The History of the Gumball Machine

 

1898 - The Late 19th Century 

We have all enjoyed an occasional gumball from a nearby gumball machine for our entire lives.  As you might guess, these novelties haven't been around forever. While vending machines or vending kiosks have been around for centuries, the traditional gumball machine as we know it got it's start in the late 19th century. 

Expert Mary Bellis, in an article written about the origin of the gumball machine, states: "In 1888, the Thomas Adams Gum Company introduced the very first vending machines to the United States. The machines were installed on the elevated subway platforms in New York City and sold Tutti-Fruiti gum. In 1897, the Pulver Manufacturing Company added animated figures to its gum machines as an added attraction. The round candy coated gumball and gumball vending machines were introduced in 1907."

Adams' Pepsin Tutti Frutti Gum MachineAdam's Pepsin Tutti Frutti Gum Machine.

 

 

 

Pulvers One Cent Gum Machine

Pulvers One Cent Gum MachinePulvers One Cent Gum Machine

 

 

Ford Gum - Carousel Gumball Machines

Founded in 1934, the Ford Gum and Machine Company of Akron, New York was another early manufacturer of gum for gumball machines in the U.S. The classic Carousel Gumball Machine and the Old Columbia Coin Machine are still around today. True to its original form, the look of the classic Carousel Gumball Machine hasn't changed since it was introduced. You can see our full line of Carousel Gumball Machines here. Ford Gum - Carousel Gumball MachinesFord Gum - Carousel Gumball Machines.
 

Northwestern Vending Machines

Founded in 1909, Northwestern Corporation started with kitchen matches and eventually came out with the Northwestern Model 33 in 1933 (naming for the year which it came out) and eventually the Model 60 and Model 80, both of which are still sold today. Click here to see the Northwestern Vending Machines of today Northwestern Model 33Northwestern Model 33
 

1990's - Giant Gumball Machines

We all remember seeing our first Giant Gumball Machine. These things were and still are monsters. Standing almost 7 feet tall and 42 inches wide, they are magical to look at and see over 20,000 Gumballs! These monsters are still around today and continue to evolve with the times, vending more than just gumballs. We've manufactured these to vend cupcakes, tennis balls, golf balls, lacrosse balls, toy capsules and much more. Click here to see the these Giant Gumball Machines Big Mama Giant Gumball MachineGiant Gumball Machine
 

Vending and Gumball Machines of Today

The vending machines of today have evolved in some regards and stayed true to their roots at their core. Most gumball machines today still work using a mechanical mechanism and require no electricity. However, you won’t find many 1 penny machines out today unless it's a novelty item. The basic mechanics of the machines function just as they did with the very first gumball machines. Today, the machines are made to vend a variety of items such as gumballs, nuts, candy, toy capsules, and much more. Click here to see the Gumball Machines of today Rhino Vending machinesRhino Gumball Machines