Candy gumball machines are a steadfast American tradition! Weather they are seen in an old time movie on the counter in the drug store or in today's grocery stores, the spheres of gum on the other side of the glass always seem so delicious looking to the children walking by!
In fact many of the antique candy gumball machines themselves were works of art. Instead of a plastic jar to hold the gum they would be made of beautiful glass. The stands themselves were often plated in chrome or even silver, giving a beautiful base to the colorful gumballs inside.
The beauty and simplicity of these old candy gumball machines has made some of them quite collectable antiques. Most collectable gumball machines are from the early to mid-1900's. Some of the most collectable manufactures are Thomas Adams Gum Co., Norris Manufacturing Company, and The Ford Gum & Machine Company.
Thomas Adams Gum Co. was the first to make a true Candy Gumball Machine, before this there were already vending machines however none offered gum in the "gum ball" form known today. The Norris Manufacturing Company released their Master line of candy gumball machines in the 1930's. These were the first chrome plated gumball machines to be made; the Master machines also took both pennies and nickels. The Ford Gum & Machine company was also an early manufacturer of candy gumball machines; however what made their machines unique was the fact that the proceeds from them went to local charity groups.
When looking for an antique candy gumball machine to add to your collection or to start your collection it is important to have a price range in mind that you will be willing to spend. The next thing to consider is how good of condition it is in and will it need any type of repairs to make it work. How rare is the one you are looking at? And finally do you want it, because gumball machines were made to make people happy and the one you buy should do that to you!