The history of the mini gumball machine came after the surprise invention of gum.
Around 1850, a man by the name of John B. Curtis in the state of Maine made a pure spruce gum for people to chew. Through the evolution of gum and gumballs by 1884, a man by the name of Thomas Adams, who owned the Adams Gum Company, began to sell stick gum in small machines. These machines were the first real vending machines.
The Adams Gum Company installed several of these machines on the New York City subway platforms in 1888. At the turn of the century Walter Diemer was testing different textures and recipes for a gum. The recipe was used to make a new gum product called Double Bubble. However, Walter Diemer never patents the invention of the Double Bubble recipe.
In 1923 the Norris Manufacturing Company filed a patent for a mini gumball machine. The invention of the mini gumball machine was specific type of vending machine. It was made of a small clear glass container that would hold the gumballs. The glass container filled with gumballs sits on top of a metal base which has a coin mechanism. The child or adult places a coin in to the coin a mechanism and turns a handle turn the right and the coin drops into the base. Underneath is a small opening a single piece of a gumball comes out into a person’s hand. The gumball is just a fancy type of gum with a hard, flavored candy shell.
The mini gumball machines were found in small family businesses’ like barbershops, Five and Dime stores, and bowling alleys throughout the United States. A child was charged a penny for each piece of gumball in the mini gumball.
Today mini gumball machines bring back the nostalgia for most adults.
It’s still a popular party favor for ages 1 to 100 which will put a smile on their face as they place a colorful piece of gumball in their mouth.