History of Vending Machine

What is a vending machine? The definition of vending quoted from Dictionary.com:

To sell by means of a vending machine.

While definition of vending machine quoted from Wikipedia is:

A vending machine is a machine that dispenses merchandise when a customer deposits money, validated by a currency detector, sufficient to purchase the desired item (as opposed to a shop, where the presence of personnel is required for every purchase).

Usually, the machine may consist of a big rectangular-shaped box, standing up, that has a place to insert coins or bills into the machine. Merchandise to sell is placed in the vending machine and when a customer inserts adequate money and select the item he or she wants, the vending machine will automatically release the item through a special hole that is found at the lower part of the machine.

Do you know the history of vending machine? Vending machine has a long history and let’s learn about it:

  • 215 BC, the ancient Greeks invented an urn and placed it in an Egyptian temple, which dispensed a certain amount of holy water. It was considered as the first vending machine.
  • Early of 1880s, the first coin operated vending machines were invented in London. They were postcards vending machines.
  • Richard Carlisle invented books vending machine.
  • Coin acceptor mechanisms that distinguish genuine coins from fake has made vending machines become more popular.
  • The first vending machine in United States was located on the subway platforms in New York City. It was invented by The Thomas Adams Company, dispensed Tutti Frutti gum.
  • Pulver Manufacturing Company introduced the first animated gum vending machines in 1897.
  • Gumball vending machines and round candy gumball vending machines was firstly introduced in 1907.
  • Early of 1900s, co-operated bars and cafes broke out like crazy in France and Germany.
  • Horn & Hadart (1902 – 1962) was a completely coin-operated restaurant in Philadelphia.
  • Variety products were offered since: cigarettes, stamps, postcards, candy, gumball, etc.
  • 1926, William Rowe from America invented a cigarette-vending machine.
  • 1965, canned soft drinks vending machines were invented.
  • 1981, the “talking” vending machines were invented.
  • Up to date, vending machines has come in different shapes and sizes, dispenses various products.

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