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Bastian-Blessing Superior Soda Fountains

The Bastian-Blessing Company was started by Charles Bastian and Lewis Blessing. They were employees of the Liquid Carbonic Company that had been founded by Jacob Baur in 1888. Liquid Carbonic had been the first midwestern company that produced liquefied carbon dioxide for making soft drinks. Bastian and Blessing left the Liquid Carbonic in 1908 and started their own company, where they manufactured soda fountains.

The Bastian-Blessing corporate offices and factory were based in Chicago, Illinois. A second factory was located in Grand Haven, Michigan from 1910 until 1988. In addition, they had a showroom that was located in NYC. They started a new division called RegO in 1918 that manufactured gas-welding equipment. Today Bastian-Blessing operates under the RegO name. But in its heyday, Bastian-Blessing was not only one of the earliest manufacturers of soda fountains, but the finest.

Bastian Blessing Soda Fountains

Bastian Blessing 1940 brochure page featuring Rainbow Restaurant in Portland, OR.

These photos are from a vintage 1940 company brochure featuring the “Superior Fountain” product line. The soda fountains were made of solid steel construction. They had completely mechanical refrigeration, eliminating brine and water baths that were used on earlier models to keep the ice cream and drinks cold. The brochure claimed these units were “sanitary” and were designed to help you “reap greater profits than ever before”. Most of all, though, the soda fountains were very beautiful.

In the brochure, the company spotlighted select restaurants, like the Rainbow Restaurant in Portland Oregon (above). The clean, wood finish of the soda fountain fits in very well with the Art Deco design of the Restaurant’s exterior. And note the Dole Junior soda dispenser on the counter.

The next page shows the Superior Fountain at S. H. Kress & Co. in San Antonio, Texas. The stools are covered in red Spanish leather and on the walls are scenes depicting historic San Antonio. There’s also an architectural drawing showing the floor plan and layout of the soda fountain.

Bastian Blessing Soda Fountains

Spotlight on the Superior Fountain, installed at S. H. Kress & Co. in San Antonio, Texas.

Marble tops were available for the soda fountain counters. The sleek, modern style of these fixtures is an art form of a bygone era.

Bastian Blessing Soda Fountains

1940 brochure showing marble counter options: The Tuscany and The Lombardy.

Marble Soda Fountain Counters

More marble options include The Knoxville and The Glencoe.

Additional styles in wood or porcelain on steel were also available. They vary from Art Deco, to Neoclassical to Native American, and they are all striking.

Wood Soda Fountain Counters

Wood counter models – The Vogue, The Springfield and The Cherokee.

Porcelain On Steel Soda Fountain Counter

Porcelain on steel counters: The Redfield and The Symphony.

Bastian-Blessing Porcelain on Steel Counters

The Stratford, The Beverly and The Michigan.

There were also different backbar options for the soda fountains. With the mirrors and glass they make quite an overall statement.

Bastian-Blessing Soda Fountain Backbars

Backbar options: The Sylvan and The Richmond

Backbars For Soda Fountains

Backbars and Superstructures: The Montrose and The Bellevue

There are still many shops today that have an original Bastian-Blessing counter. It would be worth trying to find an example in your area. If you find one, we’d love to see pics and hear your story!

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Last updated: February 23, 2013
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About Ann

Ann is a web assistant and project manager with Retro Planet. After prior stints in the advertising and publishing worlds, she has found her place with the company. She is a serious anglophile and history buff, with a passion for anything from the past, especially retro inspired decor.

  • gidgetmccormack

    I operate an indoor flea market in Texarkana Texas and am looking to set up a soda jerk,I am interested in what your asking. Would like to see pics,thanks ,

  • JK

    I have a 9 ft long Bastian Blessing soda fountain with sink that I am looking to sell. More pictures available if you are interested. Please reply if you are interested.

  • JWW

    Had no idea when I googled The Bastain Blessing company listed on my propane tank knobs that the company was at one time in the fountain business. Cannot help any of you on the ice cream soda fountains although that is all we had in the 30′s and 40′s when I was growing up.Last fountain here in Dallas, TX that I saw was Highland Park Pharmacy and in Denton, TX which was T&Sons which closed a few years back.

  • http://www.retroplanet.com/ Retro Planet

    Hi, JK. You may post your pics here.

  • http://www.retroplanet.com/ Retro Planet

    Thanks for the info!

  • Moonpie

    We have a completely restored Bastian Blessing Soda Fountain with a complete bobtail unit. If you are still looking for one. We are located in East Texas.

  • gidget

    would like pics and price

  • Guest

    Make us a offer!

  • Moonpie

    Gidget…if you are interested in the soda fountain please email me bettymooney@hotmail.com

  • http://www.retroplanet.com/ Retro Planet

    Thanks so much for sharing the photo!

  • Ed Cunningham

    I am selling my Bastian Blessing Soda Fountain. Has ben a fun project with very littel work needed. It was purchased from a Museum auction in Phoenix AZ where it was set up in a diaorama of an old Pharmacy. The condensor was replaced about ten years ago and runs just fine. I am asking $2,000 and buyer pays actual shipping. Everything else is original. auctioneddie@yahoo.com Thanx!

  • Ed Cunningham

    for some reason can not post photos…. email me for detailed photos

  • Jody Hurley

    I am looking for one if you still have yours.

  • Randy

    I have a circa 1950′s Bastian-Blessing soda fountain, counter and 6 stools for sale. Model #15541. It’s been used in my small-town pharmacy and soda shoppe since 2001. It is now available because I recently retired. I’m asking $7,500 or best offer. I will send you photo’s if you are interested. Thanks for your consideration. Randy

  • tony1oh5

    I have a 1917 BASTIAN-BLESSING SODA FOUNTAIN completey restored with a modern home soda dispenser system,beer kegerator,and cold water faucet for sale. Please reply if interested.

  • John

    Hi my name is John Thomas
    I Would like to buy your soda fountain
    If you can send picture to my email
    Jthomaspld@aol.com that would be great.
    Thanks again
    John Thomas

  • MissB

    Have you sold this?

  • Moonpie

    We haven’t sold it yet. If you are really interested…I promise you won’t be disappointed!

  • M. Edwards

    I am in search of a soda fountain to incorporate in a baker that I’m preparing to open. I would welcome some pics and any other information you may have (providing you still have it). My e-mail is mkedwards_ks@hotmail.com

  • sodajerk

    I am potentially interested in it. My email is whit_lynn_40475@yahoo.com

  • Moonpie

    Sorry, it has sold.

  • mrelcee

    I have the following counter with 4 stools I’d like to sell. Located in mid-michigan. it is approximately 11 feet long. Was bought out of a store in Owosso, MI 15 years ago and has been stored ever since..

    contact at: lcraft@gmail.com