The Origins of the Vending Machine and Its Continued Use Today

There is one appliance that just about anyone will benefit from, whether it’s located in your school, hotel, or office building: a vending machine. Vending machines are man’s gift to humankind, automatic 24/7 food machines. You never have to wonder if they will be closed or open for business.

Vending machines give the assurance that there will always be food available. Not to mention, they always offer some all-time favourite snacks. In our nearly cashless society, vending machines also provide a convenient and rewarding way to get rid of some loose pocket change. Vending machines represent one of the most innovative inventions. Learn more about the origins of vending machines and how it used today:

How They Came To Be

We can all thank the genius man behind this invention, Heron of Alexandria. He actually invented many important things that set the stage for our modern society. Long ago as early as 10 AD to 70 AD, Heron was motivated to create the first “dispenser” when people were taking too much holy water from the temples where they worshipped.

It became a frustrating problem, so Heron created a clever solution. He invented a holy water dispenser, where people had to drop a token inside the machine, then the token would push down a lever that opened a small door to release an exact amount of holy water. This ensured that no one was taking more than their fair share of holy water.

Modern society didn’t even embrace his invention for almost 1,800 years. In 1883, an inventor named Percival Everett took the idea and created a vending machine for postcards and notepaper.

Outburst of Vending Machines

Nowadays, of course, the vending machine has been adapted for everyday convenience, serving snacks, drinks, coffee. Today the vending machine industry has earned about $20 billion dollars in revenue each year in the U.S. They became increasingly popular throughout schools, office buildings, hotels, and hospitals.

There are now about 8 million vending machines in America alone. It is almost impossible to find a building of any type that does not have some sort of vending machine.

Innovative minds are also coming up with new uses for vending machines. Depending on where you are in the world, there are vending machines that now serve books, phones and tablets, alcohol, ramen and soup, cupcakes, and other wild items.

Different Types of Vending Machines:

There are a plethora of different vending machine options for food and drinks available today:


Some vending machines contain only candy. You definitely won’t be finding one of these in a school, however they are common in large crowded buildings. Candy machines often offer chocolate bars, chewy candy, hard candy, and more.


Drink vending machines are the most popular kind. Drink machines often stick to a theme such as soda beverages, sports and health drinks, water, teas, energy drinks, and more.


Coffee vending machines are still fairly new and are often seen in office buildings.

Other forms of vending machines today:

  • Ice Cream
  • Snacks
  • Toiletries and Feminine Products

The innovative developments in vending machines offers an exciting moment for food manufacturers. For powdered food such as creamers, dry blends for coffee vending machines, and much more, contact Dure Foods today!