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Vintage Gumball Machines

Updated on January 17, 2016

Rows of Modern Day Gumball Machines

Everywhere you go these days, there are rows of gumball machines, selling sweet candy gumballs and memories. Children of all ages love gumballs for some reason.

When I was small you could put a penny in and watch the gumball go round and round until it came to a stop of that small lip at the bottom; but you best have your hand close to the lip or you might be chasing your gumball across the floor!

My Grandfather would take me with him to breakfast once a week to a small dinner where it seemed that he knew everyone. I did not realize that he had probably;y been stopping there several times a week for many years. I just knew that everyone knew him and called out his name when he entered. It made me feel as if he was a very important man. (He certainly was to me!)

Photo credit:

Vintage Ford Gumball Machines - Is Collecting Your Thing?

Collectors do, among other things, collect. Some people collect thimbles or spoons. Others collect fine art. Still others collect vintage gumball machines. There are some fine examples of the late 19th Century machines available if you look for them.

I have seen a small collection that was behind a glass wall in a man's office. It was an interesting collection which included mechanical banks as well. Do you remember the monkey and man mechanical bank? The one pictured sold for $2,500.00 in 2008.

My Grandfather had some banks that were just plain fun, some were down right silly. They brought a smile to his children and grandchildren. I have no idea what happened to them when he died, like many other things that were around, they just disappeared when my Grandmother moved West to live with her daughter. I really do hope that these fun banks found a good home.

An Antique Gumball Machine

This skating bank is on sale for $160,000.00. Anyone interested?

I think this one is gone but there are plenty of places on line, like e-Bay, that have this type of antiques for sale. If you get involved with an auction, be sure not to get caught up in the bidding and spend more than your budget will allow.

Donating Proceeds

Often you will see gumball machines that are sponsored by a public service group that use the money earned to buy glasses for someone who needs a pair or other good works. When we were kids, we would ask for pennies to buy gum and always used the pull of helping someone else. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it did not.

But it was always fun to catch the ball when it jumped the lip and flew through the air. I hope that these small gumball machines that collect for good deeds are still around for a long time.

The Kiwanis (symbol on the above pictured gumball machine) is dedicated to helping children around the world to better education. They have all types of mentoring programs. By the way, the Kiwanis have been doing this for a long time since they were started in 1915. That is a long time to be helping children worldwide.We need to say "thank You to the men and women of this group.

Lions Club is also an international humanitarian club. Just slightly younger than the Kiwanis, being formed in 1917, the Lions have grown to be the largest International Community based philanthropic organization. Their main goal at the beginning of their formation was to provide glasses for children but their mission has certainly grown since then.

Or Just for Fun

Many times you can give a gumball machine for a child's gift. I think there is still magic in putting in a penny and getting out a sweet, round, brightly colored ball that you pop into your mouth! Kids of all ages still love to watch the brightly colored gumball come running down the chute to jump into your hand. (Think about a small child holding both of her hands together in order to catch the prized ball before ti falls to the floor.)

No matter what one you place your money in, it is the memories that you are building that really matters in the end. What happens to the money after, who really cares how it is helping people, as long as it is!

Your children or grandchildren will think back on the little things that you did with them. I will always remember having breakfast with my Grandfather and the gumball machines that were in that dinner. (See Memories of a Vintage Gumball Machine).

Vintage Gumball Machines

More information is available on gumballs machines and other fun type machines to have in your home, go to:

Gumball Machines for Sale, Where - Amazon of course!


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