Posted in Kafevend Blog
Hero of Alexandria is a renowned ancient Greek mathematician and engineer/inventor. A number of contraptions are attributed to him, several of which are firsts in their field: the Aeolipile, a steam powered spinning sphere; the fire engine, a development on a previous invention by Ctesibius, another Alexandrian mathematician and inventor; the automatic temple doors, the syringe, the programmable robot, the wind powered organ... I imagine I could go on for a while. One invention of his particularly of interest to those with an inclination to machines of a vending nature was the holy water dispenser.
Whilst you or I might have thought that there surely couldn't be a price on the healing powers of such a wondrous substance, Hero's holy water dispenser was devised for use in temples whose religious occupants wished to ensure that visitors did not take more holy water than they had payed for. The device worked by putting a coin in a slot at the top. The coin would land on a plate attached to one end of a tilting bar- the weight of the coin would raise the other end which allowed water to pour out. The bar would continue to tilt under the weight of the coin until it reached such an angle that the coin fell off; then the plug would come back down and shut off the flow.
Those looking for an ultra retro coffee dispenser would do well to commission one of these!