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1950s Ford Gumball Machine

October 11th, 2010 · 77 Comments

All Images are the Property of and Copyrighted to Vintage Vending Inc.

The first stick gum machines were introduced in 1888, followed by the first gumball vending machines in 1907. Shortly after that, Ford Mason, a roofing salesman, was looking for a business to get involved in during the winter months, when sales were at a lull. He started by leasing about 100 gumball machines and placing them in stores throughout western New York. He found the gum business profitable enough that he considered leaving roofing sales altogether. But Ford realized he would never do as well as he could because most gum sales were from one-time customers. This was because the gum in vending machines was of poor quality and the machines were unreliable. So Ford set out fulltime to make a better gum. Shortly after Ford’s father, a Baptist minister, advised him to start making his own gum vending machines. The success of Ford’s machines lead to a nationwide business with over 500,000 gum vendors across the country.

1950s Ford Gumball Machine

This is a vintage Ford gum vending machine from the 1950s. This model was set up to vend gum for 1 penny. The glass globe has a flat top, because originally there was a metal frame positioned on the top of these gumball vendors that displayed the name of whatever local charity the vendor was collecting for. These machines had the capacity to fit 4 lbs. of gumballs. We restored this chrome gum vendor back when we were still in the restoration business.

Dimensions: 12”H x 8”W
Weight: 13 lbs.

Ford Gum and Machine Co., Inc.
18 Newton Ave.
Akron, New York

This item is not for sale. We show restored items in this blog to encourage discussion, prompt questions and further the hobby of collecting and restoration. We also enjoy sharing the photos of the many items we have restored over the years.

Tags: Candy & Cigarette Machines · Manufacturer Histories · Restorations by Vintage Vending Inc.

77 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ty // Nov 13, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    I have one of theses machines how much are they worth restored?

  • 2 Cheap Wireless Internet // Dec 6, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    I still see these out on my vending route, some for 10cents and most are 25 cents now. They look identical to these and I have seen them almost 10 years now. Im surprised they are still around. I don’t know how anyone can sell gum for 10cents and make anything!

  • 3 HAROLD // Feb 1, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    I HAVE A FRIEND WHO INHERITED HIS BUSINESS FROM HIS FATHER AND REMEMBERS AS A CHILD THE FORD GUM MACHINE ALWAYS BEING IN THE SHOP (30 YEARS !!)AND BEING COVERTED TO DIMES (FROM PENNIES) ABOUT FIFTEEN YEARS AGO.—COOL !

  • 4 John // Feb 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    I was just given a Ford gumball machine as a gift! It takes pennies, and my kids love it. The lock opened up with a screwdriver, but I can’t figure out how to take it apart to clean it and put fresh gum in it? The gum is old and hard. Can I still buy parts? IT needs the rubber suction cups on the bottom. Thank you.

  • 5 Matt // Mar 24, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    John you can find parts for your machine. The Ford Gum Company has parts for the machine. The phone number is 800-225-5535 option 1 which is Sales and you can ask about parts. Another site is Crow River Trading the web address Is http://www.crowriver.com. If you need help with cleaning your machine email me and I will give you the disassembly instructions with photos.

  • 6 Bryan // Apr 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I just bought two Ford gumball machines on a metal stand, one works fine and the globe is intact with the one cent sticker, the other looks like someone tried to get the money out without the key, lots of damage. What information is required to get a key for my machines?

  • 7 Mark // Apr 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    I just found one of these and could use dissembly instructions.

  • 8 Marty Smith // Apr 17, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    I live in Nashville and have a early 60’s model Coke bottle machine I would like to have restored. Any recommendations on someone in the region who could tackle the job?

  • 9 Tyler // Apr 23, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Hi I have that exact gum ball machine how do u take the bowl off?

  • 10 Alice // Apr 30, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Hi, I would like to have the disassembly and cleaning instructions for my gumball machine. Thank you.

