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The Little Known Secrets of Vending Machines!

Vending machines are taken for granted. People use them every day. They spend time looking through the pockets or the purses to find the right amount of change. They put their coins in the slot, carefully select the right button and wait for their snack or drink to fall into the slot where it can be retrieved. They are used every day, but most people barley give them a thought. If you asked one hundred people when the first vending machine was invented, it is doubtful more than a handful would guess the right decade, or century!

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The history of food or drink dispensing equipment dates back farther, much farther than most people realize. The first machine was invented and put to use in the first century AD – that’s right, twenty-one centuries ago. A Greek engineer, Heron of Alexandria is said to have created a machine that dispensed holy water by use of a counterweight system after a customer inserted a bronze coin into the coin slot. The machine’s history entered a long, dark period and it wasn’t until the early 1880s, when coin-operated machines in London dispensed post cards. An English bookstore owner and publisher invented vending equipment that dispensed books around the same time.

Vending machines came across the pond in 1883 and were introduced by the Thomas Adams Gum Company. In 1888 some early machines were placed on New York City’s elevated subway platforms. These early machines sold Tutti-Fruiti gum. Gumball dispensers were created in 1907 and vending machines were on their way! One of the most interesting pieces of vending history was the completely coin-operated restaurant, Horn & Hardart, in Philadelphia. It lasted until the 1960s.

The 1920s saw the development of the first automatic soda-dispensing pieces of equipment. They did not dispense bottles or cans; they delivered the carbonated beverage right into cups. Also in the 1920s, the first cigarette vending machines appeared. The 1940s saw the creation of machines that dispensed coffee; these became ubiquitous in break rooms and work places across the country and probably helped raise the popularity of a cup of java. There are now machines that sell snacks, drinks, water, and various sundry items. In Australia, there are vending machines that dispense gemstones and others that make and sell french fries. In London, there are devices that sell umbrellas. In Italy, dough is kneaded, toppings are added, and a fully cooked pizza is dispensed. In Japan, you can find a machine that vends ties, one that grows and dispenses lettuce, and another from which you can catch your own lobster. Not to be outdone, in California, marijuana can be purchased from a vending kiosk.

If you are considering the possibility of starting your own vending business, one of the most important decisions is what type of food to sell. It is probably best to stay away from lobsters, lettuce, and marijuana, but there are many other potential choices that can help you start making money. The other crucial decision is where to locate your machines. For this, you may want to use a vending locator service. These companies are skilled at finding the best locations for your equipment and will do all the marketing and placement for a reasonable fee. Vending machines make a great business and the sooner you get started, the faster you will be making money!

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