What device, common in cafeterias, airports and trains stations worldwide, was invented in the first century CE?

Answer: The vending machine. It was invented by famed Greek inventor Heron of Alexandria (10 CE -70 CE), who developed a device which, when one introduced a five-drachma coin, would dispense a fixed amount of liquid.

Source: The Forgotten Revolution by Lucio Russo

More at: History

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