About the Author

Glen Dresser is a novelist whose first book, Correction Road, was released in 2007 and shortlisted for the W.O. Mitchell City of Calgary book prize. He has also worked as a technical writer, information designer and web developer. He is currently focusing his efforts on his second novel and his first-born son, while assisting with UPPERCASE Magazine

Categorical Index
« "Animal Shelters" for UPPERCASE Magazine | Main | Prairie Fire Review »

"Gumball Machines" for UPPERCASE Magazine

Musings on the history of the gumball machine - UPPERCASE Magazine Issue #4

It's amazing that we've become so accepting of the idea of making a transaction with a machine. And yet a century of vending machines has brought us along in little steps to this point. One can imagine first the dubiousness and then the sense of novelty that much have greeted the first automated postcard vending machines in the streets of London in the 1880s. And while those early designs -- and the candy dispensers that came to North America a decade later -- are like crude golems in comparison to the sophisticated automated transactions of today, they were a significant step. A transaction requires two participants, and up until those first vending machines, this meant two people. 

This was a really fun piece, but one that took a while to write. Janine asked me to do a little piece with musings gumball machines, and I struggled for a bit to find the right angle for the piece. In the end, I'm really happy with how this little essay turned out; it's one of my favorites that I've done for UPPERCASE, touching on golems, the Turing test, and random number generators. 

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>