Vending machines have a long history. Though you might think they are a modern convenience, they actually go way back to ancient times. Of course, the vending machines we see in our offices today are quite different, but the concept remains the same.
The First Recognizable Vending Machines
The Ancient Greek mathematician and engineer Hero of Alexandria started it all with an invention that took coins and dispenses holy water. Once the coin went into the machine, it would roll and drop into a pan attached to a lever. The weight of that coin would release a flow of water. The next form of vending machines came in England sixteen centuries later. The devices were made of brass and sat in taverns to sell tobacco. Then, an English bookseller by the name of Richard Carlile sold banned books through a vending machine in 1822. The machines like we know them today were created in the 1880s and were first introduced in the U.S. as items that sold postcards and notepaper, among other things, in train stations and post offices.
The Arrival Of Drink Vending Machines
Beverage machines that dispense soda into cups came around in the early 1900s and in 1937, they began dispensing bottles drinks. Coca-Cola was the first and Pepsi soon followed suit. Once the technology was perfected, vending machine with snacks came about as well.
Beyond Snacks And Drinks
In the mid-2000s, companies began installing credit cards onto vending machines so customers wouldn’t have to have the right change. They could also sell higher priced items like laundry items, over the counter medications and other products. There are all sorts of odds and ends being sold in vending machines throughout the world now. Specialty vending machines might sell fishing lines and hooks while there are also those that sell books and reading lights.
Vending Machines In The Future
What started out as a way to get holy water has turned into a multi-billion dollar business. With mobile paying options (like Apple and Android Pay), vending machine companies could even see a further increase in sales. There are also artificial intelligence technology options on the horizon that will allow customers to buy more than one thing at a time from vending machines. The industry is here to stay and growing and changing with modern advancements.
Keep Up With The Times
If you have yet to install vending machines in your business, now is a better time than ever. There are plenty of options to suit your needs and the professionals at Camelback Vending can help. Whether you have a small space for a simple drink and snack machine or a larger station for a micro market, our experts can help. Vending machines are a great addition to any business because employees and guests can get what they need easily in a timely manner. With plenty of technology on the horizon, vending machines are only going to get better and have more options in the years to come.