Refrigerator magnet pictures a 1950 advertisement for the Victor Vending Corporation Topper gumball and charm machine. The original ad was published in black and white. Machine-appropriate color has been added to this magnet and text has been simplified to allow legibility after a 50% size reduction from the ad to this 3" x 7" magnet.
The 1938 founder of Victor Vending was Harold M. Schaef (1907-1983 ), a Frankfort, Michigan native who only made it to the 8th grade. Schaef started in the vending industry in 1928 as an instructor of service agents for Peerless Weighing Machine. Three years later he formed his first company, Northwest Coin Machine Company, to produce counter games but the Depression forced him to cease manufacturing just two years later. In 1936 he and Harold Burt teamed up to form the Silver King Corporation. It dissolved in 1938 when he formed Victor. According to the 1940 census he lived with his widowed mother, Grace Schaef. In her twenties Grace worked as a nurse in Chicago while Harold and his younger sister, Alice, lived with their Burtker grandparents in Gilmore, Michigan.
By 1958 Victor vending's 13,000 sq. ft. Chicago plant produced twelve machines and the Franklin Park plant produced charms, capsules and assembly. Together the plants employed thirty workers. Forty distributors offered Victor products then.
Schaef maintained a 10-acre wooded retreat on Lake Michigan near his hometown, north of Manistee, west of Bear Lake, where he raised chinchillas, Hungarian partridges, pheasants and apple trees. Today the road leading to his property is named Schaef Rd. His widow, Kathryn, may have lived there until her death in 2000.