Remember This? Cigarette Vending Machines

Dorri Partain
Northeast News

Vending machines make the sale of anything possible, anywhere, anytime. Nearly any cafe, filling station, souvenir shop or tavern offered cigarettes for the convenience of inserting a few coins.

The first models appeared in 1928, as an attractive tabletop dispenser offering 7 brands of packaged smokes. Two years earlier, William Rowe, a clerk with the Los Angeles Police Department, devised and patented the first model engineered from a confiscated moonshine still and a cigar box. To make a purchase, 15 cents was inserted into the coin slots and a knob was pulled to release the desired pack into a tray below.

Rowe Manufacturing Co. was the major producer of cigarette vending machines and later offered wall-mounted models. Most models were designed to be eye-catching, with either a glass front to display the cigarette packs or a mirror, which was handy for ladies to apply lipstick or gentlemen to adjust their tie or hat. Some models had an additional knob and coin slot to purchase matches.

Following World War II, vending machines became larger to accommodate more brands and thus free-standing. While early models had merely appeared as ornate boxes, post-war styles were as rounded and sleek as the automobiles of the same period. Other companies also offered cigarette vending machines, such as this National Manufacturing Co. model made in St. Louis, MO. Offering nine brands, the machine accepted only nickels and quarters for a 30 cent pack.

Concerned with the accessibility of cigarettes to minors, the Federal Drug Administration ruled on June 22, 2010 regarding the placement of cigarette vending machines. Today, only businesses that exclude anyone younger than 18 may own or operate such.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Amarillo by morning!

    July 17th, 2019
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Westward Ho! We’re pressing on to Amarillo, Texas on America’s Main Street for a taste of […]


    Remember This? The Nik-O-Lok

    July 17th, 2019
    by

    Dorri Partain Northeast News Men, have you ever wondered where ladies set all their belongings when they head to the […]


    Remember This? Wooden Nickles

    July 10th, 2019
    by

    Dorri Partain Northeast News Don’t take any wooden nickels- but maybe you should. The popular phrase, “Don’t take any wooden […]


    Westward ho!

    July 10th, 2019
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Leaving My-yam-uh (the proper pronunciation as you wouldn’t want to be called out by locals), we […]


    Crossing into Oklahoma!

    July 3rd, 2019
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Continuing our virtual road trip of historic Route 66, we leave Joplin behind and make the […]


  • Remember This? Beautiful Highway Postage Stamps

    July 3rd, 2019
    by

    Dorri Partain Northeast News During a road trip along the developing interstate highway system, our nation’s First Lady was appalled […]


    Joplin, our last stop in Missouri!

    June 26th, 2019
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News From Meramec Caverns State Park, Route 66’s paved two-lane surface carries us westward, toward Rolla and […]


    Remember This? Clean Restrooms!

    June 19th, 2019
    by

    Dorri Partain Northeast News A sign perhaps more welcoming than an actual “Welcome” sign. Early highway travelers had their work […]


    Meramec State Park

    June 19th, 2019
    by

      Michael Bushnell Northeast News After crossing the Mississippi River on the Chain of Rocks Bridge, Route 66 loosely followed […]


    Remember This? Travel jug

    June 12th, 2019
    by

    Dorri Partain Northeast News Whether you’re packing a picnic for a day at the park or traveling long distances on […]


  • What’s Happening

    BOE postpones consideration of property tax cap proposal

    The Board of Equalization has postponed the consideration of a proposal that would cap the increase in property tax increases at Thursday's BOE meeting.

    Arrests made on Bellaire Avenue early Thursday morning

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News KCPD Officers responded to the 100 block of Bellaire this morning on a sound of shots […]

    Indian Mound Neighborhood Association gets new leadership

    New leadership joins the Indian Mound Neighborhood Association board in Northeast Kansas City.

  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.