  • 11 Carlyn // Apr 30, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I just purchased a Vintage Ford Gum Ball Machine. I am looking for the key for the lock assembly between the stand and the base, also looking for the sticker that goes on the spring loaded adverisement panel . It would be great if you could help me out . Thanks

  • 12 Steve // May 8, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    I picked up a Ford gumball machine and was wondering where I could find a manual for disassembly/repair/cleaning.

    Also, does anyone know where I can find an F50B key?

    Thanks

  • 13 Cherie // May 10, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    I just bought a Ford gumball machine for my husband for his birthday, and we’re wondering if we can get disassembly and cleaning instructions for it. Thanks so much!

  • 14 Jenni // May 23, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    I need an instructional guide for disassembly as well!!!

  • 15 Steve // May 24, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    If there’s anyone out there with instructions on how to remove the globe hold-down/collar from a Ford gumball machine without damaging the glass globe, sure would appreciate hearing how it’s done.

    I’m afraid if I force it off it’ll break the neck of the globe.

    Thanks,

  • 16 danielle // May 26, 2011 at 11:39 am

    i have a ford gumball machine and need a key. any one know where to get a key?

  • 17 Steve // May 27, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Danielle:

    If it’s a lock on the bottom of the gumball machine’s base and is stamped with ‘Ford’ check to see if it will turn freely with something like a nail clipper’s nail file, many of them have been disabled so they turn freely without the need of an actual key.

    If it doesn’t turn freely and you need a key, check to see if there’s a ‘B’ stamped on the lock. If there is a ‘B’ you would need an F50B key. If there’s no ‘B’ you need a standard F50 key.

    If you Google for either ‘F50′ or ‘F50B’ and ‘key’ you will should find a few for sale. I found mine on ebay.

    HTH

  • 18 stevi // Jun 18, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    I have a Ford Gumball machine but it has a vintage green metal base, not chrome. Does anyone know anything about this one? It has a plate with the numbers C048069. What do those mean?
    Thanks

  • 19 tom // Jun 27, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Does anyone know if a low serial number like 820 is rare and how much these machines are restored. Also I would appreciate it if anyone has the dissasembly instructions.

  • 20 Scott // Jul 8, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I have a Ford Machine as well but it is actually red and is flaked pretty badly. Is there a website I can pull up to find out more about it’s age? Is there a way to tell with the name plate? Mine looks to be brass. I also need to learn how to disassemble it so I can refurbish it, and how to clean it? Any information would be greatly appreciated. And before I forget how many colors did these come in? I have seen blue, red and of course the chrome. Thank You for any help.

  • 21 Cami Mock // Jul 23, 2011 at 1:39 am

    I need instructions to clean and refill my ford gumball machine. It is the older one that held the Kiwanis sign and sold gum for 10 cents. Does anyone know how to take it apart to clean

  • 22 pam // Aug 18, 2011 at 9:22 am

    I want to sell my ford gum machine

  • 23 Deena // Sep 9, 2011 at 11:05 am

    I just bought my husband a ford gumball machine as shown in your picture. The gum in it is old and we bought new ford gumballs for it. how do we take it apart to refill it and how does it go back together. we got it apart but are not able to get it to go back together. Can you send instructions to my email address. Thank you so much.

  • 24 Ron // Sep 18, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I could also use the disassembly & cleaning instructions…have a 1c Ford machine on a stand that has been collecting dust in my folks’ basement and my 9-year old just decided it would be very cool to have in his bedroom. Any help would be appreciated

  • 25 Jo Ann Neely // Sep 24, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I have a one cent gumball machine; but I have no key to the machine. I would like to know how I can get a key. I cannot find any numbers on it or anything of that nature.

  • 26 Shasta Akins // Oct 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    I have a Ford Gumball machine that is very similar to the one in the photo. The slot that the gumbball comes out is different. It has the #
    C096844 on the coin slot. It is missing a plate on the bottom & some pieces that lock the globe in place. It there any one that does repairs or where I can see an exploded parts diagram ? Can you tell there year by the #? Thanks!

