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Old Time Gumball Machine

Updated on December 20, 2014
Virginia Allain profile image

Collecting has been a lifelong passion for Virginia and her collections range from ephemera to tins and Hall china.

What a fun image, an old-time gumball machine.
What a fun image, an old-time gumball machine. | Source

Go Back In Time With Vintage Gumball Machines

Gumball machines are just fun to have around. The first such machines were introduced to the public in 1907. Put a few pennies in the candy machine and out came the round candy-coated gumballs.

Kids and adults loved them back then and even now there's something really appealing and nostalgic about old-time gumball machines. I grew up in the 1950s and would see gumball machines all over town. This was before the age of vending machines that dispensed candy bars or sodas. It was always a treat to put in the pennies and get the gum.

Old time gumball machines may not be found at every street corner anymore, but they can be a fun thing to put in a office, living room, kitchen or a fun item for a bedroom. The retro gas pump gumball machine is a favorite among antique collectors, as well as the large gumball machines with a thick glass container and a red metal base with a long, thin stand.

If you're a lover of old-time gumball machines, you can even get stamps featuring them.

Old Columbia Gumball Machine - Replica of an early gumball dispenser

This is a true 1900's old-time gumball machine replica. It is a sturdy, working bubblegum dispenser that is greatly detailed, sure to be the center of attention in any room.

Old Columbia Gumball Machine
Old Columbia Gumball Machine

The best thing about the machine, besides looking so much like the real thing, is that you can put this on a desk, shelf or table if you lack space for a gumball machine with a floor stand. You can buy the matching stand that easily attaches to the base to finish off your old time gumball machine to look like it did at the local corner store so many years ago.

Available from Amazon


The cost of a gumball in an old time gumball machine was originally one cent

Old Time Gas Pump Gumball Machines On Ebay - Old Time Gumball Machine

The old time gas pump gumball machine is a favorite among retro memorabilia collectors because it does well at representing an era. It is a classic, usable piece of art that will surely bring a smile to everyone that uses it.

Gas Pump Style Gumball Vending Machine - Reproduction available from Amazon

Gas Pump Vending Machine
Gas Pump Vending Machine

This Carousel replica gas pump pinball machine features a plastic globe, with all metal base, lid and coin mechanism. It takes ANY coin and works great as a bank (or you can adjust it to work without coins). Already assembled and ready for gift giving in a gift box.


How a Gumball Machine Is Made - Fascinating Video

The other videos show how to adjust a gumball machine to set the amount it dispenses or to set it to dispense for free. If you've ever wondered how it works (I have), here's the inside story.

How a Gumball Machine Is Made - Video on Youtube

Adjusting the Gumball Machine

Old Time Standing Gumball Machine - Vintage Gumbal Machine With Stand

If you're looking for a original old time gumball machine that is not a replica, the best place to look is eBay. When shopping on eBay for vintage gumball machines make sure to ask a lot of questions.

Ask questions such as: Does it work? Do you know the history of the machine? Do you know of any repairs it had? Does it have any unoriginal parts?

These are the kind that I used to see as a child in doctor's waiting rooms or inside a gas station where Dad went to pay for the gas. Of course, I always pestered my folks for some pennies to put in the gumball machine.

Metal Gumball Machines - Retro Style Gumball Machines

One of the really special things about old-time gumball machines was that they were made of metal. Originally they were heavy and seemed indestructible. The machines were made with thick glass tops for the gumballs, but even most of the high quality look-alike will replace a hard plastic for the glass. In most cases the plastic is used for safety reasons and there's less chance of of the plastic breaking than with glass.

These give the look of a vintage gumball machine but at a much lower price.

Want It To Distribute Free Gumballs? Here's How to Set It

Do You Collect Old-Time Gumball Machines

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Replace the Gear Wheel on a Gumball Machine

Comments and Questions About Old Time Gumball Machines

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    • geosum profile image


      5 years ago

      Reminds me of my past. Only a penny for a gumball....

    • kerryhrabstock profile image


      5 years ago

      I have the one pictured above. Love it for M&Ms.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      These are fun! I love the look of gumball machines.

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 

      6 years ago from California

      And not only the gumball machines, but the ones that had those huge jawbreakers :)

    • aliciamaggie54 profile image


      6 years ago

      Oh, this brings back memories.

    • tracy159 profile image

      Tracy Smith 

      6 years ago from Maryville, TN

      I remember my parents having a stand up gum ball machine. Loved it cause we always had gum in the house.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Yes I remember those very well. It was a great treat for a little money, and everyone I knew just loved them and thought they'd be around in various public places forever. Goes to show what we knew! Terrific lens on those great gumball machines. A special GroundHog Day blessing for this lens.

    • wcjohnston profile image


      6 years ago

      Memories!! I feel old


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