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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 7, July 2011, Posted On: 7/8/2011

Can You Identify This Mystery Machine?

Nick Montano
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Mystery Machine

Ahead Of Its Time?

Over the years, VENDING TIMES has received a number of photos of old vending machines, often unchronicled, and requests for aid in assigning dates and manufacturers.

Here is the latest: a freestanding capsule vender adorned with a clown's head, found by a Canadian operator in a local thrift store. The piece has no identifying labels or inscriptions. As photographed, it's equipped with a 2" merchandise wheel; the scattering of egg-type capsules in the globe may not be original. The graphics seem characteristic of the late 1950s or early '60s, but bulk vender styling has tended to be conservative until quite recently.

The product delivery guide looks like a PVC pipe elbow; it and the pivoted metal detainer that keeps the capsule in the machine until the patron releases it may (or may not) point to "one-off" or very limited production.

Anyone who knows when this vender was made, and by whom, can share this information with us, and we'll send it along to the discoverer in Canada. Send an email to Hank Schlesinger.

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