  • 27 Joe T // Oct 27, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I need a Ford gumball F50 key. I will return the key if you need it back. After I open the machine I will have the lock dissabled and I promise to return the key. I will pay postage both ways and $5.00 If you have a key to sell that will work. Joe @ 732-575-7302

  • 28 Kathryn // Nov 4, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I have an F. E. Smith one cent gum ball machine fully restored with the key. Do you what time period that machine is from and the approximate value?

  • 29 Scott // Nov 26, 2011 at 1:52 am

    Is the machine in your picture for the chiclet type gum? What vintage are the models with the rounded gum ball catch?

    Do you have in working machines for sale?

  • 30 debra palcic // Dec 11, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    could you send instructions on how to get globe off of one cent ford machine round gumballs

  • 31 Jenn // Dec 13, 2011 at 1:02 am

    Super excited to find my late mother’s ford gumball machine. Remembered it from childhood. Not sure what she did with the lock but it’s fully functional and this site has helped me a ton. Just wanted to say thanks! If you guys have questions about keys, how to clean, or finding parts, there’s a link above that Matt posted.

  • 32 ScottV // Dec 15, 2011 at 8:32 am

    I am looking for any information on the Ford one cent gumball machine. Disassembly & cleaning instructions. Also, what size gumball does the machine use? Is there a guide to determine when the machine was made (by serial number)?
    Thanks!

  • 33 jeremy // Jan 5, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Can someone help with the instruction and disassembly manual for this gumball machine, I bought it for my 5 year old and it was suppose to come with all that but the ebay add was a lie.

  • 34 Shaela // Jan 5, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Need a disassembly manual for the Ford gum ball machine. Like the one shown above.

  • 35 DebB // Jan 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I could also use the disassembly & cleaning instructions… i have a 1oc Ford machine on a stand. It has a lot of old gumballs in it that i would like to get out and replace with good ones. I appreciate any help… thank you!

  • 36 Chris // Jan 17, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Matt,

    I just purchased a vintage Ford 1 cent gumball machine. I was reading your post and noticed you had the dis-assembly instructions for removing the glass globe, cleaning the machine and removing the change. Can you please e-mail me the instructions? Thanks
    C

  • 37 Ann P // Jan 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    How do I change it from the 10 cents back to its original form of 1 cent?

  • 38 Ann P // Jan 19, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Oppps I forgot to say that it is for the Ford 1950’s bubble gum machine Like posted above… This machine still has the original metal frame for advertising:0

  • 39 John Winn // Jan 25, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Hello, I have two Ford one penny machines, both set up for chickle gum. How can I convert the machine to use gumballs? I have some of the round parts that go inside someone gave me that are deeper than what’s in the machine now.
    Thank you,
    John

  • 40 Debbie // Feb 8, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I have a ford 1950 bubble gum machine and it is 10 cent and I would like to change it back to a one cent. Can someone tell me how I can do this and where I can get the parts. I need a lock for it.

  • 41 MORGEN // Feb 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    John Winn,

    I have a machine and bought the round gumballs but they do not work. So what you are saying is that some of the machines are set up to only take the chicklet gum ?

  • 42 Melody // Feb 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I am going to buy a Ford gum machine as a gift for my daughter who remembers them fondly as a child.
    How do I make sure I am getting one that vends the chicle type gum? Most on ebay do not specify. Is there an easy way to tell. Some sellers seem to have no idea.

  • 43 vintagevending // Feb 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Hard to say. Generally the 50s models dispensed the chiclet style gum as well as the small gumballs. They are the round globe style with the chrome bases
    Sincerely,
    Maria

  • 44 vintagevending // Feb 14, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Hi John
    It should dispense the small half inch gumballs, but they originally were made for the Chiclet style.Not sure why it is not working.
    You may want to contact http://www.fordgum.com direct and see if they can assist you.
    Sincerely,
    Maria

  • 45 Gary Amerson // Feb 17, 2012 at 12:17 am

    I have a ford gumball machine, It has a 10 cent slot and ford 10cent decal on a clear plastic bubble. can any one tell me how old this thing is. It has a crome base and black plastic gum shoot.

