Early Vending Machines
The earliest vending machine was known to have been invented by Hero of Alexandria. It is interesting to know that it dispensed a specific amount of holy water upon insertion of a coin on the designated slot. Eventually, coin-operated vending machines dispensed tobacco, newspaper, stamps, and postcards. The first vending machine introduced in the US dispensed something edible - gum. Soon, snack machines became commonplace, dispensing hot and cold beverages, sandwiches, chips, candies, and other food items that can readily be had literally at a drop of a coin.
My generation got used to calling these contraptions as vendo machines. Vendo is actually a name of a large retailer of cold beverage vending machines which just happened to be the major supplier of vending machines internationally. We Filipinos have the tendency to substitute popular brand names to call generic products such as Colgate for toothpaste and Kodak for pictures. Up to this time, I tend to call it a vendo machine.
The Convenience Archetype
The ability of vending machines to answer to the human need for more convenient lifestyle options is the very reason for its longevity in existence. It has reinvented itself many times over in appearance but its main purpose remains the same. Vending machines are expected to stay in offices, schools, and public facilities because there will always be a need for them.
For one, it does not require continuous manual supervision except when refilling content. It has no closing hours like food establishments and can practically serve customers' needs as long as the place where it is located is accessible. Modern vending machines offer much wider product options.