Who patented the automatic vending machine?
Earliest AUTOMATIC VENDING MACHINE
The earliest AUTOMATIC VENDING MACHINE capable of working with reasonable proficiency was patented in Germany by Carl Ade in 1867. Though intended for selling handkerchiefs, cigarettes and confectionery, it is not certain whether it was ever actually put into operation.
The first automatic vending machine to achieve commercial success was a postcard machine designed by Percival Everitt, and set up on the platform of Mansion House Underground Station, London, in April 1883. Traditionally this apparatus is supposed to have delivered two postcards for + d, but in view of the fact that only d-stamped postcards were allowed to be sold at this date, it seems more probable that it was a penny-in-the-slot, machine.
The spread of automatic vending machines to other countries following rapidly, the first American machines, which sold chewing-gum, starting to do business in 1888, and the first in France, operated by a society for the blind, making their appearance on railway stations the next year. The Americans lost no time in adapting the vending principle for everything from gambling (1889) to the bulk sale of peanuts (1901). By the mid-1890 s the citizens of Corinne, Utah, were able to obtain divorce papers automatically from a machine that proffered this service in exchange for two silver dollars in one slot and one- half dollar in another. The Germans were equally inventive, pioneering the automat or coin-operated restaurant in 1895, and reaching what may have been the ultimate in bizarre slot-salesmanship in 1924, when a Berlin newspaper reported that a machine had just come into operation that would dispense a valid American dectorate for the equivalent of $1.