History of Vending Machines
As surprising as it might seem, the history of vending machines takes us back to the very first 1st Century.
One of the greatest Antiquity experimenters of all time, Heron of Alexandria, developed the vending machine (shown in the below picture) as a means to dispense holy water in Egyptian temples. When a coin was inserted, it fell upon a pan which was attached to a lever, this lever opened up a valve which allowed water to flow out. The pan continued to tilt with the weight of the coin until it fell off, causing a counter-weight to snap the lever back up and turn the valve off. In his book called Mechanics and Optics, Heron outlined his invention and its theory. This has been passed down for centuries.
Despite this, the introduction of modern vending machines did not come about until the Industrial Revolution. It was then that coin-operated vending machines came into public use – not for holy water, but for the distribution of post cards!
Evolution of Pick and Mix
In 1888, the marriage of the vending machine to the sweet industry occurred as Thomas Adams Gum Co. introduced a Tutti-Frutti gum vending machine! He stationed this on the elevated subway platforms of New York City and the response was incredible.
Prior to this, sweet vending predominantly revolved around releasing one type of candy for the money inserted. It was either this, or delving gilded scoops into wonderful Pick and Mix stands. Frank Woolworth opened his successful chain of variety ‘Five-and-Dimes’ in 1879 and it was here that Pick and Mix began its climb to success.
Over the last few decades, Pick and Mix has continued to evolve. Now, we do not need to choose between the practicality of vending machines and the fun of Pick and Mix stands as we have merged the two!
Hygienic, interactive, fun and scrumptious! Take a look at the world’s first branded digital kiosk and join the new generation of Pic n Mix sweet vending.