Saturators – Drinks Vending Machines in Chernobyl

Have you got enough of the hot weather? Worry no more, we have saturators!

For those of you who grew up outside of the Soviet Union, saturator was a vending machine or hand-pushed cart with carbonated drinks. Some of them served pure fizzy water while others would mix it with juice concentrate. I still remember the taste of raspberry soda from Saturators.

Those marvellous examples of Communist engineering didn’t dispense any plastic or paper cups. Instead they were equipped with a glass, often attached on a metal chain, which you could briefly rinse before each use. Basically like playing Russian Roulette, but with various diseases.

The water from those machines was even called jokingly “Gruźliczanka” in Poland (Gruźlica – Tuberculosis).

So far I only came across few of those machines in Pripyat – by the Cafe Pripyat, in the bakery, in Jupiter plant’s production halls, and few hiding among overgrown bushes between the apartment buildings on Lenin Avenue. You can also see them briefly in the “Chernobyl” HBO series.

Saturators started gaining popularity recently as their nostalgic attraction is hard to resist for some, although you’re more likely to get a disposable cup for your drink nowadays. You can even order a brand new unit from an ukrainian manufacturer for only 27000uah (around €950 or $1050).

 

Saturators in HBO series "Chernobyl"
Saturators in HBO series “Chernobyl”
Saturators near Cafe Pripyat
Saturators near Cafe Pripyat
Saturators in Jupiter factory in Pripyat
Saturators in Jupiter factory in Pripyat
Saturators in the bakery in Pripyat
Saturators in the bakery in Pripyat
Saturators on Lenin Avenue in Pripyat
Saturators on Lenin Avenue in Pripyat
Saturators near Cafe Pripyat
Saturators near Cafe Pripyat
Saturators near Cafe Pripyat
Saturators near Cafe Pripyat

 

 

Saturators produced in Ukraine today
Saturators manufactured in Ukraine today

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