  • 46 Dave // Feb 17, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    I was wondering how to find out the age on a machine. I have One that was turned into a Lamp. Did they come with a hole in the top to hold the advertisement or did some idiot ruin the machine?

  • 47 Don // Mar 24, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Hello, just aquired a Ford 1cent machine,I disassembled it ,cleaned and lubed and works just fine,but I cannot get the glass Globe to go back together with the chrome retainer band,how I got it apart is still a mystery , HELP PLEASE. thankyou!!!

  • 48 Earl Mitchell // Apr 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I just purchase a Ford Gumball Machine and can not figure out how to dismatle the machine. It is just like the one you have pictiured on this site.
    Do you have any insturctions you can email me? If you do, can you send them to me. I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks,

    Earl

  • 49 vintagevending // Apr 2, 2012 at 9:24 am

    To everyone needing a key for a machine, or needing assembly/disassembly or cleaning instructions, the best source to go to is fordgum.com. They are the manufacturer of the Ford Gumball machines should be able to help you with your questions. Best of luck with your machines and we hope you continue to enjoy these wonderful collectibles!

  • 50 Charles Moore // Jun 12, 2012 at 10:05 am

    After Ford gum ball machine disassembly, 1950’s penny style, as seen above. I need to assemble the collar around the glass globe and i am having difficulty with squeezing the collar tight enough to lock the pin. Serial #234216. Glass globe appears to be threaded or have rings. Could you please send me the assembly instructions on how to latch the collar correctly without breaking the globe. VMoore3032@aol.com

  • 51 Jim Earnhart // Jul 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    We have an original 1950″s Ford Gum Ball machine that was in my wife’s family pharmacy from the 1950’s thru 1990’s. We would like to clean it up and put gum balls in it for our grandsons. Could you email me directions on disassembly and assembly. Thanks, Jim

  • 52 vintagevending // Jul 20, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Jim,
    (And everyone else needing a key for a machine, or needing assembly/disassembly or cleaning instructions), the best source to go to is fordgum.com. They are the manufacturer of the Ford Gumball machines should be able to help you with your questions. Best of luck with your machines and we hope you continue to enjoy these wonderful collectibles!

  • 53 Steven Wilson // Aug 11, 2012 at 11:04 am

    To remove the globe for refilling, simply insert a large flat-head screwdriver blade into the gap of the ring and twist the screwdriver to widen the gap. Once it’s wide enough, the globe will easily separate from the base.

  • 54 ibuystuffidontkneed // Oct 1, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I have talked with Ford Gum and they do not instructions for the machine pictured above, they have them for the Carousel. Would you be able to send me some instructions. I need to replace the feet and think I know how to seperate the bottom but don’t want to mess it up. It is a Chicle machine. My other question is can I put gumball guts in a Chicle machine? Thanks

  • 55 Dean // Nov 2, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I have an excellent 1cent ford bubble gum machine in a-1 shape. Make and offer. I have no clue what its worth or direct me to a place to find out. Thank-you.

  • 56 Jan // Nov 15, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Has anyone had any luck finding information on how do disassemble and clean their Ford Gumball machine, and also find parts? I need the circular plate or plug (about the size of a 50 cent piece) that goes on the underside of the machine where there is a hole of the same size. This also corresponds with the same circular hole on the plate that mounts the machine to the stand. If anyone has any kind of instructions, or can tell me where to find them, I would really appreciate it.

  • 57 David // Nov 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I’ve popped the lock collar open to remove the globe, but I need to completely disassemble the machine to clean and/ or replace some worn parts. As stated above fordgum.com does NOT have the instructions. Does ANYONE know how to do this??
    (Please and Thank You)

  • 58 Lisa // Dec 5, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Unreal in this day and age NO ONE has a Ford Manual to post! They must have been shipped with some type of instructions….. Just sayin!

