Sunday, March 6, 2016

Vending Machine Project Part 3: Postage Vending

Wait what?

If you have been following along my vending machine project part 1 and part 2 you might be wondering what happened to the toy capsule/gumball machine?  Have no fear, that project is still moving forward.  I can't contain all the ideas in my head so I had to add on more!

I got thinking about how I had to purchase some materials to work on the capsule machine.  If I was working on TWO machines, it would help disperse the overhead costs of the two.  Ok, so maybe I just really wanted a second machine to play with.  Yeah, maybe that was it.

Seriously though, this postage vending machine is the perfect vehicle to execute an idea I have.  A sticker vendor.  I have long had people suggest to me that I should offer stickers, stamped from my hand carved rubber stamps.  While I could do this from a capsule machine, it seems to make more sense to me to use the capsule vendor for stamps, and a postage vendor for stickers.

This old postage vending machine used to sell postage stamps in small cardboard "sanitary" folders.  Sanitary is on all these machines going back to the early 1900's when people feared that germs were getting passed along on the sticky back sides of postage stamps to the tongues of their victims.  The little folders held the stamp inside of it, protecting it from germs.  That might be true, but imagine if the stamps where not protected by some container, the gummy backsides would have probably stuck to each other in the machine as water vapor in the air moistening them.  These mini folders are about 1 inch by 1.75 inches, and will be perfect for protecting my sticker they will hold.

I also like the price point of fifty cents for a sticker.  Since I have two columns to work with on the postage vendor, my initial idea is to making it a kind of voting machine. Think of all those classic opposites... Coke vs. Pepsi, vanilla vs. chocolate, Chevy vs. Ford, Trump vs. Hillary (or whoever ends up getting on the ballot).  People can vote with two quarters.  Pick your side.  Pick'em and Stick'em.

What's that, this old machine looks dirty and old?  Nothing some sanding and painting won't fix.  I have to replace the lock, or create new keys, but the mechanisms on the inside are functioning great so far, and I hope that they will have years of life left in them.

OK, now I've got some work to do!


Wyvern said...

Super cool! I like the "voting" idea, too!

Stefani Tadio said...

Cool project, John - you're so creative!!

Sandy said...

I can't wait to see it in action! I volunteer to help you practice/vote/play. I'll start saving my quarters now!