I Never Knew That! The Interesting History of the Vending Machine

Posted by Makayla Seger - August 3, 2015

We take for granted the fact that vending machines have always been around for us, and that they are always there for us when we need a snack or a drink. When’s the last time you thought about how vending machines came to be? Their history? It’s important to know, since it impacts the future! Plus, it’s also just pretty interesting to read about.

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Bet you didn’t think vending machines had been around since the first century in one way or another? The first that we know of was in Greece, when Hero of Alexandria, an engineer and mathematician, used levers and weights to construct a machine that dispensed holy water in exchange for coins. Tobacco started to be dispensed out of vending machine in 1615. The machines were portable and made of brass. Then, in 1987, Simeon Denham gained a British patent for a stamp machine that was the very first fully automatic vending machine.

Starting to Modernize

The beginning of vending we may recognize sprang into existence in the 1880s in London, with Percival Everett’s postcard dispensing machine. Next, in 1887, The Sweetmeat Automatic Delivery Company become the first company to trade solely in the installation and maintenance of vending machines. The first machines in the U.S. popped up in 1888, created by Thomas Adams Gum Company. Gumboil machines came not too long after in 1907, most likely from the same company.

Recent Years

People started to get creative and put more than just refreshments in vending machines. There is Redbox, which allows people to rent DVDs and Blu-rays from a kiosk machine, places where you can deposit your old cell phones for cash, and in Sweden, a company that is placing books to be checked out in a machine.

What’s Next?

You may think this is just us being biased – but it’s not! More and more consumers are becoming concerned about their health and what they put in their bodies. Not only are people snacking more frequently, they are looking for healthy choices. This is especially true for classic items, but made with a healthy twist. Tons of studies and industry experts have come out saying that healthy is the next big thing in snacking and vending!

Want to be a part of the newest chapter in the vending machine operating business? Contact us today!