check it out.

  5. Mr. Gluttony is a keeper, for sure! Those Campbell Kids were just too, too cute for me! But I'm all for the champagne vending, whatever!

  6. That Gluttony ad is quite creepy.

  7. A fun psot. I did not know about the Campbell Kids and am just familiar with the standard dark red and white packaging you see here today in Britain.. I suppose if you can get hot drinks in vending machines, why not soup, but it somehow does not appeal to me,.

  8. Anonymous6:08 AM

    That was a most interesting story. One of the interesting things about Sepia Saturday is seeing both the similarities and the slight differences between the countries who contribute. Vending machines are strangers to me. And I have gradually given up buying the products of overseas companies and am a Buy Australian devotee, whether fresh frozen packet or canned. So there are only a few imported products in my kitchen

  9. Don't get me started on soup. That Campbell's vending machine did attract my attention and I was dumbfounded that such a thing existed. I remember being able to buy some delicious canned soup (probably English) - prawn bisque and other yummy flavours from the supermarket but flavours in soup seem to have constricted of late and I am somewhat disappointed. Sigh.

  10. Had I known you were going to feature the Campbell Kids, I would have sent you a photo of my very antique-y Campbell Kid doll. It belonged to my grandaunt - you're gonna love this - Helen Killeen Parker.

  11. Now in our little environmentally, health conscious town, the vending machines spew out organic juices, gluten-free crackers, fresh fruit and flavored water. Seems like the little money grabbers morph into whatever folks will put money into to the slots for.

  12. Never knew such a vending machine existed. Some things just fly right by you.