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LadyinRetirement
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LadyinRetirement

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PostSubject: Vending Machines   Vending Machines EmptyWed 04 Dec 2019, 15:45

I think I've told people that I belong to a shorthand society (though there aren't so many young stenographers these days - even machine stenography is to some extent being replaced by voice recognition software).  Sincerely Thine (as well as doing my Spanish homework) has  been trying to think of subjects to write dictations about.  In the past I wrote about bell-ringing because when I came home from an evening class I was doing at the time I could hear bells ringing out as bell-ringers from one of the local churches practised and another time about topiary because I had walked past somebody cutting privet into shapes in a garden further down the road.  I thought about cobbling something together regarding the machines dispensing short stories that apparently exist in some cities now.  There is one in Canary Wharf it seems.  Strictly speaking they aren't vending machines because the stories are dispensed free of charge.  I started thinking about the history of vending machines.  I had a look on the internet and was surprised to read that a Greek engineer and mathematician called Hero (sometimes Heron) of Alexandria had made a coin-operated (holy) water dispenser for use in Egyptian temples in the first century AD.  If anyone wants to read more here is a link to the site where I read the information:-  [url=History of Vending Machines: Part I - Vendtrade]History of Vending Machines: Part I - Vendtrade[/url]

I remember that nordmann said that in Alexandria there had been skilful building of automata.  Seems they were a clever lot in that city way, way back when.  I was surprised that there had been a vending machine that long ago.
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PaulRyckier
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PaulRyckier

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PostSubject: Re: Vending Machines   Vending Machines EmptySat 07 Dec 2019, 21:34

LiR, interesting article about the vending machines. i guessed what it was, but nevertheless I looked it up. And we say "automat" adding a prefix of what is vended. For instance: drankautomaat (drinks vending machine). I think in French it is distributeur automatique.
https://www.vendtrade.co.uk/blog/history-of-vending-machines-part-1/

I mentioned it already. I think to remember to have seen in the Roman museum of Lyon, such an automat from the Roman time, to display some quantity of water at the latrine and that by inserting a coin.
Vending Machines Images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSNa8ThqWu_gN2OQI1L5xmGr17eHRwGO755L29xoXKnVAfVFxPb239soZDKPvCTRlOWzzhlj2o420_y53wzYeg
 
And here there seems to have been existed at least one to dispense holy water in the third century, why not one for latrines?
https://www.arcade-museum.com/arcadia/
"The following are some of the highlights you can see at Arcadia:tm: or one of its shows.
 1. Third century A.D. - Roman Coin operated Holy Water Dispenser. The historical background of this machine was first discovered by the London Museum more than a century ago. (The original machines are believed to no longer exist)."

Kind regards, Paul.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Vending Machines   Vending Machines EmptyTue 17 Dec 2019, 10:56

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
I thought about cobbling something together regarding the machines dispensing short stories that apparently exist in some cities now.  There is one in Canary Wharf it seems.  Strictly speaking they aren't vending machines because the stories are dispensed free of charge.  

It's briefly mentioned in that 'History of Vending Machines' link you posted but the first recorded book vending machine was actually an attempt to circumvent the law. 

Richard Carlile had been a tinsmith but in the dire economic conditions in the winter of 1816 he was put on short-time work by his employer creating serious financial problems. He started attending political meetings and as a way of making a living he sold the writings of parliamentary reformers such as Thomas Paine on the streets of London. In April 1817 he formed a publishing business with the printer William Sherwin and rented a shop in Fleet Street. To make political texts such as Paine's books The Rights of Man , the Principles of Government, and The Age of Reason available to the poor, he split them into sections which he sold as small pamphlets. He issued unauthorized copies of Southey's Wat Tyler and after the radical William Hone's arrest in May, he reissued the parody of parts of the Book of Common Prayer for which Hone was to be tried. He was then was himself arrested in August and held without charge until Hone was acquitted in December.

He took on distributing the banned radical saticiral weekly The Black Dwarf and the radical journal
Sherwin's Political Register, (named after William Sherwin, his business partner) which reported political meetings and included extracts from books and poems by supporters of the reform movement. The popularity of these publications soon brought him a healthy profit. Carlile was one of the scheduled main speakers at the reform meeting on 16 August 1819 at St. Peter's Fields in Manchester where the crowd was attacked by the yeomanry in what became known as the Peterloo massacre. Carlile never got to speak, but escaped and was hidden by radical friends before he caught the mail coach to London and published his eyewitness account, giving the first full report of what had happened, in Sherwin's Weekly Political Register of 18 August 1819. The government responded by closing Sherwin's Political Register and confiscating the entire stock of newspapers and pamphlets. Carlile promptly changed the name to The Republican and continued to publish.

Inevitably he was again arrested and prosecuted for blasphemy, blasphemous libel and sedition for publishing material that might encourage people to hate the government in his newspaper, and for publishing Tom Paine's Common Sense, The Rights of Man and the Age of Reason (which criticised the Church of England). In October 1819 he was found guilty and sentenced to three years in Dorchester Gaol with a fine of £1,500. When he refused to pay the fine, his premises in Fleet Street were raided and his stock was again confiscated. While he was in gaol he continued to write articles for The Republican which was now published by his wife, Jane, and thanks to the publicity it now outsold pro-government newspapers such as The Times.

With Richard still in prison, in 1821 his wife was arrested and sentenced to two years imprisonment for seditious libel, and so her place as publisher was taken by Richard Carlile's sister, Mary. Within six months she too was imprisoned for the same offence. The process was repeated with eight of his shop workers, and in turn over 150 men and women were sent to prison for selling The Republican. Richard Carlile's sentence ended in 1823 but he was soon re-arrested and returned to prison for not paying his £1,500 fine, so the process continued until he was eventually released on 25 November 1825. 

It was around this time, presumably during a brief spell out of gaol, that he came up with the idea for a coin-operated vending machine that would dispense forbidden books and articles. His plan was that as the system was automatic, no human hands actually dispensed the book and so no person could be arrested for selling it. Carlile wrote, "In the shop is the dial on which is written every publication for sale. The purchaser enters and turns the handle of the dial to the publication he wants, when, on depositing his money, the publication drops down before him." However the court held Carlile to be responsible for the sales and and also gaoled the employee who loaded the books into the device. So ended the first book vending machine.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Vending Machines   Vending Machines EmptyTue 17 Dec 2019, 14:19

Thanks for the enlightening post above, MM. I didn't know of the events detailed therein before.!!!! I sometimes have to pinch myself (not with too much force!!!) to remember how hard won were the rights to liberty that the UK citizen (subject?) enjoys today.
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