How to Make Heads and Tails of Coin-Op Machine Collecting
The renowned ancient Greek inventor Hero is believed to have created the first vending machine when he designed an urn that automatically dispensed holy water when you put in a coin.
Flash forward more than two millennia: in late 19th-century London, vending machines were dispensing postcards, and machines selling Tutti-Fruiti gum sprang up on elevated New York subway stations in 1888.
"The concept of making something coin-operated was magic for people one hundred years ago," says Ken Rubin, a coin-op machine collector and historian in Brooklyn, N.Y. "You could [get] something in the middle of the night. It was the first 24-7 kind of service."
Collectors Flip for Vintage Coin-Op Machines
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