Vending Machines You Didn’t Know You Needed

Milk vending machine in London, England, circa 1931.

A man has his boots cleaned by an automatic penny-in-the-slot boot-polishing machine, circa 1907.

A vending machine sells fruit in London, England, circa 1929.

A woman operating the first vending machine in Britain to sell potatoes at a greengrocer’s shop at Chelsea, London, on Oct. 22, 1962. The machine provided a round-the-clock service.

Three women enjoy soup from a Campbell’s Soup vending machine in their office, 1950s. One woman opens a can of soup with a floor-mounted can opener.

At the Second Automatic Vending Exhibition in London, a woman helps herself to a vending machine-mixed whisky and soda on Feb. 15, 1960.

A vending machine selling clocks in Berlin, Germany, circa 1963.

A woman buys a carton of milk from a vending machine, U.K. May 1960.
(I used these. They were around until the late 1970s.)

Coal machine distributor in England.

Two women try out the first nylon tights vending machine in Paris, circa 1965.

Vending machine selling hot sausages presented at the industries fair in Berlin, Germany, circa 1954.

A woman getting a pint of draught bitter from a vending machine, circa 1960s.

An English man demonstrates an egg vending machine at the gate of his farm on Sep. 9, 1963.

58 thoughts on “Vending Machines You Didn’t Know You Needed

  1. (1) โ€œMommy gave me two. This machine gives me one.โ€
    (2) Will Penny polished his own boots.
    (3) From boot to fruit. (What a hoot!)
    (4) Thereโ€™s 24-hour pot service here in Nevada. (Weed prefer not to smoke it.)
    (5) Milton Supman says those machines were known for Soupy Sales.
    (6) When Evva discovered her name on a machine, she said, โ€œIโ€™ll drink to that!โ€
    (7) It’s about time she bought a clock!
    (8) “Express Dairy Milk.” (The cows are being milked right around the corner!)
    (9) “I’m buying a lump of coal for you, little one! Christmas is only two days away!”
    (10) And what if those nylon tights are baggy on their spindly legs?
    (11) The machine throws out the bread rolls. You’ll need to catch the Brรถtchen with a mitt!
    (12) Overheard:
    Wife: “In heaven there is no beer. That’s why I drink it here.”
    Husband: “What makes you say that?”
    Wife: “I don’t know. Draught beer brought that to mind, dear.”
    (13) When I’m feeling peckish, I pay the hen directly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That machine selling clocks in Germany still makes me laugh. Who bought clocks from a machne? And why would they need to? I must do some more research on the German obsession with time. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s a lot of vending machines here in the US, Pete. I know man who made his living off his sanitary napkins vending machines he paid offices, who allowed him to install, them in the women’s loo, a percentage of the take.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eggs?! Clocks? Some of these are really strange. I never liked getting food from machines. I think I’d rather go hungry. I’m talking about soup and sausages?! Yuuuk! Even back then machines were replacing human beings. I could never understand why it was a good idea. I like the lady with seamed stockings. Not many will remember those. My mum wore them of course but by the time I was old enough they were a thing of the past, thank goodness. Great selection Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seamed stiockings were very popular. When they were mostly unavailable during WW2, my mum and her older sister used to dye their legs with gravy browning, then draw seams down their legs with eyebrow pencils before they went out dancing. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.


    1. Some of these used to be outside smaller supermarkets, to be used when shops still closed at 5:30pm, didn’t open on Sundays, and had half-day midweek closing too. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. As well as those featured, they also sold cigarettes, various types of sweets and chocolates, chewing gum, bubble gum, and soft drinks.
      But problems with the coin changes after decimalisation, and regular vandalism, caused companies to remove most of them in England by the end of the 1970s.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t help feeling ambivalent about vending machines: yes, of course, they’re very convenient, but I worry about jobs being lost to some extent; and machines do go wrong! Pros & cons with any technology, of course. Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Remember being in Copenhagen in 1980 and seeing a vending machine on a street corner selling a mixture of goods, alongside the usual cartons of milk and cans of soft drinks it sold loaves of bread, bottles of beer and porno magazines!


    1. I’m sure those magazines would have caused the machine to be broken open and them being stolen, if that had been in England.
      Sorry for the late reply. Your comment was in the Trash Folder, because of the word ‘Porno’.
      Best wishes, Pete.


    1. I often used the milk machines, which were usually outside Express Dairy or United Dairies shops in the London suburbs. I have never seen a machine dispensing large bags of spuds though. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the Japanese still love their vending machines. In England, they used to be vandalised so often that most were simply removed. There are still some for drinks and snacks, but not often in public places where they can be ‘attacked’. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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