Saturday, June 07, 2008

select-o-vend: chiclet mini boxes too big

As part of my "ack/nak/art" project I'm sizing boxes that will fit in the 1940s era first generation Select-o-Vend and Mills Automatic gum machines.

Here's a tip - if you've got one of these machines and you're considering filling them with candy, do not load them up with Adams Mini Chiclet boxes.

The dimensions of these boxes are 1 1/2 inches by 13/16 inches by 5/16 inches.

Which is exactly 1/16 inch too tall.  The boxes slide beautifully into the wider columns, but when you put a penny in and pull the plunger to vend the item, they stick.

By comparison, a small stick of Bazooka bubble gum vends perfectly.  It is exactly 1/4 inch tall.

And for those of you who are curious what distinguishes a first generation Select-o-Vend from the second, it is the way the labels are attached.  First generation machines have the labels painted directly on to the machine.  Second generation machines have the labels printed on metal panels which are then screwed on to the machine.  

The machine shown above is a first generation one.

Nail polish remover works very well for removing the painted-on labels, by the way.

1 comment:

Paul Demming said...

Thanks for the advice on the bazooka. It does work well. However, I have only one thin slot in my machine.
I currently have my machine disassembled for restoration. It looks like the hang up for the chiclets is in the vend chute. The is a metal spacer in there that prevents you from sticking your finger up the chute and allows a gap just wide enough for the candy of the day to be vended.
Some may find it sacreligous but I am going to remove that piece. I would rather have a functional machine than a useless boat achor that looks pretty.

Cleveland, Ohio