The first vending machine was invented by Hero (Heron) of Alexandria in the first century. When a coin was dropped into a slot, its weight would pull a cork out of a spigot and the machine would dispense a trickle of holy water. It is thought that it may have been available at the time before Jesus was crucified.
In 1989, you could buy Levi’s jeans from a vending machine at Auber station in central Paris. In the Paris Metro, you could buy books from vending machines. The first novel sold through the machines was Murder on the Orient Express. Nowadays you can find book vending machines at most major airports throughout the world.
The picture to is of a book vending machine at Gatwick Airport, London, UK. Image via Wikipedia