For some, the rise of artificial intelligence provokes fears of job-stealing robots. But people have been outsourcing odd jobs to machines for a long time. In fact, using machines to sell stuff is almost as old as machinery itself, dating back to the days of Archimedes.
The oldest known automated vendor is believed to have been invented in Ancient Egypt around 200 B.C. The machine, which was housed in a temple in Alexandria, employed a system of levers to dispense holy water to worshippers -- after, of course, they fed it a five-drachma coin.
As time went on, devices designed around similar concepts were used to sell everything from stockings to draught beer to full-sized clocks.
Here's a look at 23 vintage vending machines from 1900 to 1988 that were beautiful, wacky and way ahead of their time.