Before these unusual vending machines, there was Keedoozle. It’s basically a vending machine-style supermarket from 1948 that was founded by Clarence Saunders. This store was ahead of its time and proposed to be the world’s first self-serving store. Unfortunately, the logistics of such a process were not ironed out, as selecting an item required shoppers to have keys. Electric circuits caused perforations to be cut in a ticker tape attached to the face of the customer’s key. The customer then took the punched out tape to the cashier for processing. The cashier would insert the tape into a reading mechanism that would electronically read it. That set off electrical and electronic circuits which started the goods sliding down conveyor belts and did the cost tallying in the process. Continue reading for more pictures and information.
The key-activated mechanism was not completely automated, however. Their groceries were hidden behind stockroom walls and refrigeration units. Stock personnel had put their selected items onto conveyor belts physically that in turn moved to the cashier for check out. A mechanism added up the tally for the customer’s total bill. The shoppers picked up their groceries all wrapped up or boxed accordingly when they paid.