The First Vending Machine Was Made 2,000 Years Ago

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Ye olde holy water vending dispenser.

Hero of Alexandria (10-70 CE) was a Greek engineer and mathematician who lived in Roman-ruled Egypt. He invented many gadgets and wrote at length about them. In his book Pneumatics, he described an early vending machine. It dispensed holy water only when a coin was inserted. Here’s a selection from an English translation of the book…

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