On this day in 1884...


William Fruen is issued the first U.S. patent for an automatic, liquid-dispensing vending machine.

Fruen, a native of England that came to Minnesota in the 1870's, was known for his work with screws and heavy machinery when he first came to the states, but soon made a more indelible mark on the upper midwest.

While excavating near his home in hopes of constructing a fishpond, Fruen discovered a pure spring that produced clean, high-quality water.

Fruen would use the spring to bottle water and distribute it to Minneapolis homes, dubbing his new company Glenwood Springs, which is now Glenwood-Inglewood Company which supplies the region with bottled water.

On this day 119 years ago, Fruen's patent would be given for a machine that would dispense a certain amount of water from said spring when a coin was placed in a slot triggering the water.

The first-of-its-kind invention wouldn't be the last impact Fruen made on the supplying of goods, as the Fruen Cereal Company would come along in 1890, later known as the Fruen Milling Company.

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