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In-the-Bag

In-the-Bag Co., Milwaukee, WI, c. 1934, 23" (incuding marquee). I thought this was one of the neatest machines I didn't own, until I got it, after which I thought it was one of the neatest machines I owned. I still do.

The body is sheet metal. When you put a penny in and pull the slide downward, a piece scoops up a small bag, deposits product into the bag, and then delivers the bagged goodies to the gate on the lower left corner. It must have been a radical concept to bag the goods before passing them to the customer, and to my knowledge this was the first vendor that did it. To be more accurate, this was the first vendor that took bulk product and bagged it during the vending process; others vended boxes or bars of peanuts or candy, but it was put into the machine that way so it's really not the same, is it?

I don't know how well these caught on in the marketplace. They're not rare machines, but they're not terribly common, either. There was another style that was boxier and used a cylindrical globe and is listed in Silent Salesmen Too as a Jennings In-the-Bag, but in my opinion that one isn't as attractive as the one above. I don't know if the different styles were made concurrently or sequentially, and if they were made sequentially then I don't know which was earlier.

The machine pictured above is 100% original and is one of the nicest I've seen. It's definitely been used, though, as indicated by the sales tax stickers that adorn the machine's backside.

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