The First Documented Vending Machine
The first documented vending machine dates from about 215 BC, when the mathematician Hero invented a device that accepted bronze coins and dispensed holy water in the temples of Alexandria, Egypt.
The First Commercial Coin Operated Vending Machines
In the early 1880s, the first commercial coin operated vending machines were introduced in London, England for dispensing the post cards. And during the time, publisher as well bookshop owner named Richard Carlisle came up with a vending machine that could dispense the books.
Hero of Alexandria, engineer from Antiquity, who invented an early vending machine
A candy vending machine made in 1952
Beginning of 1900 witnessed vending machines that could offer soda in cups. In 1926, William Rowe invented a cigarette vending machine that started a trend toward higher priced merchandise, including soft drink and nickel-candy vending machines that evolved throughout the late 1920s and 1930s. And the concept of coffee breaks started when in 1946 first ever coffee vending machine was set up. With advancements in the technology, bean grinders and flavored coffee vending machines came into being too.
Eventually in 1961, canned soda vending machines entered the market too. Following the trail was soft drink vending machines that could also offer water which are even today used in a lot of fast food outlets.
The First Vending Machine that Accepted Paper Bills
In 1965, John Greenwich invented the first vending machine that accepted paper bills.
The First Vending Machine for Frozen Food
And with a glimpse of an eye, there was no market that was untouched by the charm of vending machines. And with 1987, came the earliest machine for vending frozen food.
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.
Smart Vending Machines
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 smart phone.