10 Facts About the History of Vending Machines | Prestige Vending & Office Coffee

10 Facts About the History of Vending Machines

November 15, 2013

Throughout history there have been thousands of useful inventions created for the daily convenience of humans. Some of these inventions have led to making life easier when it comes to paying bills or simply being able to pick up a cellphone to send a quick text—instead of messaging via Western Union Telegram! And then, there’s this thing called a vending machine.

Many people are so busy on a daily basis that lunch breaks have turned into an hour of thinking about their next work deadline. Just as was the case with inventions before the vending machine, this handy machine made it quick and easy for people to get what they wanted—in this case, lunch or a snack. Vending machines in Tucson dispense food and drink, and even electronic gadgets and socks, all with the push of a few buttons to select an item and make your payment.

Let’s take a look at some fun facts about the history of vending machines:

  1. The first commercial coin operated vending machines were introduced in London, England in the early 1880s for the convenience of busy and hungry businessmen.
  2. The first vending machines dispensed quick bites such as apples and even postcards.
  3. The word vending in vending machine comes from the term for automatic retailing, from a machine or manned stand, as is the case for selling small items like food.
  4. The first American vending machine was introduced in 1888. It was manufactured by the Thomas Adams Gum Company and dispensed Tutti Fruity Gum!
  5. In the early 1920s, the first vending machine that sold soda dispensed it into a cup.
  6. Sodas sold in bottles came around in the 1930s and the only choices available in vending machines were Classic Coke and Pepsi.
  7. In 1965, John Greenwick invented the first vending machine that accepted paper bills. People did not have to carry around coins to use anymore, though product prices were now more than back in the 1880s.
  8. During the mid to late 2000s, retailers got creative and started stocking machines with products other than sodas and candy, such as toys, fishing bait and hot foods.
  9. Around 2012, nutritional information started to become prevalent next to some vending machines that sold food and drinks, showing a rise in consumer health interest regarding snack foods—the primary staple of vending machines at the time.
  10. 2011 to 2013 was the age of innovation for vending retailers and their customers. Many machines these days let you pay using a credit card and even by scanning and using an app on your smartphone. The days of carrying around a bunch of small bills have passed!

It’s amazing to think that something as routine as a vending machine in Tucson dates back to the 1800’s—and even more amazing when you look at how far vending technology has come. From only two choices of cola and the need to pay by coin, to buying a healthy salad with your smartphone, vending technology has absolutely come into the future.

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