A tour of the largest known collection of Vernors memorabilia

 
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Vernor's collector Keith Wunderlich in his basement den.
Vernor's collector Keith Wunderlich in his basement den.
The centerpiece of the collection is this soda fountain, which took several years to complete.
The centerpiece of the collection is this soda fountain, which took several years to complete.
The original soda fountain from Richardson Farm Dairy.
The original soda fountain from Richardson Farm Dairy.
Wunderlich says that this frosty-looking vessel was a gimmick designed to make people thirsty, but didn't actually contain ginger ale: "That was one of their very early dispensers. It probably first appeared in the 1920s, but they still used them in the 1940s. The glass up above was supposed to hold a yellow Vernor's-ish-looking liquid, but it wasn’t Vernor's. The Vernor's just came up from a refrigerated unit underneath, through the handle. They had somehow rigged it up, so when you did pull the handle down, it would release some air into the colored water, to make it look like something was actually happening, but Vernor would never have allowed that to actually be Vernor's. "
Wunderlich says that this frosty-looking vessel was a gimmick designed to make people thirsty, but didn't actually contain ginger ale: "That was one of their very early dispensers. It probably first appeared in the 1920s, but they still used them in the 1940s. The glass up above was supposed to hold a yellow Vernor's-ish-looking liquid, but it wasn’t Vernor's. The Vernor's just came up from a refrigerated unit underneath, through the handle. They had somehow rigged it up, so when you did pull the handle down, it would release some air into the colored water, to make it look like something was actually happening, but Vernor would never have allowed that to actually be Vernor's. "
Wunderlich says of his massive collection, "This is a decent representation of the ages of Vernor's, but in no way represents everything that Vernor's ever produced, because they produce a lot of stuff. It’s amazing how much they produced."
Wunderlich says of his massive collection, "This is a decent representation of the ages of Vernor's, but in no way represents everything that Vernor's ever produced, because they produce a lot of stuff. It’s amazing how much they produced."
Wunderlich adds: "I know I am a fanatic about Vernor's. I mean, I realize that. I always tell my wife there’s worse habits I could have."
Wunderlich adds: "I know I am a fanatic about Vernor's. I mean, I realize that. I always tell my wife there’s worse habits I could have."
This ruddy version of the gnome could double as the Nain Rouge.
This ruddy version of the gnome could double as the Nain Rouge.
"Mellowed in wood four years" was just one of many slogans.
"Mellowed in wood four years" was just one of many slogans.
With red script and no green to be seen, this is among the earliest pieces in Wunderlich's collection.
With red script and no green to be seen, this is among the earliest pieces in Wunderlich's collection.
This original card for James Vernor identifies him as a pharmacist and florist. "The original Mr. Vernor was a pharmacist," Wunderlich says. "He didn’t like the fact that just anybody could be a pharmacist,and so he started the Michigan Board of Pharmacy. He held Pharmacist License No. 1 the entire time that he practiced. He wanted to make sure that medicines actually followed strict regulations and, not gonna have ingredients in there that accidentally killed you instead of cured you."
This original card for James Vernor identifies him as a pharmacist and florist. "The original Mr. Vernor was a pharmacist," Wunderlich says. "He didn’t like the fact that just anybody could be a pharmacist,and so he started the Michigan Board of Pharmacy. He held Pharmacist License No. 1 the entire time that he practiced. He wanted to make sure that medicines actually followed strict regulations and, not gonna have ingredients in there that accidentally killed you instead of cured you."