Pictorial history of vending machines, from Ancient Greece to today

I didn't appreciate Japan's ubiquitous vending machines until I was on a hike through the countryside outside of Tsumago on a sweltering July afternoon. The bamboo forests and rolling verdant hills were beautiful but what really satisfied me was a cold drink from a vending machine in the middle of nowhere. A swig of "Calpis" never tasted better! How did that machine get there, and why is Japan crazy for vending machines? Read about it in this fun photo essay book.

Sure, there is plenty about Japan's fascination with vending machines — are there really coin-operated machines that dispense used girl's panties? Find out here! But there are also other great and unusual machines from around the world. See and read about machines in Italy that make pizza from scratch, or dispensers of perfume in the city of Köln, Germany (the origin of "Eau de Cologne" — get it?), or Clark Whittington's witty re-use of old mechanical cigarette machines as vendors of fine art. (I found one of these fun machines in Chicago!). I loved all the stuff about candy, claw games, and capsule toy machines, called gachapon for the sound of turning the crank (gacha!) and the sound of the capsule dropping (pon!).

As your reward for making it to the end of the book you'll find a free toy in the endpapers: a miniature Japanese drink vending machine (motomachi) you can cut out and assemble — no coins required!

Vending Machines: Coined Consumerism

by Christopher D. Salyers

Mark Batty Publisher

2010, 144 pages, 7.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches, Hardcover

$6 Buy one on Amazon

See sample pages from this book at Wink.