The first U.S. patent for an automatic liquid vending machine ...

The first U.S. patent for an automatic liquid vending machine was issued on this date, December 16, in 1884 to William H. Fruen (1845-1917) of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Patent No. 309,219 for Fruen's "Automatic liquid-drawing device" released a mineral water from an internal reservoir when a user inserted a coin into a slot. In addition to being practical, the device was also adorable - it was designed to look like a building.

In recognition of his invention, we're posting this 1954 promotional film from the Rowe Manufacturing Company for the company's Rowe Candy Merchant. This film is from Hagley Library's Sponsored and industrial motion picture film collection (Accession 2018.222) an artificial collection compiled by curators that includes single motion picture films or small sets of films acquired via purchase or donation. 

‘Sponsored film’ defines a variety of motion picture productions funded by businesses, organizations, or governments that dictated the point of view, audience, and intent of the film. Industrial or business films are a sub-genre of sponsored films with content that marketed products and ideas, touted a particular company or industry, trained employees, and explained manufacturing or transactional processes around the creation and sales of products and ideas.

To this film and a selection of others from this collection online now in our Digital Archive, just click here!