The first vending machine was constructed over 2000 years ago by a Greek scientist who constructed the machine to dispense holy water once a suitable coin was inserted.
It used a simple pan attached to a lever which opened a valve to let the holy water out.
The coin eventually fell off the pan with its own weight and the lever turned the valve off.
The first fully automatic vending machine was the 1867 British patent No. 706 – a stamp vending machine designed by Simeon Denham.
The technical definition of a vending machine is a device that dispenses certain products in exchange for cash or credit which are kept secure in a locked housing.
Some vending machines have glass or glass type fronts so that you can choose an item to buy. Others, like postage stamp vending machines, are sealed completely. Vending machines are usually placed in busy high traffic public areas such as offices, hospitals, leisure and health centres, schools, in transportation environments and self-service eateries.
One of the more peculiar items vended were life insurance policies sold at some airports in the United States during the 1960’s.
More modern vending machines are those such as the Chargebox which are useful for charging mobile phones and ipods when people are on the move. They are often found at airports and international railway stations. One of the most prolific users of vending equipment is perhaps the Japanese where you can purchase anything from hot meals and toilet paper to even pornography.
There is one vending machine for every 23 Japanese resident! The very first car vending machine in the US was introduced in November 2014 and sited in Atlanta. The car giant Carvana owns this huge vending machine.
Vending machines have developed considerably as consumers demand for more varied products increased.
Some can now accept credit cards and dispense change which has increased customer usage. Research has shown that 50% of customers will not use a vending machine if it only accepts the correct amount. The latest machines automatically offer a refund if a product is not dispensed properly which helps cut our manual refunds and administration costs.
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