The series of archive photographs reveals the bizarre items that were available for the public to buy without the help of a shop attendant. The images stretch from the early 1920s right across to the late Sixties, providing a glimpse of the various specialties and niche products available to buy throughout the last century. They also give a window into the tastes and mores of the time, with vending machines in the Forties dispensing nylons, or Berlin gadgets offering clocks. Items on sale from the machines include everything imaginable from the edible, such as soup, ice cream and beer to the daily essentials such as stockings and stamps.
A woman in Berlin, Germany uses a coin-operated device to buy a clock, ca. 1960s.
This woman is now able to use a credit card to pay for one of a selection of coffees from this self-serve machine, ca. 1960s.
A woman is operating the first potato vending machine in Britain in Chelsea, 1962.
Coffee is one thing but creepy crawlies? This temperature-controlled machine sells worms to be used as bait for fishing at 50 cents a tub, 1965.
A man uses the cafeteria vending machine called ‘Automat’, ca. 1940s.
Mid adult couple purchasing ice cream from a vending machine, ca. 1930s.
This coffee machine was released by the National Automatic Merchandising Association at the World’s Fair Of Vending Machines, 1947.
A woman in London is able to continue her grocery shop thanks to a vending machine which says it dispenses fruit but seems to offer kitchen cupboard essentials such as Oxo cubes, tins of food, matches and Colgate products, 1920.
Vending machines were already able to refrigerate and heat liquids but the ice cream vending machine ensured items were kept frozen, 1952.
The market for vending machines was beginning to expand. This couple have a choice of sandwiches, hot soup or hot chocolate, coffee, cold drinks, fresh milk and chilled fruit from a series of automated vendors – arranged under a natty striped awning, 1959.
Shoppers could pick up household essentials from this machine. Goods available include Heinz Spaghetti and vegetable soup, Tetley tea, Sugar Puffs, Fray Bentos, Oxo Cubes, soup, light bulbs, mayonnaise and cocoa – all of which could be placed in housewives’ own bags, ca. 1960s.
Three women enjoy soup from a Campbell’s Soup vending machine in their office, one of the woman opens a can of soup using another nifty gadget, a floor-mounted can opener, ca. 1950s.
via Daily Mail Online