In the 1st century A.D., the device for selling holy water automatically made by the Greek Hiro was the earliest automatic vending machine in the world.
In 1925, the United States developed an automatic vending machine to sell cigarettes. Since then, various modern vending machines used for selling stamps and tickets have appeared. The types, structures, and functions of modern automatic vending machines vary according to the goods sold, mainly including candy, drinks, newspapers. The general automatic vending machine is composed of a coin device, indicating device, storage and vending device, and so on. The coin device is the core of the automatic vending machine. Its main function is to confirm the authenticity of coins, sort out the types of coins, and calculate the amount. If the amount of money invested reaches the value of the purchased item, a sell signal will be sent and the remaining money will be found. The indicating device is used to indicate the type of goods selected by customers. The storage and vending device stores the goods receive the selling indication signal and delivers the selected commodities to the delivery port. The coin device of a general automatic vending machine consists of a slot, a sorting device, a checking device for confirming the authenticity of coins, a calculating device for calculating the amount of money, and a device to give change.
Since the 1970s, there have been various new automatic vending machines controlled by microcomputers and more large-scale unmanned vending systems that use credit cards to replace money and connect with computers, such as unmanned shopping malls, automatic ticket selling and checking systems in stations, and cash automatic payment machines in banks.
An automatic vending machine is a new form of commercial retail, which was developed in Japan, Europe, and America in the 1970s, which is also known as a 24-hour micro supermarket. In Japan, 70% of canned drinks are sold through automatic vending machines. Coca Cola, a world-renown beverage company, has 500,000 energy drink vending machine all over the world.
In the 17th century, cigarette vending machines were installed in small bars in England. In the long history of automatic vending machines, Japan developed practical automatic vending machines after entering this century. The first automatic vending machine in Japan was the "stamp and postcard vending machine" which came out in 1904. It was a machine integrating the sale of stamps and postcards and posting them in the mailbox. The real popularity of automatic vending machines came after the Second World War. In the 1950s, the "water spray type juice automatic vending machine" was very popular. The juice was poured into paper cups and sold. Later, due to some large American beverage companies entering the Japanese market, in 1962, there was a revolution in the circulation field with automatic vending machines as the main body. In 1967, all currencies below 100 yen units were changed into coins, which promoted the development of the automatic vending machine industry.