This feature is about an obscure product that Rock-Ola marketed in May of 1939 ... Folding Bars. Upon running across the original brochure, I wondered about how many people have just walked passed these units at flea markets or antique shows not knowing they were "Rock-Olas". To avoid this occurring again, this article will act as the complete identification guide to these obscure Rock-Ola products.
On the right is the front page of the original May 1939 brochure, indicating "The Rock-Ola Folding Bar ... $34.50 ... Sold in Leading Furniture and Department Stores ... For the Living Room, Game Room, Terrace or Lawn ... Makes Entertaining a Thrill ... A "'merriment' folding bar will transform any social occasion into a festive party. More than a passing novelty - it's PRACTICAL - can easily be set up QUICKLY any place. Has the smart appearance of twice the price!"
"Compact Storage in your clothes closet. Think of it! When the funs over, take down the bar in no more than a minute. Tuck it back into its carton and out of sight it goes - so compact that you won't stumble over it in the closet. A 'boon' to the hostess who wants 'something different' in entertaining."
The bars were offered in two trim lines, the DELUXE (which sold for $34.50) and the STANDARD (priced at $24.50). In addition to the patterned designs available, both trimlines could be purchased in sold red, blue or green.
" Imagine this smart folding bar in your home! Party-Time! Whisk it from the carton - out come four simple pieces: Top, folding front and dies in lively, vivid colors and dashing poster designs that tickle you 'funny bone', shinning chrome metal foot rail with claw floor rests and a 'tuck behind' supply shelf! Now, a twist of of the wrist - only a minute and Presto! - there stands the sturdy, ingenious 'master of ceremonies' - and the party is on!"
Specifications: Silk screen process is applied so that the designs are fixed. (Three silk screens are used on the deluxe bars). Tops are alcohol resistant, having a heavy lacquered mahogany finish and trimmed with chrome bad bar top edging. Bar set up measures 40" high and 50" long. These bars are sturdily built of well seasoned plywood with attractive hardware-design to stand-up under frequent use. Deluxe Models have game board on top. Let the "elbow benders" play a fast horse-race game. "Silver" field marked out on the mahogany finished top, miniature horses and riders and dice box supplied.
Models: The Deluxe was available in 6 silk screened models as shown along with the standard solid colors of red, blue and green.
D-1: "New York" - Shown in the top of the ad (above right) and depicts a scene of the New York Worlds Fair
D-2: "1939 Golden Gate International Exposition" (left-top)
D-3: "Trocadero" ... Shows night club scene (left - Second from top)
D-4: "Sweet Adeline" ... Shows singers (left - Middle)
D-5: A scene showing "a night on the town" (left second from bottom)
D-6: "He floats through the air" shows circus scene... (left - bottom)
On the right is the back page of the original May 1939 brochure, indicating "The Rock-Ola Folding Bar ... $24.50 ... Sold in Leading Furniture and Department Stores" This side of the brochure focused on the standard models.
Specifications: A remarkable value for the price! Silk screen process is also used on the standard models. (Two silk screens are applied on the standard bars). Bar set up measures 40" high and 50" long. Scalloped edge, alcohol resistant top because of heavy lacquered finish, chrome metal foot rail. Bars fashioned from substantial plywood with complimenting hardware. (Horse race game not included). A brilliant idea for a wedding gift!
Models: The Standard was available in 4 silk screened models as shown along with the standard solid colors of red, blue and green.
S-1: "19th Hole" - Shown in the top of the ad (above right) and depicts a scene at a golf course
S-2: Standard Model in Red (left-top)
S-3: Standard Model in Blue (left - Second from top)
S-4: Mermaid Scene (left - Middle)
S-5: Party scene with Champagne bottle (left second from bottom)
S-6: Scene showing horse jumping (left - bottom)
After running across this brochure I "swear" I have seen these somewhere. Perhaps you have too. Their appearance is extremely deceptive in "dating" them , the look more like something from the 1950's and 60's rather than being 60 years old.
This confusion delayed this article ... I knew I had seen the brochure in my issues of "Coin Machine Journal" and started looking in my 1960's issues and worked backwards ... after several hours had located back in 1939.
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