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A History of Snack Vending Machines

posted 29 Oct 2010, 14:41 by Mpelembe   [ updated 29 Oct 2010, 14:42 ]

In the history of mankind, there are but two constants: death
and snack vending machines.

Ok, so that may be a slight exaggeration. But the fact
remains that the original vending mechanism actually came to
be centuries ago. The Hero of Alexandria, an ancient Greek
who lived from 10 AD to 70 AD, was the first vending machine
manufacturer in recorded time. His machine accepted a Roman
coin, than dispensed a specific amount of Holy Water. The
entire mechanism worked because of the coin: upon delivery
it fell into a pan, which would then pull a lever that
opened the valve containing the Holy Water.

Since then, there have been a plethora of different style
machines, a list that is seemingly unlimited.

There are the most well-known ones, which accept bills and
coins and react to a number pushed in by the consumer. These
types typically dispense things like a bag of chips or a
regular sized candy bar.

There are also the soda vending machines, which accept bills
and coins, but instead of numbers they typically just have
buttons that give the consumer a choice of which product
they want. One of the major differences between the typical
soda vending machines and snack vending machines is that the
snack ones usually are made of glass that allows buyers to
see the product they are selecting, while drink vending
machines typically don't show the product.

When it comes to the category of 'vending machines,'
however, many people aren't aware that the three-foot-high
newspaper machines on the street corners are included.
That's right, these machines aren't limited to the snack and
drink variety: newspaper vending machines count as well.

Also, gumball machines that ask for a quarter and give you a
circular piece of horrible chewing gum that loses its flavor
in seconds and is likely a whole bunch older than anything
you've ever eaten before in your life. Yep, those are
considered vending machines as well.

The entire scope for vending machines has grown
significantly since the days of the Hero of Alexandria.
There are now drink vending machines that can see if an ID
holder is over the age of 21 and dispense wine. Recently, an
Italian restaurant owner built a dispenser that distributes
slices of pizza.

But that's not all. Members of the medical community are
developing a functional prescription drug dispensing
machine. Another has been created to perfectly dispense a
cup of coffee. These are just a handful of some of the crazy
examples of how vending machines have developed over time,
and continue to develop.

About the Author:

At you can find traditional or
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