Saturday, 14 July 2012

Why Not Have A Gumball Machine At Home?

The History of Gumballs

There was always something fascinating when I was a child about being given a coin to put into a vending machine, and gumball machines were my favourites.  I would put my money in the gumball machine and pray that my favourite colour gumball would arrive in the tray.  So why are we so attracted to gumball machines? Is it the gumballs themselves or the bright colours or is it because we associate gumball machines with sweet shops, ice cream parlours, amusement arcades, malls and seaside resorts?  So what is a gumball?  A gumball is a sphere of gum that is coated in brightly coloured hard candy, and the different colours of gumball may also have different flavours.  Here in Britain, gumballs are sometimes called Screwballs because there is a gumball to be found at the bottom of each Screwball ice cream. People have been chewing on forms of gum since ancient times, mainly as a method of cleaning their teeth and to help keep their breath fresh.  Neolithic man was chewing birch bark tar around 5000 years ago, and the Ancient Greeks chewed a gum made from the resin of the mastic tree. Native Americans chewed resin from the sap of the spruce tree, and this practice was adopted by the early European settlers.  This led to the development, in 1848, of the very first commercially produced chewing gum in the US, when John B Curtis started selling The State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum. Chewing gum as we know it came about in the 1860s when chicle, a form of latex, started to be imported into the US from Mexico and was found to be a good base for chewing gum. These days most chewing gum and gumball manufacturers use synthetic latex to make their gum, as it is cheaper and easier to get hold of.

Gumball Machines - Wikimedia Commons Public Domain
Gumball Machines

What is a Gumball Machine?

So what exactly is a gumball machine? A gumball machine is a vending machine that dispenses candy gumballs when a coin is put into a slot.  Gumball machines range in size from mini gumball machines through to full size gumball vending machines, and can be used as toys, novelty gifts or as part of a vending machine business. Gumball machines were first introduced into the United States in around 1907, and in 1923 the Norris Manufacturing Company patented their ‘Master’ range of chrome gumball machines that were so popular during the 1930s.  Another company who manufactured gumball machines in the 1930s was the Ford Gum and Machine Company, who made the distinctive coloured chrome gumball machines where the money from the gumball sales went to local charitable organisations. In 1994 the Wizard Spiral Gumball Machine was introduced, and these soon gained popularity as toys and novelty gifts, as you can spend hours pushing down the top of the gumball machine and watching the gumball rolling down the spiral inside the machine.

Where To Find Great Toy Gumball Machines

One of the best places to buy gumball machines is online, and Amazon offers a huge selection for you to browse through.  Kids love playing with them, so a toy gumball machine makes a perfect Christmas or birthday gift.  They are also a great attraction at kid’s parties; just ensure that they are well supervised and that there is no chance of the younger children choking on the gumballs. There is a huge selection of different styles and colours to choose from.  You can get mini gumball machine that can sit on a shelf or you can get gumball machines on stands.  The thing you must look out for when you are buying them is whether the gumballs are included with the gumball dispenser.  It would be very disappointing to open your gumball machine up at Christmas or on the night of that special party only to find that you had no candy!  There are also lots of novelty ones to choose from.  There are Hello Kitty gumball machines, gumball machines in the shape of retro petrol pumps, antique style gumball machines and spiral gumball machine toys. They are made in a variety of bright colours to appeal to your little ones, with bright red and vivid blue being the most popular, although you can also get pink ones for your little princess.  There is no need to despair when the last piece of candy is dispensed from your machine, as you can also get a good selection of gumball refill packs online.

Coin Operated Gumball Machines

Of course you may want to invest in a coin operated gumball machine online for your business.  Again, there is a great selection available on Amazon and you can choose from models that sit on the shelf or gumball machines on stands. These tend to be more expensive than the toy ones as they are more robust and designed to take some potentially rough handling.  You can also buy bulk candy vending machines, with containers for gumballs, different types of candy and nuts. You may well decide to have a coin operated gumball machine at home, so that the kids have to use their pocket money for their candy or you could give your kids coins to put in the machine as a reward for good behaviour or completion of their chores.
So have a look online today for a great gumball machine!  They make great novelty presents for adults as well as great toys for children, and there is a gumball machine to suit every budget.  Stuck for ideas for Secret Santa this year? Well if the person that you have been given to get a gift for loves candy and gum, why not get them a gumball machine? They are great fun to have, so go online and choose a great gumball machine today.

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