Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
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Coin Operated Grocery Store

No Human Interaction = No Problems?
  (+3, -7)
(+3, -7)
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The sweet clank of coins, and Foodstuffs ..... giant vending machines filled with an assortment of products. Kinda Snapple "Watch the Bottle Drop", only this time its a carton of Grade A eggs.
ferg, Aug 22 2002

2002: A Supermarket Odyssey http://www.halfbake...permarket_20Odyssey
Mechanization takes an ugly turn. [polartomato, Aug 23 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Baked In Spades http://www.nytimes....ational/28AUTO.html
Now we can definitely go home. It's been done. Everything from eggs to pantyhose. [DrCurry, Aug 28 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Automat http://www.hornandhardart.com/history.htm
[mrthingy, Aug 28 2002, last modified Feb 19 2005]


       I think there would be problems. See shameless plug attachment.   

       On a side note, one of those damn vending machines ate my money today. Grrr.
polartomato, Aug 23 2002

       bah the whole point would be that EVERYthing would be in a machine
ferg, Aug 24 2002

       Actually, this might work with canned food and pre-cooked items, now that I think about it. Croissant. We sort of have something sort of like this at work. Maybe not the whole grocery though.
polartomato, Aug 25 2002

       bah, everything would be checked and changed daily ... knit picking = bottom tier
ferg, Aug 26 2002

       they used to have those "back in the day", like in the 30's and 40's, but there were only a few. you inserted a personalized coin into a slot and pressed a button and workers in the ceiling put all of your food together, and when you were ready to check-out they boxed up your food and slid it down a chute.
cods, Aug 26 2002

       That was an Automat, as noted by mrthingy, though they didn't quite work like that (they still had one here when I first arrived). However, someone has put in a unit exactly as you describe in Washington, suspiciously close to your posting. I guess they read the Halfbakery.
DrCurry, Aug 29 2002

       Not only is this not a new concept, but I used one of these machines as a young boy in the 1960s in Fort Wayne, Indiana. You inserted coins (lots of them - this predated dollar bill acceptors), then selected your grocery item. The machine was very large, probably 8 feet tall, wide and deep. The retrieval mechanism was on an x-y axis, operated by motors, relays and solenoids. Although it was quite clever, it was not a commercial success, due to the higher price of their goods, and mechanical failures. They had an edge initially - they were open 24/7 while other stores were closed on Sundays (yes, almost all were in the mid 60s) and holidays, and supermarkets always closed by 9PM. The coin-op grocery was in use for about a year or so, then sat empty and unused for another year or so, before finally being removed from the site. Next, ask me about the coin-operated egg vending machine in Hicksville, OH, or the coin-operated potato machine in Northern Indiana...
wallgamesdotcom, Oct 25 2003


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