Call Us Today!
(970) 396-2434

We are excited to answer all your questions about your vending machine wants and needs
Our Service Area
Contact Us

Then and Now: The Rich History of Vending Machines

Vending machines are convenient and affordable and as a result are just about everywhere you look. From the corner store to the halls of the local high school, you can access an array of food and products at the touch of a finger. These days the items being dispensed from vending machines truly runs the gamut, from controversial items like condoms to beer to farm fresh eggs: the vending machine has officially outgrown the label of snack machine.

But did you ever wonder where it all started?

The concept of the vending machine dates all the way back to ancient times, with a great deal of the original development taking place within the 20th century.  A Greek mathematician named Hero of Alexandria designed a machine that used a combination of levers and beams to distribute holy water once a coin was inserted in a slot nearly 2,000 years ago.

Since that time there have been many different version of the same basic premise. In London, England in the early 1880’s, the first modern vending machine was designed to dispense postcards. And later in the late 1880’s an American company designed a snack machine to dole out gumballs.

Once we hit the 20th century, people were starting to go nuts for vending machines and were actually designing entire restaurants around the vending machine. Original soft drink machines poured their contents into cups rather than dispensing the entire soft drink. In 1937, Coca Cola designed a snack machine to bestow users with drinks in chilled bottles. Shortly thereafter a coffee dispenser and a modern day soda vending machine with aluminum cans were also invented.

This brings us to the modern age of vending machines. Currently Japan is one of the largest vending machine consumers with purportedly one for every 23 people that dispenses everything from bags of rice to live lobsters, flowers and lingerie. The myriad of objects being dispensed is also getting quite diversified. In Italy there are fresh-made pizza vending machines, mashed potato vending machines can be found in select 7-11’s throughout the US, and there is even a cheeseburger vending machine in the Netherlands.

Whatever your preference you can be sure that there’s a vending machine that vends it somewhere in the world and has been for quite some time. With its rich history and the enthusiasm for these machines not slowing down in the least you can be sure that they’ll continue to be around for quite some time.

Long live the vending machine!