“In the early 1950s Avon Books created the VendAvon, a coin-operated book vending machine, found in airports, hospitals, and ferry terminals. Avon installed 210 machines, each containing 24 of the latest Avon titles, across several states.” [Second row down, far left is Paul Cain’s Seven Slayers, to the left of the Cain is Raymond Chandler’s Fingerman, and then Robert Terrall’s A Killer is Among Us, down a row and two over is Cain’s one novel, Fast One, and by the woman’s right ear is Frederick Nebel’s Six Deadly Dame, and bottom row, 3rd from the left, is Agatha Christie’s The Big Four.]
“In June 1947, Popular Science featured an early book vending machine called the Book-O-Mat which offered a selection of 50 books published by Pocket Books, any one of which could be purchased for a quarter.”
“The Penguincubator appeared in London in 1937. Conceived by Allen Lane, the founder of Penguin Books, the Penguincubator dispensed classic literature in paperback form for about the same price as a pack of cigarettes.
Sir Allen may have succeeded in changing English reading habits, but the Penguincubator had little to do with it. Specifically, it was never manufactured in sufficient quantity to make an impact on the market.”

photos and italicized quoted from flickr

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