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Vending Machines, They’re older than you Think

A fascinating look at the history of vending machines.

We think of the simple vending machine as a modern invention where we insert some money or a credit card and get our selected item, but vending machines have been around for more than two millennia.

The following is a brief overview of the history compiled by Vending One:

The First-Ever Vending Machine Invention (215 BC)

  • The first vending machine dates back in Ancient Greek in 215 BC. It was a piece of work by mathematician Hero of Alexandria. You were required to feed the machine with coins so as it can give you ‘holy water’.

The First Modern Vending Machine (the 1880s)

  • The first-ever commercial (coin-operated) automatic retailer was invented in London early in 1880. The automatic retailer was designed to dispense postcards.

The First-Ever Vending Machine in the US (1888)

  • The company responsible was Thomas Adams Gums. The vending machine was meant to sell fruity gums in New York City, especially around the railway area.

The Evolution of the Vending Machine

  • 1890 – The First Vending Machine for Drinks
  • 1926 – The First Vending Machine for Cigarettes
  • 1950 – The First Vending Machine for Life Insurance
  • 1950 – The First Vending Machine for Schools
  • 1965 – The First Vending Machine to Accept Paper Bills
  • 1972 – The First Vending Machine for Snacks
  • 1987 – The First Vending Machine for Frozen Foods

The vending machines have come a long way and there is no doubt about it. From using coins to now using credit cards, it has been a story for the ages. These automatic retailers make things really interesting for the modern consumer. They not only get to save time but labor too. They are truly the future of the retail business.

When Were Vending Machines Invented?

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