Monday, 16 April 2012

...The First Known Vending Machine Was for Holy Water

It was invented by a man named Hero of Alexandria (more on him in a bit) who was the Thomas Edison of his day. He invented dozens of 'machines' during his life and was a highly regarded mathematician as well. I say 'machines' becasue they weren't what we would typically call machines today. But he invented an early version of the steam engine, automatic doors, and a force pump (used by fire fighters for a time). He also came up with a 10 minute mechanical play for the stage. Using all kinds of ropes and pullies fake characters would move around and create sound effects. He also figured out how to get water to go uphill.

Hero's were less deadly.
The vending machine operated how you would probably think. A coin was put into a slot and rolled onto a lever. The weight of the coin tilted the lever, opening a valve, and out came the water. As the lever fell, the coin would slowly roll off and a counter weight would pull the lever back to its original position. I have no idea why people would need all that holy water in the first place. But I do love the irony (I think its irony) that people were stealing it in the first place to necessitate the vending machine in the first place.

3 Sheckles please.
And that is what I learned today.

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