The History of Vending Machines

By November 27, 2015 Vending Machine No Comments

With the development of technology and economy, our life has become more and more convenient. As a symbol for our competitive economy, the vending machines save a lot of resources and can be put at almost any place to provide our customers a more convenient life.

With the appearance as the result of modern technology, actually vending machines or “automatic retailing” as it is increasingly known, has a long history. It is amazing that we can trace the root of it to the ancient times. The first known vending machine was invented by the Greek engineer and mathematician Hero of Alexandria around 215 BC. As the main function of it today, the first vending machines were located in Egyptian temples to dispense holy water in exchange for coins. Although the first vending machine made it appearance rather earlier, but then its development is rather slow and that it was not until the early 1880s that the first commercial coin-operated vending machines were introduced for public use. The main function of this coin-operated machine was distributing post cards. But around the same time, English publisher and bookshop owner, Richard Carlisle also invented a vending machine for selling books. Across the Atlantic Ocean, Vending machines made their United States debut in 1888 when the Thomas Adams Gum Company installed machines on subway platforms in New York City to vend gum.

With the widespread use of vending machines in the end of 19th century, more and more people realized the benefits vending machines can bring to our life, which trend in contrast pushed the sale of them more fiercely. We can see vending machines soon offered everything including; cigars, postcards, stamps. What’s more, a restaurant opened a new page for the development of the vending machine which was a completely coin-operated one called Horn & Hardart. Since then, following this trend, it has deeply rooted in our life.


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