Vintage Gumball Machines

Gumball Goodness

If you were to venture into a thrift store or any second-hand collectors shop and you laid eyes on a vintage gumball machine you'd have to buy it. Not only would it make your kids happy and satisfy your insatiable need to chew on the sweet, rubber-like goodness that we all love so much, it would look awesome.

I believe that a vintage gumball machine can tie any room together. Whether its the kind that is five feet tall and does circles down the shaft before it comes out the door or the classical style with the intricate facing, you're going to be happy that you have it. You can fill it up with your favorite kinds of gumballs and even charge a penny or nickel per ball if you so desired. Set the crowd pleaser by your front door or in your home office and you'll be refilling it in no time.

A well preserved vintage gumball machine might cost you a hundred dollars or more, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. At least you know you that in a pinch you could get your money back, as they don't make them like the used to!

Vintage gumball machines are great conversation pieces for display in offices or any room of the home. Many antiques are surprisingly affordable, and many are still in working condition.

It is believed that the popular stick gum manufacturer Thomas Adams Gum Company introduced the first unit in 1907. Other popular makers were the Norris Manufacturing Company who issued their chrome machines in the 1930s, Curtis Company who had been in the gum industry since the 1800s, and Ford Gum and Machine Company who began producing these machines in 1913.

Most models sit on a table top or metal stand. The unit consists of a round or square glass or plastic globe on top of a wooden or metal base. Bases were made in colors such as blue, red, green, yellow, or white. Other models were made to resemble gas pumps like Texaco or the Pillsbury dough boy. Other styles incorporated a working lamp above the dispenser or the base resembled a sitting duck decoy with the gumball globe attached to the duck's back.

Acquiring vintage gumball machines is a fun and rewarding hobby. Displaying one or more in the home or office is a reminder of the simpler days of long ago. They are also treasured heirlooms to pass down to future generations in addition to the memories associated with them.