Gloucester, Massachusetts

The Greasy Pole at Saint Peter's Fiesta

In Gloucester, Massachussets, fishermen celebrate a successful year at sea by charging a lubed pole to capture an Italian flag
03 Aug 2015
Hartford, Connecticut

Harriet Beecher Stowe House

The author of Uncle Tom's Cabin was neighbors with Mark Twain while living in this Connecticut home
03 Aug 2015
Boon Island, Maine

Boon Island Light

New England's tallest light house stands on an island with a history of cannibalism and death
03 Aug 2015
Laval, Canada

Laval Abandoned Drive-In

This haunted corpse of a drive-in is now a graffiti-covered ruin
03 Aug 2015
Seoul, South Korea

Owl Art and Craft Museum

One man's lifetime collection of tiny objects of wisdom gathered from around the world, on display for public enjoyment
31 Jul 2015
Trenton, New Jersey

Old Barracks Museum

One of New Jersey's oldest surviving buildings still bears the mark of our former British overlords
31 Jul 2015


The History of Vending Machines Goes Back to the 1st Century

by Ernie Smith / 03 Aug 2015

article-image(Image: Courtesy Tedium)

Vending machines are one of the few things keeping us away from the dream of a cashless society. The devices, which offer up an array of items for a little bit of pocket change, are silent but prevalent. They represent some of our most technologically advanced furniture, and they'll probably always be there for us in our time of need.

Turns out, vending machines also have a fascinating history. The first one was actually created to prevent holy water theft back in the 1st century.

That machine came about thanks to the handiwork of Heron of Alexandria. Now, Heron invented plenty of things that helped set the stage for our modern society. Steam engine? He was all over it. A wind-powered machine? That was him. The syringe? He got there first.

But many of these things pale in comparison to the machine he created that efficiently ensured that people weren't taking too much holy water at the temples where they went to worship. It was an annoying, frustrating problem, but Heron came up with a solution that was immensely clever.

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