  • 59 Kim Smock // Dec 9, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Obtained an imperial 1 cent gumball machine globe needs cleaning – rust needs removed please help

  • 60 jordan // Jan 4, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Hi. I’m 13 and my dad gave me a Ford gumball machine that he got from his dad. It takes 10 cents but I don’t know what the flap thing on the top is for. Any answers and can you take it off some how?

  • 61 Deb // Jan 29, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Do you need the key to re-fill the candy or to just get the money out of the penny Ford gumball machine

  • 62 elaine goss // Apr 5, 2013 at 9:02 am

    We have a gumball machine we think is from the 1950s because it is 10 cents and has a Jerry Lewis sign on top. Would you be able to let me know if I am right or I am wrong. Thank you.

  • 63 vintagevending // Apr 8, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Elaine,
    Ford gumball machines had marquees available to be put on top of the machine where an ad could be placed from a charity, such as the Lion’s Club or in your case, a Jerry Lewis ad for collecting donations for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. These were made throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

  • 64 Alex // May 6, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    I have a penny ford gum machine can I please get the instructions on how to properly remove the glass bowl to replace the gum. Thank you!

  • 65 vintagevending // May 7, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Alex,

    For a key for a machine, or assembly/disassembly or cleaning instructions, the best source to go to is fordgum.com. They are the manufacturer of the Ford Gumball machines should be able to help you with your questions. Best of luck with your machines and we hope you continue to enjoy these wonderful collectibles!

  • 66 John Roemig // May 21, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    I bought what seems to be a rather old ford gumball machine. The decal on the glass is kind of unique and in great shape. It is in good shape and functional but needs a good restoration ( painting, decals on the metal replaced ect.) I am having trouble finding someone who’s does this. Can you help me in identifying a very good restorer? Thanks much for your time…John

  • 67 Allen Aseltine // Aug 2, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    I just acquired a ford gumball machine and need to know how to put gumballs in it, any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

  • 68 Sally // Aug 15, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Also looking for instructions on filling, assembly and cleaning of Ford f50 gumball machine. If you have it, please e-mail. Thanks!

  • 69 vintagevending // Aug 20, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Sally,
    For assembly/disassembly and cleaning instructions, the best source to go to is fordgum.com. They are the manufacturer of the Ford Gumball machines should be able to help you with your questions.

  • 70 scott // Nov 5, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    hi all parts and machine for all ford gum machine , all the years they were made call or email a1gumballs
    there email is rst12306@msn.com or ph is 919-494-1322 . they have a great store on ebay with lots of ford parts they sell the gum and keys

  • 71 Larry // Nov 7, 2013 at 12:13 am

    How do I remove the little marquee sign from the top of the ford gumball machine?

  • 72 Tim // Feb 3, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    I have a vintage machine that has been converted to 10 cent. How do you change it back to the one cent it was originally.

  • 73 Todd // Feb 16, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    I have two questions. First, does anyone know how to remove the marquee from the globe of a Ford globe? Second, what type of glue is used to affix a marquee to the top of a globe? Thanks!

  • 74 Elodie // Apr 2, 2014 at 7:07 am

    Also looking for instructions on filling, assembly and cleaning of Ford f50 gumball machine. Nothing on fordgum.com or on any website … I’m desperate :)
    If someone has it, please e-mail (doodi@free.fr). Thanks thanks !

  • 75 Laurie Stuck // Apr 11, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Hi, Indeed the fordgum.com site does not have any instructions available and now seems to have closed thier online parts ordering. I’d gladly pay for a set of instructions if you’d care to print them. Thanks, Laurie

  • 76 Megan // Apr 23, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Looking for disassembly and cleaning instructions, thanks!!

  • 77 Kurt // Apr 29, 2014 at 10:58 am

    I have a chrome base Ford gum ball machine with a Kiwannis International decal. Below is a second decal for Star Quailty Ball Gum 1c. I’ve search ebay and can’t find another. I assume this was a separate supplier of gum and this decal was added later. Any info would be appreciated.

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