Portland, Maine, Public Library Has Restored Vending Machine That Gives Out Prizes
If you're of the generation that grew up in the '50s through the '80s and walk into the Portland Public Library, you may see what looks like an old-fashioned cigarette vending machine. The type that was available in every bar and restaurant throughout the country. You'd drop some change into it and pull a lever to get a pack Pall Malls, Winstons, or Camels.
Your eyes aren't deceiving you. There is an old cigarette vending machine now at the Portland Public Library, but it's no longer giving out cigarettes. The 1966 Fawn Fleetwood cigarette vending machine has been restored by The Portland Public Library's graphic designer, Cy Bennett, who picked up the vending machine in Pownal and meticulously went through it to make sure every single mechanical part was working properly. These were built in the '60s and had simple gears and knobs, with no electricity needed.
What does the vending machine dispense now? On their website, the Portland Public Library hinted about a few things you might get from the machine:
Throughout the year, the Fawn Fleetwood will vend a healthy array of fun goodies ranging from mini–Portland Trail Maps to sweet stickers, and the most adorable mini book covers encouraging users to find and read the corresponding book in the collection. You never know what will be discovered at Portland Public Library. Stop by the Downtown Library and see what surprises await!
It's a pretty sweet-looking retro vending machine; something I haven't seen since my parents would take me to Goodwin's Restaurant in South Paris and we'd stand by the cigarette vending machine near the door, waiting for our table.
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